OK, why am I coming in three months later and reviewing this? What is the matter with you people? Ye gods. One of the most legendary bands ever to emerge from Pennsylvania, one who has been around for over 20 years but hasn't had new music in over a decade, has returned with new life and purpose. Someone should have snapped this up by now.
So, what can we expect from Dysphoria? The heyday of such hardcore has long passed. Many of their listeners have aged out of the scene, and the scene as a whole isn't what it used to be. Even if it were, where would they fit in? The musical climate has changed.
You have to understand something about Dysphoria's music. it's compelling. I know that's something often said about many different things but when they are playing, there is something in the air that makes you move. Some bands have to urge the crowd to mosh, Dysphoria could get up there and play unplugged and people would still beat the shit out of each other. Their shows from 15 years ago are still talked about today. If that doesn't tell you just how charismatic these guys are, nothing will.
So, a band like this with such a storied past and history of writing some of the heaviest metal-tinged hardcore to ever exist decides to write new material after so long, that can be a bit daunting. What if the magic just isn't there? What if it doesn't resonate with the current state of hardcore? What if this youth-centric culture as a whole writes off Dysphoria because most of them are in their 40's?
I think it's safe to say after seeing them live recently and hearing these new songs that those fears are misplaced. Dysphoria still has "it", that unquantifiable energy that just makes you want to lose your mind. Whether it's their faster "being chased through the woods by a pack of hungry wolves" riffs, Kevin's dark, meandering bass lines, Chris' driving drums, their trudging, slow breakdowns, or Gravity's barking, tribal yell, it's all there and these songs definitely stack up well against their past recordings. It's hard to pick a favorite of the three but Proving Ground stands out the most. All the songs are great, though.
What will the future hold for Dysphoria? Here's a band that has never been anything but a DIY, labor-of-love project, and now, with the freedom to do whatever they want, who knows? I hope they keep writing and releasing new material, if for any reason but to keep a good part of musical history relevant.
Genre: Hardcore / Nu- Metalcore
Site: Related Link
Similar: Snapcase (old), Earth Crisis (old), many other bands lost to the annals of time and the rise of bad music.
- Spiral Down
- Proving Ground