Published Dec 04, 2015Initially self-released earlier this year, Dystrophy's Wretched Host is now getting the treatment it deserves with a proper worldwide release through Selfmadegod. The New Jersey band embrace the key aspect that makes for great modern tech-death: combining old school influences with an innovative approach.
Wretched Host, the quartet's sophomore LP, clearly takes cues from the likes of genre masters Gorguts and Atheist, but it's also extremely timely, featuring some unexpectedly avant-garde elements. Dystrophy have evolved a great deal since their 2010 debut album, Chains of Hypocrisy, which was much more thrash-inspired, but they've retained their progressive style.
Wretched Host displays how much they've refined their sound over the past five years, starting with the nearly eight-minute opener "Apex," whose gloomy violin creates an ominous atmosphere. The album finds the band employing a variety of structures and unorthodox time signatures without overdoing it on the technical complexity, maintaining a balance of heavy grooves and bleak tones. They layer angular, dissonant guitar work over mid-paced rhythms throughout "Within the Mind" and "Exoparasite," while "Anhedonia" and "Nadir" contain pronounced crushing brutality.
The latter track closes Wretched Host with more creepy violin, bringing the album back full circle. (Selfmadegod)