This is the debut album from UK sludge doom band Existence Dysphoria.
Minus Negative contains 31 minutes of unfriendly sludge doom. It’s a mix of caustic sludge and crushing doom, combined with elements of stoner and progressive rock.
After the traditional pointless intro, we get three songs that all hover around the 10-minute mark.
The guitars are beefy and the riffs thick and punishing. Existence Dysphoria are a band who know how to bring the heavy. I find it very easy to get swept away in the band’s hypnotic rhythms, and this is an easy release to get lost in.
There’s subtlety and nuance to be found on Minus Negative though, not just waves of distortion. The band’s progressive and stoner influences allow them to occasionally branch out into more exploratory waters, and a melodic streak that’s mainly held in check by the burly guitars sometimes gets unleashed. On these occasions Existence Dysphoria take the time to deliver textured examinations of their sound, or intricate workouts that branch out from the main heaviness. Noise is also used as an enriching property to further add depth to the band’s sound.
Vocally we get a barrage of savage roars, screams, and shouts, along with some idiosyncratic vocals that sound more human, but less typical.
Minus Negative is a solid example of how to combine malevolent sludge and stoner doom into something nuanced and charismatic. If you’re a fan of bands such as Ufomammut, Sea Bastard, Primitive Man, Body Void, Electric Wizard, and Conan, then this is one for you.
A recommended listen.