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Dysrhythmia - Terminal Threshold

Terminal Threshold
by Martin Knap at 08 November 2019, 7:36 PM

I came across DYSRHYTMIA quite some time ago when I was getting into weird Progressive bands like MAUDLIN OF THE WELL or KAYO DOT. The New York-based trio play very technical instrumental Prog, they have  been around since 1998 and "Terminal Threshold" is their eighth full-length album. Because of the nature of the music that they play they all are, obviously, very competent musicians, the band has not one but two current members of the iconic Death Metal band GORGUTS, and their bassist Colin Marston is a member of another innovative Death Metal band KRALLICE. Marston also owns a recording studio and he has produced a ton of outstanding records, including  "Colored Sands". So these guys have my attention and I was eager to check out their latest effort.

As I’ve hinted on above, the band’s sound isn’t your average feel-good instrumental Prog with lots of flashy noodling that is impressive but gets boring after a while (I won’t name any names, but often they are side projects of guys from famous Power/Prog bands). Their style has an affinity to Math Rock (with all its polyrhytmic drumming, dissonant chord progressions etc.), but DYSRHYTMIA can sound pretty sinister and grimy, in some ways they remind me of Technical Thrash bands like SADUS or VOIVOD. They don’t play Thrash Metal, of course, but there are many speedy, aggressive moments. More soothing, flashy guitar playing is not absent, but it‘s not overbearing in any way. The tapped, clean sounding riffs and licks are used in a more musical way and not for show, contrasts between the grimy the clean tones are often used to a striking effect. The songs don’t have conventional structures, there is a sense of constant change and development. Of course there are recurring phrases in the songs, but one is never certain where the song will go.

Sometimes the changes are subtle like in "Nuclear Twilight", which feels like a walk through a dark, dystopian landscape where nothing striking is in the foreground, but one is very attentive to every detail of the surroundings in which danger is lurking. Some compositions might be build around a bolder idea, for example "Power Symmetry" has puts into contrast harsh and uplifiting sounding phrases, which are representing two different kinds of power perhaps. "Progressive Entrapment" is maybe the most weird and dissonant sounding,  there are some Math Rock kind of chord progressions but others remind me of latter day GORGUTS (I must add that it’s not the only GORGUTSian moment on the album). "Twin Stalker" is written around a simple, chuggy riff which serves as a springboard from which different themes are developed. "Rule of the Mountain" has a dark but mellow vibe, but gradually shifts to a harsher, Thrash vibe before mellowing out again.

The songs and the album itself quite snappy – there are eight songs and the total play-time is 32 minutes – but DYSRHYTMIA are the kind of band that knows how to say a lot in a short time. This kind of music is of course not the most accessible one, but the album is definitely a grower, the more time you spend with it the more you get out of it. The production of the album is awesome: it sounds crisp but organic, just like a good modern Metal should sound like. "Terminal Threshold" is great addition to the band’s discography.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Musicality: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Nuclear Twilight
2. Power Symmetry
3. Plague Delay
4. Progressive Entrapment
5. Twin Stalkers
6. Rule of the Mountain
7. Never Was Then Again
8. Premonition Error
Jeff Eber - Drums
Kevin Hufnagel - Guitars
Colin Marston - Bass, Guitars
Record Label: Translation Loss Records


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