Dissident Clone is a two-piece old-school Metal group based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. By old-school, it refers to the group's stance on the idea of "less is more", as well as throwing back to the Punk and Hardcore laced era of Metal. Composed of Wrath compatriots Patrick Morris Invictus, Under Eden) as guitarist/vocalist, and drummer Chad Brunsell (War//Plague), this recently formed nod to analog present State of Dysphoria, a four song EP picked up for digital only distribution through Tridroid Records. But is what lies within worth grabbing despite the glaringly obvious oxymoron between recording belief and distribution method, or will that thought end up more engaging than the EP itself?

State of Dysphoria immediately shows off that raw trait with some blunt music, though the vocals do sound a little more crisp and modern in comparison. Thankfully this EP kind of walks the line between the two, creating a slightly empty environment that demands to be turned up, and solid performances that make you willingly obey for maximum headbanging, especially during the more complex tracks including "Waiting to Collapse". The guitar very well done, utilizing solid bridging to introduce a mixture of groove filled Hardcore attitude alongside Metalcore hooks, all dispersed between short but sweet bursts ofNapalm Death and S.O.D. style hostility. Much of this can also be said for "Crushed from Above". The introduction, however, is far better suited to kick off the EP than the aforementioned first track instead of the last, and its a wonder why the roles are reversed. At least until you get past the start and into the abrasiveness that awaits.

While those two are solid cuts that really reap the benefits of the rawer audio quality, you have some that are less in that complex and often chaotic world like "Servile Sector". The deeper tuning nicely creates an aggressive side until the two minute mark. At that point you are met with some simple hooks that can pull this one more into the Metalcore field by making it somewhat approachable. This is unlike "Eye of the Wound" which takes its time right from the start. This one utilizes slow paced riffs with some additional complexity to the drums that can sometimes carry a rhythmic tribal sensation, not to mention aid the deeper growling approach of the vocals.

State of Dysphoria may not be the prettiest EP to listen to, but that's the entire point. Dissident Clone are one of the many bands fed up with high-grade studio interference in recording and mastering, reverting back to a format almost entirely lost to give their music some real balls and, whether you like it or not, is achieved by this duo with ease. This isn't for the new age fanbase of Harccore, Punk or Metal, but rather those who signed up when bands like D.R.I., Napalm Death, and so many others like them were breaking new ground despite this release still having a bit of a modern flare to the compositions themselves. Is it worth checking out? Of course, as will surely be future Dissident Clone recordings. But, overall, outside of being a good quick ride you won't object to taking from time to time, State of Dysphoria isn't the most memorable EP for the genres involved you'll happen across.

Review originally composed for Apoch's Metal Review.