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Dystopia A.D.: Doomsday Psalm

New Jersey based Progressive/Melodic Death Metal duo Dystopia A.D. have returned with their sophomore album Doomsday Psalm. Chris Whitby handles the vocals, guitars and bass and is the founding member, while Aki Shishido provides the lead guitars for the second outing since their 2020 EP Rise OF The Merciless.

From the opening track “Imperial Dawn” it's clear the band have brought their compositional A-game to the table on Doomsday Psalm and they don’t take the foot of the gas in this regard throughout the album. Replete with technical and complex riffing, progressive movements and dynamic lead passages and harmonies. Vocally as well Chris moves between lower deep growls, almost singing like chants and more modern screamed higher growls. Most of it works very well with the music but I find the latter to be less effective and I’m not personally a big fan of that style so it may be my own bias but I feel it pulls me out of the immersion when he does those. It’s not enough to ruin it for me though and the compositions and playing are interesting enough and dynamic enough to survive it.

While the instrumentation and the production all sounds pretty good, I do have to point out the drums. Unfortunately once again the album is with programmed drums and unfortunately it does pull what is otherwise a very good album down a few pegs. The guitars are fiery and dynamic, the vocals are performed with passion but the drums sound lifeless. I know many bands these days go for the programmed drums thing out of expediency but it really does mean a crucial part of the metal equation is missing. I know there are many younger metalheads who don’t care about that but for me it really does make it hard to listen to. I really wanna hear real performances, not drum machines. Thankfully the guys play their asses off and they provide some great performances here, I just wish they had hired a real drummer for this occasion.

Doomsday Psalm is definitely stacked with plenty of memorable tunes like “Terminal Dawn”, the title track, “Force-Fed Soma” and the album closer “Howl Of Barghest”. The shame of it is that musically these guys have a huge amount to offer but they are let down not by their composition or playing skills but their choice to use programmed drums. That being said though I would say if you like your Death Metal Melodic and Progressive I would still recommend at least checking it out.

Dystopia A.D. are:
Chris Whitby
Aki Shishido

Track list:

Added: February 24th 2023
Reviewer: Benjamin Dudai
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 155
Language: english

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