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Dystersol – The Fifth Age of Man

The Fifth Age of Man
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 07 May 2018, 6:55 AM

DYSTERSOL is billed, on some websites, as a Melodic Death/Folk Metal band hailing from Austria.  “The Fifth Age of Man,” is their second album, so they are somewhat new to the scene.  Both Melodic Death and Folk Metal have plenty of great bands so does DYSTERSOL have what it takes to hang with the big boys?  I would say yes since “The Fifth Age of Man,” is a solid release but it isn’t without issues.

However I would say the band is very much modern Heavy Metal on the extreme side.   There isn’t a lot here that seems to recall any folk elements.  When I think of Folk, I think of Metal mixed with acoustics, other instruments such as flutes or violin, and, perhaps, clean vocal passages. This album doesn’t have any of those elements although they do use keyboards but they don’t really carry the band but instead had a thin layer of atmosphere.  The keys/synth do sound great and I enjoyed them but they aren’t as in depth as, say, AMORPHIS or MOONSORROW.

Vocally, I like their sound a lot.  I’m not sure if Lue or Matthias do the lead vocals but they remind of CHILDREN OF BODOM except they are lower pitched and much more gritty; they sound like a mix between Death and Black vocals but are exceptionally well done but they are way too up front in the sound’s mix.  The album begins with the title track, which has an epic opening and the rest of the song hits pretty hard.  I don’t find it to be the best song on the album but it does serve to set the album’s tone.   Lukas and Gerhard are the back bone of the band, as most of the songs rely on their heavy rhythm sections.  They don’t play much in the way of melodies or complex harmonies but if it is riffs you want, then it is riffs they give you.

Down to Nothing,” is another track that opens with some synths that paint an epic picture.  The riffs kick in and the song moves forward.  This is, in essence, the biggest problem of the album.  All the songs are kind of “me too.”  Although every song is good, it doesn’t really matter which one you listen to as they all sound about the same.  Consistency isn’t a bad thing per say but at fourteen songs, the album is a long winded with pacing and I would be hard pressed to finish it in one setting.  If a little more variety was used throughout the album, I could see myself giving it a higher rating.  The band is tight and talented but their sound is just begging for more dynamics.

Still, the album is back loaded with the best tracks being towards the end.  “Night of the Hunter” has some very heavy riffs and some intense drumming, particularly the double bass. “Beyond Blood,” that features an epic intro built in.  I really liked this part as it was the perfect build up to the riffs that kick in at 34 seconds in. “Tragedy of the Gifted Ones,” is a well-balanced track where the riffs and keys really work well together and the rest of the song has a bouncy, head banging rhythm to it. All in all, this is a solid release but nothing to get overly excited about.  If the band can push the boundaries of their sound a bit more, I think they can continue to find a place in the metal world.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Beyond Blood
2. Children of the Wasteland
3. Comforting the Soulless
4. Dance Macabre
5. Down To Nothing
6. End Game
7.End of the Fall
8. Fifth Age of Man
9. Life Amongst the Ruins
10. Night of the Hunter
11. Olimpia
12. Psychopath
13. Tragedy of the Gifted Ones
14. Winterking
Lue – Vocals/Synths
Matthias – Bass, Vocals
Gernot – Drums, Background Vocals
Lukas – Guitar
Gerhard – Guitar
Record Label: WormHoledeath


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