New Jersey death metal unit Dystrophy (related to the Skyrim metallers Ophidius) is currently preparing the release of their album, “Wretched Host”. This will serve as their sophomore album to 2010’s “Chains of Hypocrisy” and as the continuation of an extreme legacy running the last 5+ years. It’s due for an independent release on June 9th and already features some sick artwork and an incredible looking physical print (available for pre-order HERE). Not to mention, the tracks released thus far are absolutely devastating.
Now, you may or may not remember, but we had teamed up with Dystrophy a few weeks back to bring you the world premiere for one of those tracks being “Singularity”. As such, we’ve also had sneak peeks of whats to come and now have the entire album for review. And that’s precisely what brings us here today. If you want to hear of what’s to come, read on. Otherwise, stop reading, listen to those tracks listed below and decide for yourself. Either way, this album is a trip!
“Apex” kicks off the album as an ominous piece through the sounds of wind crying behind a weeping violin. This is all before the listener’s ears are smacked with a wall of death. The band quickly shows their ability to experiment within and beyond the confines of their primary sub-genre. This proves to be a large part of the album’s allure. Dystrophy knows how to think outside of the box…. and I mean far outside the box. This spans through hints of Thrash, Sludge, and beyond to realms rarely traveled.
This opening segment of the album transitions furiously into the record’s first single, “Singularity”, and it’s uneven aesthetic. This really serves as a stand out track on the album, paired with others such as “Anhedonia” and definitely the other album single / title track “Wretched Host”. But there’s no doubt that every song on “Wretched Host” has something interesting and even awesome to offer.
The closing track “Nadir” is another favorite of mine. It really brings the whole listening experience full circle through its composition. A little over halfway through, it suggests a reference to the aforementioned, ominous opening track “Apex” before really bringing it around to close out the album. This is a really cool way to polish off the experience. And if you have the record on loop, it re-introduces the opening beautifully.
Much of the album plays out in dissonant waves, bending and ripping in unexpected directions and through twisted experiments. While not really comparable, it reminds me of work from bands such as Gorguts and Ulcerate to a point. The music could often be considered alien to our feeble human ears, truly acting as a “Wretched Host” as we move through with our parasitic hearing apparatus. The album runs a gamut of outlandish sonic experience while somehow remaining somewhat consistent in its endeavors.
Listening to this record is like experiencing a slow, crumbling death. So, objectively, it won’t be everyone’s cuppa tea. But I really believe there’s a lot here for death heads of all shapes and sizes to enjoy. I wouldn’t personally say it’s a perfect album but it’s definitely a really good one. And with every listen, it seems to become a bit better. Such is the nature of these things, after all…
If you’re a fan of extreme music, it’s worth hitting those “play” buttons up above and tasting the slow, crushing, organized chaos for yourself. And if you like what you hear, allow me to repeat that “Wretched Host” is available for pre-order HERE. Stay metal, my friends \m/