A lot of the music I listen to for review here goes through my ears while at work. It’s a nice way to experience the music in a less critical setting since I have bigger matters at hand. But now and again I’ll get to something that scrambles my brain and jumbles my psyche so thoroughly, I either have to give up the other thing I’m doing or stop playing the music entirely.
Honestly, I’ve never had that issue with Dysrhythmia’s music before. But that was before their seventh (seventh?!) full-length “The Veil of Control” arrived to blow that all to hell. Before, I could process their music and their insane, encircling compositions and use them to push me forward. They would become a sort of motivator, for better or worse, and always worked really well to get my brain moving to tackle larger things. But the perplexing, blistering six songs on this record put me on the brink of paranoia. What was my mind doing to me? Why was I so distracted by this music that I had to submit to it blindly and push everything else to the side? It felt like the band was into something different on this record, settling into an area that sits just a bit apart from the rest of their catalog. Oh, and it’s also fucking amazing. I probably should have put that out there sooner.
This progressively brutal and confounding trio is comprised of guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (he sticks to a 12-string for this entire record, so imagine the insanity), bassist Colin Marston, and drummer Jeff Eber, and for nearly two decades now, they’ve been blowing minds and making brain connections catch fire and melt. Their music certainly should appeal to those who feast on the virtuoso realms in extreme music and metal (I mean, it’s no accident two-thirds of this band are in Gorguts), but it’s not limited to that audience. The band creates compelling, spiraling melodies, strange sci-fi-style adventures, and songs you have to hear to believe because they can’t really be described. Though I’m going to try like hell to do that below.
The album starts with the title track, and it engulfs the senses right away. Drums erupt as the song takes on a spooky nighttime feel. Prog chilliness sets in, while the soloing sizzles, the pace speeds up and then returns to its normal path, and then frosty thrashing breaks out. The final moments actually have a modern Rush feel to them, which is a nice touch. “Internal_Eternal” has the melodies doing laps around you, with strange, disorienting rhythms, and the guitars swimming through the thick basslines. The track suddenly veers toward space, as everything dissolves into liquid, leaving you on the brink of hypnosis. “Black Memory” rumbles, with the compositions splashing all over, and a zany, nasty fury setting in. The music is fiery and bubbling, with shit going all over the place, and the track eventually finding calm after a series of calculated charges.
“Selective Abstraction” punches and jerks as it begins, with the bass clobbering and a mystical feel spreading over everything. The pace begins to chew up the scene, with sinewy striking, changeups that twist up your guts, and an ending that will leave you wondering what the hell happened. “Severed and Whole” spills right in, with the music flowing like a stream of liquefied steel and the melodies soaking the ground. As the track goes on, it gets weirder and meaner, with the band taking you on a journey with whiplash-inducing turns, the bassline bloodying lips, and the song coming to a charring finish. Closer “When Whens End” is the longest cut at 8:30, and the basslines travel through before clean and distorted guitars join up and wreak havoc. The song trudges hard, hitting on abrasive pockets, but later it slips into dreaminess. But that doesn’t last as the back end of the playing toughens up, the song mashes your senses, and the track ends in a stupefying cloud of dust.
Dysrhythmia will contort and confound for as long as they’re a band, and “The Veil of Control” proves they’re nowhere near exhausting their mania. They’ve managed to push their creativity to new levels of insanity, and if you’re like me, you might find it demands all of your time and energy when it’s unfurling in front of you.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Dysrhythmia
To buy the album, go here: https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/products-page/
For more on the label, go here: https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/