Tuesday 4 September 2018

Review: Dystopia - Building Bridges

Trying to categorise Szeged, Hungary’s Dystopia into a neat and tidy genre for the purposes of giving the band a home would do Building Bridges, the band’s third album, a total disservice. It would also prove to be nigh on the impossible, as this quartet incorporates a plethora of musical influences which touch upon various sonic signifiers, including groove metal, prog, doom, southern rock, space rock, post-rock, to create, what is ultimately an expansive metal record.

Building Bridges isn’t welcoming by any stretch of the imagination, as its cross-colonisation of genres would suggest. It doesn’t speak upon first listen, and in order to admire the scope of this record, attentiveness is crucial to the listener’s understanding. Beginning with “Free-Fall,” Dystopia separate those who enjoy metal for its immediacy from those who are willing to sacrifice their time for a slow-burning, but no less satisfying reward.

Sonically, “The Door That Never Opened” and “Purge Yourself" haul slabs of southern rock across the razor-sharp progressive metal, and does so without jarring the two dominating genres together. “Silent Observer,” which borders on melodic death metal, really pounds you into sumbission. There is also an interesting contrast at play here between the austere atmosphere created by these suffocating songs when compared to the more straightforward “Stranded and Confined” and “The Remedy Engine.” The inclusion of these two songs in the overall dynamic sequencing of Building Bridges increases the cinematic value of the album.

Each of nine songs on Building Bridges moves into the next to establish a sense of completeness. Dystopia is a group that certainly has a lot to offer in years to come, and we’ll be there to follow.

Building Bridges is available from Bandcamp here. Dystopia is on Facebook and Instagram.

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