Dysrhythmia - Pretest

9 songs
53:08 minutes
***** ****
Relapse / Suburban


Dysrhythmia don't make for easy listening, with a name like that you wouldn't expect otherwise anyway. After their second release No Interference, which was one of the most astonishing self-produced I have ever heard , they deservedly received an offer to release their third CD on Relapse Records with recording engineer Steve Albini.

The austere CD booklet already puts us in the right mood for the 53 upcoming minutes of instrumental post prog math indie metal or whatever you feel inclined to call this music. Although all artists involved are perfect at their instruments, there is no showing off coming from a certain direction, rather the band plays together as a tight unit and always play for the benefit of the song. That Dysrhythmia take you on a musical journey can already be deducted from the fact that instead of informing about who plays what instrument, the three musicians describe themselves as pilot, navigator and liaison.

So has there been much change from the last self-produced album to this new one on a bigger label? Not really, due to the near-perfection of the predecessor, but the overall sound impression has improved a lot. Not only are all three instruments (guitar, bass and drums) equally involved, but you get the immediate impression that Dysrhythmia are a band that's playing very tightly together, which makes for a sheer listening pleasure. The featured songs may not be as "straight-forward" as on the last album, but therefore you get a much more atmospheric piece of music. Especially the two-part song Annihilation shows the two faces of Dysrhythmia: where the first part has a more ambient approach, the second part math-rocks as if there were no tomorrow. It's this juxtaposition of ambient atmospherics and heady math games that makes Pretest one of the really interesting instrumental albums of the year.

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