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A Joyful Endevour For the Whole Family! - 95%

WinterBliss, December 31st, 2008

...well not really. Like their name suggests, Dystopia is a dismal affair. With the state of the world (both during the time of this recording, and now) things are hardly as golden as we wish, and worse than that there's little hope in the time ahead of us. Dystopia symbolizes this view perfectly with their brand of crusty-grindy-sludge. If you're looking for sludge similar to Down, Crowbar, or even Eyehategod you'll be sorely disappointed with Dystopia. Dirty and raw production akin to many crust bands (Nausea I'm looking at you) and songs that typically surge at a more mid-to fast pace and last around the three minute mark will leave sludge and doom purists upset and disenfranchised.

Honestly, who cares though? This is Dystopia at their finest. Heartbreaking and ear shattering vocals in a more raspy, throaty crust style, as well as deathy bellows, complex slow to mid paced drum beats offset with blast beats, double bass and d-beats along with a razor sounding guitars churning out an odd mix of sludgy/crusty riffs. It's hard to pinpoint and accurately describe Dystopia's sound, but I like to think that only speaks highly of the band. There's also strong groove sections to be found on this album, songs like "Backstabber" showcase this skill, along groove Dystopia are adept at writing oddly catchy riffs. They're odd in the sense that they sound so ugly there's no way you could picture yourself humming along to them, but you will. These so called "odd" riffs I'm talking about can be found around 1:40 in "They Live," the sludgyly supreme riffs of "Diary of A Battered Child" and in "Father's Gun."

Dystopia really had a knack for creating angry, bleak, and powerful music and this album shows it perfectly. The vocals fit perfectly as they are so vile and anguish ridden that it's hard not to have that rage rub off on you. The higher vocals play off the deeper ones perfectly and create a dynamic few bands match. Listen to "Jarhead Fertilizer" to see what I'm saying, angry and pissed off vocals are always awesome. Owing much to the crust/punk scene Dystopia are able to also create lyrics and a vocal style that really carry along well with the music, and sometimes might even inspire you to sing along.

I'm willing to overlook the Breakfast Club quote at the beginning of "Diary of a Battered Child" because it fits so goddamn well, same goes for the end of the track (around 4:00, not the actual 30minutes of some music and lots of silence). It does feel immature, which is the only knock I can give to Dystopia, beyond that it's pretty solid.

Dystopia epitomizes the disenfranchised perfectly with this album. A raw and gritty production is only fitting for their miserable picture of society and our future.

It's clear there's no hope, so you might as well do yourself a favour and check this out.