Monday, July 2, 2012

Diskord - Dystopics (2012)

You would have to live under a rock to be unaware that the last couple of years have been positively fruitful for death metal, with both newer and older bands churning out "to-be" classics and records reminiscent of the glory days. Diskord's Dystopics is significantly different than what has manifested itself in the scene as of late, mainly because the group cast an avant-garde approach over what listeners expect when envisioning death metal. Tempo changes, unpredictable song structuring, and dissonant, moody riffs mixed with the usual spastic guitar textures encapsulate Dystopics, sounding like nothing else in the subgenre; Diskord really have carved a unique place for themselves in the death metal world, which is an accomplishment for a stagnant (but excellent) form of music.

Although Diskord's brand of death metal might be uncommon, a sense of familiarity still looms overhead as listeners twist, wind, and bend over backward for Dystopics' songwriting. For one, the production feels as if it was pulled from the early to mid-nineties and reminisces on the days when death metal emerged ripe from the underground. The drum's toms sound absolutely glorious when hit as a support to a slow-paced riff passage, and the guitar's gritty, uncivilized tone poses as a big middle finger to modern sterile producing values, too.

Derivatives stop there, however, when you consider how oddly each song is pieced together. Tempo changes are what make or break Dystopics for a listener because, while a track might begin as a speedy, blast beating assault, the midsection will likely drop off into a doom-laden passage with a minimal approach to songwriting. Diskord seem unable to decide if they want to be a blueprint death metal band, a doomy hybrid, or something else all together. But as they tussle between distinctive and abnormal landscapes, they create something utterly fantastic, which will surely accumulate imitators and admirers alike.

Released only three months ago, Dystopics appears positioned to take death metal's top honors for the year, although six months remain for Diskord to defend the crown. I don't see any other band coming this close to being so remarkably unique, so the battle is very much won, at least on the innovative forefront. All you really need to do is take one look at Dystopics' unconventional cover art to know you have a winner.

-TMA

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