|Dysthymia - The Audient Void
21 February 2011
01. Slow Movements
02. The Sin Eater
03. Damaged Essence
04. Sink Your Illusions
05. Ode On Melancholy
06. Aching Pleasure
07. From Pain I Arise
08. Sensation Seeker
09. Certain Uncertainties
Oh, a genuine melodic death metal release! Yes, I kid thee not, this The Audient Void is no Gothenburg-style release. It has no clean vocals. It does feature some melodic and atmospheric moments, but hey, I didn't say 'melodic death' for naught.
According to Wikipedia, Dysthymia is a type of mild depression, and Harvard Health Publications states that "the Greek word dysthymia means 'bad state of mind' or 'ill humor'." Well, as a band, they don't sound that depressive to me; sure, some of the lyrics are relatively bleak (nothing close to doom anyway), and two of their songs are actually poems by the famous romantic poet John Keats: "Ode On Melancholy" and "Aching Pleasure". But their riff work is catchy enough not to sound depressed at all.
For a first effort, The Audient Void is really impressive, I must say. The guitar work is great, with some really good riffs ("The Sin Eater"), the solos are nicely melodic, the drumming precise (as is, well, everything)… It shows the guys put a lot of work into writing good songs, and playing them flawlessly. I'm quite sure these guys are fans of Death too. Not that they are really copying Chuck Schuldiner's work, there are these little somethings about the mood, the flow of the songs, that can be reminiscent of it. There are nods to other influential bands here and there, like on "Sink Your Illusions", with its Dream Theater-ish riff, and vocoder introductive vocals (no surprise here, as Giacomo, the band's vocalist, did perform once with Cynic onstage in 2007). Plus, just to spice things up, there's this black metal hint in the opener "Slow Movements".
I have to admit, however, that while the songs are quite catchy with their varied tempo, the second half of the album gets a bit boring ("Aching pleasure"). However, "Certain Uncertainty", with its radical change of mood (and guest keyboards, courtesy of Oleg Smirnoff), is an interesting mellower and more ambient song, akin to Dark Tranquillity's album closers ("Iridium", "At Loss For Words", etc.)
I like this feeling you get when you have to review an album that you expect to be average, but that turns out to be much better than that! And, while it's certainly not the most mind-bending album ever - as this Audient Void is quite classical in its technical structure - it is refreshing indeed. Good, proggy/technical melodic death is not the easiest thing to find nowadays...
Written on 22.03.2011 by
Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.