Dysphoria Blend Intensity and Technicality on Primal Entropy [REVIEW/2020]

Artist: Dysphoria

Album: Primal Entropy – EP

            Entropy is, in its most rudimentary physical definition, the degree of disorder which drives—and arises from—the conversion of energy into mechanical work. That is to say that every time an intangible component (energy) is converted into something physical and concrete (work), there is an amount of that energy that is lost in translation, and causes disorder within the system—chaos, if you will—that only grows with increasing activity. In short, with more action comes increasing chaos that is both time and energy dependent. Now, what does thermodynamics have to do with heavy music from Kiev? Well, Dysphoria boast enormous amounts of energy—and in doing so, create dense, devastating deathcore with a hefty infusion of spastic mathcore, which, unsurprisingly, thrives on the generation of mind-melting chaos. As it stands, Primal Entropy is Dysphoria’s most intricate, intense and jaw-dropping release to date, earning every bit of its name by taking brain-busting technicality and giving it a brutalizing, bone-breaking makeover. Primal Entropy is one of the strongest deathcore releases of 2020, not only due to its jarring heaviness, but due to the fashion in which it blends genres and styles to create something truly unremarkable—even if it does thrive on sheer chaos.

            Have you ever felt like a record was made for you? That somehow the stars aligned and created something that was crafted as if you got to pick and choose its components and styles like a kid in a candy shop? That’s exactly how I felt upon listening to Primal Entropy.  Dysphoria take crushing, contemporary deathcore and give it an overhaul, infusing technicality and spazzy, unpredictable elements with a heavy hand. Songs like “Faux Purpose” capture this brilliantly—with drums that rip along at a mile-per-minute pace and fretwork that effortlessly keeps up. Other songs—“From Swans to Vultures” for example—highlight a different aspect of Dysphoria—and what has really, measurably changed since The Apogee. Where, previously, Dysphoria have thrived on sheer insanity when it comes to instrumental prowess, they were never truly masters at transitioning; I say were, because Primal Entropy is masterfully crafted to flow like butter. On “From Swans to Vultures,” Dysphoria smoothly roll from ruthless, pulverizing breakdowns into soaring, melodic components (or spine-tingling moments of tedious, technical insanity). Likewise, “Escapist” demonstrates the same prowess, with a focus on the band’s collective tendency towards terrifyingly intricate mathcore. In fact, every song on Primal Entropy sees Dysphoria including technicality alongside heaviness and melody, transitioning between the three speeds with tact and composure, yet still hitting each facet of their detailed dynamic with fervor. Whether it’s the relentless percussion, low, crunchy bass or out-of-this-world fretwork, Primal Entropy is well-rounded and thorough in its approach to blending a great deal of styles from various subsects of heavy music.

            Just as Dysphoria demonstrate variety and intensity through their instrumentation, they capture creativity and energy through their vocal component. Primal Entropy’s screams, shouts and bellows are just that—primal—and use ever-shifting dynamism to keep the listener thoroughly engrossed. “Shattered Throne” sees much of Dysphoria’s low end shining, just as “Faux Purpose” and “Imminence Reborn” see the band’s mid-and-high ranges dominating above the rest. The quick patterning and rapid shifts in tone match the unpredictability of the band’s carefully crafted instrumentation, which becomes more and more impressive the further into Primal Entropy one dives. In short, the band’s boundless and immense vocal dynamic mirrors the intricacy and intensity abundant throughout the remainder of the full-bodied EP, amplifying nearly every high point the band create.

            Primal Entropy is an unrelenting juggernaut of a record. Where Dysphoria have previously struggled with their material being a touch dense and borderline inaccessible to those not already sworn in to the cult-like following of hyperdissonant mathcore, Primal Entropy bucks the trend. Dysphoria create something that sounds as if it could be a one-off from The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza’s discography, taking deathcore and giving it 5 grams of caffeine right into a main vein. To be blunt, the band’s blend of technically dizzying mathcore and downtempo-tinted deathcore is something I feel was made to cater almost precisely to the more niche elements of my own taste—but at the same time, manages to be accessible and well-rounded enough for just about anyone to find something to love about the release, making it something you absolutely need to listen to before 2020 has become a bad memory.


For Fans Of: The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, Ion Dissonance, The Partisan Turbine

By: Connor Welsh