The sheer unpredictability of Dystopics makes it a worthy listen. You never know when a measure will end or a riff will lead. Something about it is off - in a good way. Diskord isn't afraid to show their love for mangling and shaping the beast that is Autopsy's sound into new and dangerous tracks. Opener "Entropic Death" is an old school death track that has a bit of a grind flair and just a smidgeon of dissonant jankiness. Diskord is a band that doesn't take just one sound and stick to it though. These Norwegians are all over the place, and you can literally tell that each track is deliberately unique. There's the dissonant jazz influence, grind and hardcore d-beats and shouts, the occasional black metal rasp, a flirtation with doom, and some absolutely crushing death metal riffs.
Dissonances and technical flair aren't the highlight on Dystopics, but they serve to convey the weird atmosphere wonderfully. Eyvind Wærsted Axelsen's basslines are the driving force behind much of the music, creating a powerful sound that despite all the time signature-bending remains headbangable. As a bassist, I'm a huge sucker for bass dynamics and the occasional solo, and Axelsen delivers multiple times throughout Dystopics. "Overseer," "Godsends and Hellbents," and "As The Circus Leaves The Galaxy" all feature numerous memorable basslines, often toying with guitar riffs while enveloping them in low-frequency sound. Rhythmically speaking, the album is fantastic. The basslines and Hans Jørgen Ersvik's drumming work together to create a disharmonious background with which to spew troubled and cataclysmic sounds. Guitarist Espen T. Hangård is a powerful actor in the sound of Dystopics as well, and he and Axelsen often play off of each other, one's instrument taking dominance over the other multiple times throughout the album. His solos are well-written and aren't an exuberant display of technicality despite actually taking talent - something to admire in modern death metal.
If Dystopics had come out twenty years ago, I honestly believe Diskord would be up there with genre greats Atheist, Autopsy, and Gorguts. The production makes Dystopics actually feel like it came out in that time period, amplifying the old-school appeal of the music itself. The album is refreshingly organic much like Doomscapes and it's equally as weird. Even the more doom-influenced tracks like "Tremble" and "Ambisinistral" are interesting, both contextually and as individual tracks. They help convey the odd vortex of emotions that is Dystopics perfectly and fluently, keeping everything paced.
I found Dystopics a bit tougher to jump right into than I did Doomscapes, but after a few spins I was hooked. Albums like this tend to be growers by nature, and that was the case for me. Like a big ball of potential energy that slowly becomes kinetic, Dystopics' waves of tortured sonics wash over you in increasingly potent measures. If you want truly unique death metal, look no further than Diskord's Dystopics - you won't be disappointed.
9.0 out of 10
|8.||As the Circus leaves the Galaxy|
|9.||Rambling Words from a sore Throat|
|11.||Godsends and Hellbents|
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