Bury the Omen

Here’s an early 2015 release from Switzerland’s oddly named Dysrider ( formerly known as Trophallaxy, a symphonic power metal act) that has grown on me of late as it adds to the recent spat of various types of metal laced with epic symphonics and orchestration. It also recalls some of my favorite releases from the late 90s early 00s that I termed ‘beauty and the beast’ metal as it melds brutal male vocals with soaring female vocals within its chunky, melodic death hues

Granted, initially the heavily accented vocals of female singer and occasional  cellist Joelle Graz seem to be a bit off key here and there and a bit overly operatic, but like the album as a whole, they grow on you, especially when some effects are used to layer her voice to better effect. Growler  and  synth programmer Johnathan Pellet has a powerful, burly growl, a bit deeper than usual melodic death metal growlers, and therein there are similarities to the recent Embryo album I reviewed, so then also an innate early Crematory vibe. A more modern comparison might be Deadlock’s first album Earth Revolt, mixed with Nightwish and some of the band’s remaining power metal roots (especially some of the solos).

The material has more beef, blasts and heft than your standard Napalm Records, female fronted cleavage core, so isn’t neatly as purely gothic or sugary but certainly would appeal to that crowd. The guitars are big and crunchy and keyboards deliver ample cellos, brass and pianos to the backdrop. The result is a big, lush and brash album that has some surprisingly enjoyable moments.

Standout tracks like like the opener “Against Your Hold”, the above title track as well as the rangy and varied “Times of Decay” (which has a nice mix of blackened blasts and doomy dirge), somber cello laden chug of “Bliss in Darkness” all hold up an deliver enjoyable even often catchy moments (the more urgent “The Reckoning” kind of burrowed its way into my mind) that are pleasing to the ear. There’s also the standard slower, more emotional numbers in “Blind Avengers” and closer “Embers Reflection”, though the band never really lean too heavily on pure ballad dynamics, or overly operatic cheese, generally still keeping things within a solid crunch throughout.

I kept trying to put this album on the pile I keep for ‘meh’ albums, as a potential trade or sell CD in a few years, but as I got deeper into the review and gave it more listens, it became a permanent fixture on my CD shelf. Not too bad for a former Swiss power metal act I had never heard of.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 14th, 2015


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