Dystopica – Perception (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 22nd December 2021
Rating: 8/10

Hailing from Trumbull, CT (a part of Fairfield County), Dystopica is a newcomer to the scene releasing their debut six-song EP Perception. Coming to my attention due to guitarist Robert Muller’s involvement (witnessing his work in melodic death/thrash act ROARGH! years back), the main trio of musicians along with session bass work from Jeff Curtiss create a sound that incorporates everything from melodic hard rock and straightforward heavy metal to progressive and thrash nuances.

There’s a sense of morose and melancholy nature to specific main riffs in combination with the delivery and range of vocalist Becky Brideau that brings about some gothic 90’s overtones a la Sentenced or Paradise Lost – filtered through an American metal lens. “Torn” fits in this category the most, the lead break from Robert a quick hitting affair that adds a bit of energy to the mid-tempo affair. Progressive accents occur from time to time in guitar runs or subtle tempo changes from drummer Erich Bender – allowing Becky to glide up and down her register with a bit more bite and attack to make “Broken” a personal favorite. Contrasts keep engagement at peak levels – the chugging, driving nature against more slightly off-time musical interplay during the final cut “Lost Within Myself” mesmerizing, taking elements of melodic death/thrash into commercial pastures – raining hooks and harmony aspects in key instrumental sequences. Even a bit of emo/power punk/grunge spirit penetrates opener “You Can’t Look Away This Time” in terms of the pounding vocal/music angles during the verses, while the lead break steers things back on the metal train.

Fusing aspects of classic heavy metal (Iron Maiden and Judas Priest), 90’s-era Metallica/Megadeth, and adding modern acts like Disturbed and Mastodon into their collective creative tank, Perception is a solid start for Dystopica to develop even further upon with future releases.

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