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Dystrophy - "Chains of Hypocrisy" (CD)

Dystrophy - "Chains of Hypocrisy" CD cover image

"Chains of Hypocrisy" track listing:

1. Iconoclasm
2. Chains of Hypocrisy
3. Through Scenes of Buried Pain
4. Erebus
5. Devoured By Time
6. Spells of Apocalypse
7. Zero Sum
8. Paranoid Abductions
9. Crown the Coward

Reviewed by on November 19, 2010

"The album sucks you in with its awesomeness, but just like rollercoasters with many corkscrews, loops, and 200 feet drops, leaves your head spinning. "

Dystrophy is defined as the degeneration of muscles. How it applies to the band I am not sure, but it’s a pretty badass name. Their debut album, “Chains Of Hypocrisy,” illustrates just how remarkable the band is. The album kick starts with the song “Iconoclasm,” which jumps right into the mayhem with blastbeats and assaulting riffage. In fact, I’d say that the amount of riff changes on this album will most likely make your brain explode. The songs are packed with powerful rip your face off riffing, which is the album’s strong point but also its pitfall. The songs take you on a rollercoaster ride straight to hell, so be warned. The album sucks you in with its awesomeness, but just like rollercoasters with many corkscrews, loops, and 200 feet drops, leaves your head spinning.

Rollercoasters aside, “Chains Of Hypocrisy” is the band’s debut album and it’s a strong first effort. Dystrophy combines thrash, death and some black metal to create something unique. The guitarists, Peter Brown and Peter Loyd, both have an immense amount of talent. If the sheer complexity in their riff writing doesn’t show that, maybe the sweep picking in the guitar solo in “Devoured By Time” will. With the progressive nature and speed of the music, it’s rare that a drummer can keep up with the band. Fortunately, for Dystrophy, they have Matt Thompson, who not only keeps up with the band, but also adds to the insanity of the music. The drummer connects the ever-changing music seamlessly with lightning fast fills.

Vocalist Greg Bueno’s growls can be compared to Mikael Akerfeldt on Opeth’s debut album, “Orchid.” Since Dystrophy’s style is much more aggressive than Opeth, there are no clean vocals to be found on this album. Greg has shown himself that he’s a very powerful vocalist. In the songs “Through Scenes Of Buried Pain” and “Spells Of Apocalypse,” Greg’s real talent shines as he experiments with more melodic growls, which show off more of his range.

One thing that would help make this album really shine is better production. The mix is very muddy and a lot of interesting elements get buried. It could have also been poor mastering, or maybe the band wanted to get a muddy sound. Either way, a lot gets lost without turning the bass frequencies down or listening closely. The guitars could also be tighter in many spots, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it gives the album a very raw and forward motion feel to the music. It would be interesting to see this band live to hear more details in their music and to see how the energy of their music translates live.

Overall, the music is energy in its most raw and metal form. If you are fans of music you can go crazy in a pit to, this is probably your music. If you want melody and speed, this is probably not your band. The potential this band has is amazing and I can’t wait see the growth their future albums will hold.

Highs: Power, energy, and complexity of the music

Lows: Muddy production and a lack of focus in some songs.

Bottom line: High energy death/thrash metal that gives the genre new meaning.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)