The Scourge of the Midwest: Dysphoria Returns
Written by: Matt Drummond
What happens when a band hibernates for over 20 years? Well, it depends on the band apparently, and Dysphoria hasn’t lost an inch of power. If anything, they’ve improved, and grown as musicians. That does not mean that I suggest any band take 20 years off however. Dysphoria is just a different caliber band. They are now a grotesque mutant, that has grown stronger in its slumber.
April 21st 2018, saw the second rising of this unholy beast called Dysphoria. Cobra Lounge, in Chicago, played host to the blasphemy, and the band brought 20 plus years of bottled up madness directly to the stage. With support from Bear Mace, Discarnate, and Cereviscere, Dysphoria was formally back, and their first full length album, ‘Foul Ashes of Deceit’, was unleashed.
The album opens with ‘Agnostic Plea’, and it hits like all Dysphoria fans anticipated it would. Nick Hernandez (vocals), Rich Canamar (guitar), James Genenz (guitar), Eric Karol (bass), and Matt Korajczyk (drums) came wielding axes with ‘Foul Ashes of Deceit’, and they aren’t interested in survivors.
Throughout the 9 track offering, Dysphoria absolutely rips apart their instruments with neck cracking speed, and raw aggression. As I listened to the album I became upset that my speakers didn’t go to 11. This is a cranker. From the first cord of ‘Agnostic Plea’, any hopes of listening to the record at a reasonable volume go right out the window, and the neighbors start calling 911.
‘Foul Ashes of Deceit’ encompasses a faultless symmetry of classic death metal sounds. The band changes gears throughout the record. They masterfully switch from fleeting guitars, to sluggish torment effortlessly. One thing you won’t find on the album, is clean vocals of any kind. Hernandez delivers straight to your face death metal vocals, with a powerful stage presence to boot. There are no crossovers, because Dysphoria doesn’t have to cross over. They stick to the traditional death metal formula, and dominate on every track.
I definitely enjoyed, and love the whole album, but one song in particular stuck out to me. Track 8, ‘Moral Decay’, is scary good. It’s one of those songs that if you hear it being played live, you immediately start looking around to protect loved ones. At 1:33 in, ‘Moral Decay’ transforms from an amazing song, to a killer. Karol tears off on a bass solo that brings the horror of ‘Foul Ashes of Deceit’ to its peak.
If you’re an old school, brutal death metal lover, you’re now home. Dysphoria hopes to really start branching out with their tours, to start hitting an even wider audience. For you Midwesterners, just keep your eyes peeled for shows. As of right now, July 14th will be your next opportunity to risk your life. Dysphoria will be playing at Reggies Rock Club, alongside a stacked lineup. You’d be wise not to miss it, but you must also enter the venue at your own risk.
“We are eager to disseminate this plague amongst you. Warn someone!”