Dystrophy – Wretched Host (Review)

DystrophyThis is the second album from US Death Metallers Dystrophy.

Dystrophy play dissonant Progressive/Technical Death Metal that sits a little out of the normal comfort zone of Tech Death, (if there is such a thing), by incorporating a Doom influence into their songs rather than going full-blown-crazy-hyper-speed, as is the case a lot of the time for the style. Mix this with a bit of Brutal Death Metal and an Old-School flair and you have the ingredients for a crushing album.

And crush it does. Repeatedly, and often.

The most obvious reference point for Dystrophy would be Gorguts, but there’s more to the band than just their obvious influences. There’s a lot going on here and it’s good to see that they don’t hide the songs behind blurs of speed or impenetrable craziness. There are fast parts on the album, of course, but it doesn’t define them as a band. Instead this is done by the brooding malevolence and sense of menace that the songs have fostered so well by the interplay between rhythm and lead guitars. The latter do a lot of work to add tension and suspense to the atmosphere of twisted peril that Dystrophy create.

But there’s more than just menace and tension to these songs; there’s an impressive amount of atmosphere and feeling on them. Leads and solos add a lot of texture and emotive qualities, backed up with coordination and style by the heavier riffs.

The vocals are uncompromisingly harsh; deep growls that sound as if they would be quite at home in a dark, dank pit somewhere. As the complexity and nuance of the music rages around them, the vocals are brutally simple and straight to the point.

This is an ambitious release from a band who have managed to insert emotive shades of colour into their music, which is no mean feat for a Death Metal band. Wretched Host is an album to be savoured and enjoyed at length.

I would definitely recommend this one; any band attempting to do something a bit different should be supported, especially when they are doing it so well.

So yes, here’s another album to put on that perpetually expanding to-get list of yours.

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