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Dysrhythmia - Test Of Submission

the cat   (39 reviews)

Posted: 10/14/2012 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

Haunting the gamut from polyrhhythmic to polemic, Dysrhythmia have returned. Dating back to 1998 with Philly roots, the transplanted Brooklyn trio offer up Test Of Submission as their 8th studio album. With it's members having had years of experience, not just with the act in question, but also with bands like Krallice, and Gorguts, the three amigos have a ton of "been there" and "done that" to draw from.

These guys are often hailed as crafting some of the best instrumental-indie-fusion-spiked-with-prog-metal-or-something that one could find. Well, what I'm getting at is that Dysrhythmia, if they are to be labeled anything, are a rather unique brew. But being this type of unique also comes at the expense of alienating a great deal of would-be fans. One person's nose-in-the-air description of a "musician's band" is without a doubt pegged as "grandiose" and/or "inaccessible" to many more. To put it another way, the standards are set very high for these 3 unsinging heroes before they play a single note with most folks... myself included

With this album Dysrhythmia have a better sense of progression yet problems with focus remain. Maturity, in this case seems to take the form of the band reaching new creative heights in constructing and blending sections from ornate order to callous cacophony. The mood can seem vaguely orchestral and nearly formless as in the middle section of the final number "In Consequence" to jaggedly energetic as in title track.

None of the 8 tracks from Test of Submission are bad, some of them are good, but most of them are damn good. And yet, and I almost feel like a dick to have to say this... I don't think any of them are excellent. If you want to know why, listen to the 3rd track "The Line Always Snaps". There aren't any bad parts to this song, but the quality control and positioning makes it sound like a Ferrari in 2nd gear. For the first 2 and a half minutes you hear an interesting, and what I would describe as purposefully wandering progression. The listener observes a syncopated ocean of intervals rising and falling in an almost hypnotizing fashion. Then suddenly at about half way through an absolutely devastating riff comes in. That riff is like the fat drunk guy who just segued to the mosh pit from a heated conversation at the bar that ended in "fuck you, I CAN do a cartwheel". Now that guy is the coolest dude at the show, and he got everyone's attention by leveling the place, but he's not really an agent of cohesion now is he?

After the huge drunk guy riff goes away, the song continues largely unchanged and as a result may seem listless to some while completely fine to others. I'm not picking on one song either, "The Madness of Three" follows the same basic blueprint!

Look, Dysrhythmia aren't at all a bad band and this isn't a bad release. As a matter of fact I respect the fuck out of them and give them props for these 8 songs. They're also such a dynamite live band I would go out and see them without hesitation. But I'm not likely to listen to this again. If you've been along with them for the ride, you will dig this and I recommend it but they remain a niche band that despite the painstaking honing of their skills will simply not be enticing to many. Furthermore, a key element of a coherent vision and message is either incomplete or absent in a lot of these tracks. Though one could chalk this up to a sequence of Dysrhythmia's DNA, it quite simply is what it is

Time Husk: Dysrhythmia doing what they do best, not for everyone

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