Dystertol is a veteran Austrian melodic death band with 2 albums under their belt since 2014, but as is often the case in this vast realm of metal, they are a new act to me.

Classifying them is difficult, as while they are certainly a melodic death metal band in the vein of say newer Hypocrisy, they have a few other things going in as well such as a sense of modern hefty groove metal that’s often akin to bands like Gojira, Orbit Culture and such, as well as some progressive elements. It all comes together for an enjoyable ‘modern’ metal album that should satiate fans from a number of genres.

The production is a big, beefy modern tone courtesy of relative newcomer Milan Steinbach of German melo-death act  Neverland in Ashes, and the album tells the concept of a fictional serial killer in today’s modern world. Vocalist Lukas Hatzmann has the standard array of Peter Tagtgren sounding deep bellows and rasps, and to his credit never falls into the all too common clean vocals pitfall, keeping things pretty brutal from start to finish.

The 10 songs are bookended by an intro and an outro, and each song has something enjoyable to offer from opening numbers “Fail Better”, and lumbering “In Dreams”, through the hammer Hypocrisy styled “Battering Ram”, chunky “Nailed to the Stars” and the traditional dual melodic melo-death canters and grooves of “Soothsayer” and “Niedergang”. It’s just all really solid from start to finish and an album I rather enjoyed for exactly what it is.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 21st, 2023


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