Review Summary: Pure misanthropy
I can think of very few moments where music has made me feel literally unsettled, this may be because most music that is focused primarily on anger or depression is too over the top to be truly taken seriously, but I distinctly remember my first time listening to Human = Garbage's opening track 'Stress Builds Character.' The utter grief and discontent that is projected with every agonised scream has an effect on me that little other music has. This completely unrefined expression of the futility and emptiness of modern life is one of the most powerful things I've heard.
Musically, Dystopia lie somewhere between sludge and crust, combining slow, dark sections with faster aggressive sections. The riffs are all crushing and brutal. The guitar tone is also noteworthy, instead of the usual distortion soaked tone, there is prominent use of a chorus like effect, which adds to the sound, and make sections like the transition in 'Ignorance of Pride' stand out. Aside from this the music does not really go against the norms of the crusty-sludgey style, the riffs are crushing and the drums are pounding, just how they should be.
Part of what makes the album so powerful is the utterly down to earth nature of the lyrics. There is no complexity to the lyrics, and although this may sound like a criticism, given the context of the music, they fit perfectly. Each song has a clear theme, ranging from misogyny, to suicide, to gang violence. Throughout the album there is prominent use of samples, they are especially effective in 'Sanctity' where stories of peoples' suicides are sampled, as well as in 'Love/Hate' where the song 'Hopelessly Devoted To You' is sampled, giving a sinister feel to the song, given the context of the track.
The pure anger and misery that is constantly present on this record make it undoubtedly one of the most disturbing, depressing and misanthropic records I've heard, and this is in my opinion an essential part of any sludge/crust/doom fan's collection.