REVIEW (Take Two): Dysphoria – To the Perfect Form of Modern Species [2012]

Artist: Dysphoria

Album: To the Perfect Form of Modern Species

Rating: 9.8/10


Have you ever wondered if the person who invented the television–or any centerpiece of modern life–really knew what they were getting themselves into? Whether or not they knew that the object which was the source of so much of their time, effort and energy would one day evolve to become something millions of people would schedule their lives around? Likewise, what about the progenitors and pioneers of curious “new” breeds of music–artists like Botch or Glass Casket. Did they know that one day their forays into mathcore and deathcore alike would create a long, winding path leading to artists like Ukraine’s Dysphoria? If they didn’t, they honestly could not have planned it much better. Dysphoria’s debut full length, To the Perfect Form of Modern Species is a magnificent hybrid of slamming, dissonant deathcore and technically stunning, quirky mathcore sure to leave the listener battered, broken and buried in awe.

While I’ve always had an affinity for the blistering fretwork and stunning speed behind mathcore, it’s also easy to see where it could be overwhelming for many listeners. Dysphoria, however, start by making even the most absurdly dense dynamics and technical shredding fun and easy to enjoy, without making the listener feel claustrophobic. However, this isn’t to say that To the Perfect Form of Modern Species sacrifices an ounce of jaw-dropping instrumental prowess to do so. With riffs that range from obliterating, near-atonal lows to skyscraper-esque highs and harmonics, the constant barrage of stunning fretwork beating at the listener’s ears is nothing short of magnificent. While the guitars roar along at nothing short of a breakneck pace, the bass rumbles along beneath them, frequently rearing its head with beautifully toned pops and slaps that seem to sneak up on the listener and ambush them without seeming out of place or forced.

As the incessant riffing begins to wear away at the listener’s sanity, two more sobering aspects of Dysphoria’s cutthroat blend of deathcore and mathcore become evident. The first of which is the constant barrage of bone-breaking percussion on every track of To the Perfect Form of Modern Species. Whenever the guitar and bass take seemingly untraceable nosedives into deep, muddy brutality, the drums are always following right behind, smoothing the transition with lustrous, elegant–yet speedy–fills. Alongside the drums is the final element to Dysphoria’s mayhem, and likely the most diversifying one of them all: the vocals. Filled with squeals, guttural growls and shrieking highs, the vocals bring together poignant aspects of deathcore, grindcore and mathcore and combine them into a multifaceted technique which is nothing less than appealing to fans of any kind of heavy music.

Dysphoria’s extraordinary use of many vocal techniques is archetypal of the entire band’s dynamic. Combining the best parts of two technically marvelous and rapaciously heavy genres with no filler, To the Perfect Form of Modern Species is an unstoppable dynamic machine. “Aftereffect” has bone-crunching breakdowns that wouldn’t sound out of place on an I Declare War album, while “Such a Beautiful Failure” has a jazz interlude that would make War From A Harlot’s Mouth proud. All the while, riffs and blast beats combined with shrill-deep vocal shifts create a maelstrom nothing short of absolute fury.  While such dense writing and playing of such intolerably heavy material would be otherwise insufferable, Dysphoria blend genres so expertly that while it is still an incredibly heavy album, it is also incredibly fun.

It appears that while Dysphoria were so busy focusing on To the Perfect Form of Modern Species, they also stumbled upon the perfect form of math-turned-death-core. Packed with blistering drums, lightning-fast shredding and incessant grooves, riffs, breakdowns topped off with absurd time signatures, Dysphoria’s debut full-length is a perfect form of a genre which is splitting apart at the seams, trying to stay together.

For Fans Of: Botch, War From a Harlot’s Mouth, Nexilva, My Autumn

By: Connor Welsh/Eccentricism