Dystersol – Anaemic (Black Sunset)

Monday, 10th April 2023
Rating: 8 / 10

Hailing from Austria, Dystersol began in 2014 and have released two previous full-lengths (Welcome the Dark Sun independently the same foundation year, as well as The Fifth Age of Man in 2018 on WormHoleDeath) setting the stage for this third album Anaemic. A conceptual effort telling the story of a fictional serial killer and his journey to becoming a psychopath through negative influences relating to his environment and society, the material traverses a modern, groove-oriented death metal platform that’s aggressive while sharp on the potent riff to smartly executed transition front. The combination of influences across the decades allows the quintet to craft focused songs that have instantaneous appeal – a pummeling style that includes spurts of blast beats, growl/scream vocal employment, and sinister lead breaks next to the main rhythms or tempo punch.

Often the guitar work can change on a dime from sinister melodic death to Gojira/Machine Head-oriented jagged chord gallops or sweeps – check out “In Dreams” as well as the follow-up “Battering Ram” in the opening and closing sequences for these elements of savage sonic heaviness. The flow of the record includes proper twin harmony or traditional accents that enhance the large ratio of earworms present amidst the normal brutal proceedings – giving off visions of Arch Enemy or In Flames during mid-album highlight “Shapeshifter”. Most ardent followers of the genre will enjoy the venomous growls plus sadistic screams from the lungs/throat of Lukas Hatzmann. His cascading delivery for “Rainmaker” showcases a maniacal diversity, raising the bar for intensity from verses to chorus, the musical underpinning providing that additional low-tuned, groovy support. The closer “Niedergang” contains a bit more of that Amon Amarth-esque atmosphere, the lead break very sophisticated as the last note rings out into the aural horizon. And unlike other ‘concept’ efforts that can test your attention span capacity, the 44-minute playback gets the job done without overreaching through extraneous narratives, interludes, or unnecessary instrumental sequences.

Considering Dystersol hasn’t come on this scribe’s radar to this point, these musicians are serious contenders for garnering better festival billing or solid tour packages because of this record. Anaemic has that multi-level ability to hit the hordes of melodic death mavens as well as those modern audiences who need the proper rhythmic stomp to get blood boiling.

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