Dystrophy
Wretched Host

When I first fired up the (at the time) self-released album from New Jersey tech-death quartet Dystrophy, I was blown away by the first track “Apex”.  Sporting a very well done Gorguts/Ulcerate impersonation, that first track actually reminded me very much of my favorite track “Forgotten Arrows” from Gorguts’ last album.  It had the haunting, drawn out ambient guitar tone and mid-paced sludgy feel, backed by the serviceable bellows of front man and bassist Gregory Bueno.  Bueno’s bass came through nicely as well as the drumming of Matthew Thompson.  There were even some nice solos present courtesy of guitarists Peter Brown and Peter Lloyd.  But after that, it’s a mixed bag that didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped for initially.

The next track, “Singularity”, picks up the pace a bit, and is a decent contrast from the first track.  But from there, the album as a whole just seemed to run together for me.  The next 6 tracks consist basically of doomy part-fast semi-tech part-back to sludgy doomy part.  And it pains me greatly because I really, REALLY wanted to like this album even after multiple spins, especially after the opening track that grabbed me so forcefully.

Most of the songs, in the typical style of the aforementioned Ulcerate, are in the 5-6 minute range, with the closer going over 9 minutes and the whole album clocking in at just over 48.  In that time you get a lot of material, it just feels like the band needs to tighten up the style and the overall goal/feel of the album.  Part of the issues is the vocals don’t vary much, which I am fine with and don’t necessarily care for or expected the “let’s throw 5 different vocal styles on our album” school of thought either.  They just weren’t quite up to par to carry an album of this length, and in fact the instrumental sections of the songs are actually some of the most enjoyable parts of the whole album.

As mentioned earlier, this band was unsigned when I first grabbed the album to review, and have since been signed to SelfMadeGod Records.  It makes sense, because there is a strong album here simmering right below the surface and Wretched Host has the ingredients of a band what will put out an absolutely killer sophomore or junior album.  Definitely one to keep an eye on, and a must listen for fans of the bands mentioned before as this very likely might grab you from beginning to end more than it did me.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
January 13th, 2016

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