Dysmorphic – An Illusive Progress (Unique Leader)

Monday, 26th November 2018
Rating: 7/10

Another case of ‘man, it’s been a while,’ Dysmorphic haven’t been heard of since 2013’s A Notion of Casuality. Their brand of extremity is one that manages to embrace both the technical and brutal death metal scenes, which of course makes them a perfect fit to the Unique Leader roster (who also released their debut). An Illusive Progress is a proficient-enough release, but it also occasionally suffers from a bit of a disjointed identity.

Feeling much like the sum of trying to mash Deeds of Flesh together with Obscura, the combination of the more brutal (yet tech-laden) and the more progressive styles makes for some impressive musicianship but doesn’t always equate to a standout song. When they stick to one side of the coin longer than the other, it can be quite intriguing (“The Diving Mask”) but more often than not, the switch over between more brutal moments and full-out prog explosions (“Bathos”) leaves something to be desired. It’s not like the two forces are too different, as we are only talking about two flavors of death metal here, but one second the band is diving into some glorious progressive splendor and the next they are rumbling through burly and bludgeoning riffs (“My Clay”). Perhaps a bit more transition is in order in the future. The other piece of nitpicking is that of the progressive side, which feels impeccably similar to Obscura and Beyond Creation. It’s a slight flaw, but one can’t help but think of either acts as they fire off the slightly jazzy prog stuff (complete with audible bass of course).

An Illusive Progress is a toughy. On the one hand, the musicianship is nothing other than excellent and showcases plenty that genre fans will enjoy. But on the other Dysmorphic suffer from some odd transitions as well as a case of mistaken identity at times. There’s potential here for sure, but a few things keep it from being a tech barnburner.

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