Review Summary: Dark. Dismal. Rockin.
It is frigid. No faint breeze interrupts the still night air around you, nor does the whirring of distant car engines. You hear only the faint pattering of a half-busted city light, and the only other light greeting you is the moon's solemn glow peeking through the dulled haze of a musty, cloud-strewn sky. It is a biting feeling, a faint sting that pierces your skin. Such is the canvas upon which Dark Matter procures its painting, Dystopian
So just who in the flying frick
are Dark Matter? Cold and trve kvlt Norwegian m/? Good ole fashioned American war metal (Blasphemy ripoffs?(I rescind my statement upon newfound knowledge that Blasphemy are from the states of syrup, territories of tantalizing tasty sap. Canada.) Are they non luminous materials that are postulated to exist in space and that could take any of several forms including weakly interacting particles? Until I can obtain personal information from the band members themselves I will file this under "ridiculous conspiracies that desperately wish to be true", but until then they are a humble lil melodic black metal quartet from some
unbeknownst city in Mexico.
For being ~relative~ newcomers to the progressive/melodic black metal scene, Dark Matter are a band that are surprisingly technically and compositionally proficient. The balance between restraint and catharsis is well managed here, with the larger body of tracks finding an almost rock-edge that teether somewhere in-between. "A Modern Failure" capitalizes on this wonderfully, sending off with a surprisingly fun rock swing before subsiding into the slightly Emperor-esque scorched-earth hellfire of "Artificial Insight". The riffs in particular here are brilliant, being bitingly ferocious and yet knowing when to give way for a percussive onslaught (one that is perhaps due for production touch-ups as there are points where the mixing is awry, but that gripe is minor).
The quality only seems to grow like the swelling of a star by the time we approach "All Has Been Denied", a track that romps on in with groove-laden oddball riffs, accompanied by simple but enjoyable punchy drum patterns and some rather gnarled
snarls (albeit still somewhat standard black metal fair). It's a relatively simple concoction, but may I be stricken from the sky with a rocketing can of Goya if I'm lying when I state that these riffs ride on sheer force of groove and catharsis. Now, to say they depend on these moments would be a bit of an unfair assessment-tracks like the outro to "Slaves" are surprisingly eloquent, and perhaps, even mesmerizing, but as the crunchy riffwork of "Remnants" bursts forth with like a towering conflagration, it is shown these moments are not just meant for brief respite, but rather a means of well-balanced juxtapositions. As a whole, Dystopian
is an album that thrives in simple concepts manifested into form through nuanced compositions, crafting a brooding and hazy atmosphere with an immersive blend of rock sensibilities and unyielding blackened catharsis. The foundation has already been founded. May they built greatly upon it from here.