Dystopia – Geen Weg Uit

Dystopia have gone through a few changes since their inception back in 2006. Originally a thrash group, this Netherlands based band have shifted more towards black metal in recent years, and seem to be more rooted into the symphonic side of the genre, marked by their tribute in 2015 to Emperor’s “Nightside Eclipse”. Their previous album, “Chaos Philosophorum”, featured grandiose, epic tracks that tried to step away from the typical symphonic black metal route of keyboard laced tremolo picking and delve more into different, more organic sounding symphonies, such as adding horn sections, making the music more orchestral, much in the way Behemoth did with their death metal style back in 2007 with “The Apostasy”. On their most recent offering, Dystopia try to change things up again while still being rooted into the black metal vein but avoid a repetition from 2017 as best they can.

One thing listeners will notice is that the group sheds their English titles and lyrics for Dutch, so there is a little big of language barrier this time around that hasn’t been seen before. There are also no fifteen minute epics here; “Geen Weg Uit” is drastically shorter than its predecessor. Tracks seem to have been split into multiple parts, offering two stories and a closing track. This may be a good thing for those who really can’t stand epic black metal pieces, but at the same time the way the music is cut between tracks such as ‘Razernij II’ and ‘III’ feels a little disjointed, much in the way that when Edge Of Sanity put out “Crimson II” and did a very similar route where instead of one long epic track, they split it up between 44 tracks. This is a small bump in the road as, despite a little rough patch here and there, Dystopia have a lot to offer with their music.

For those looking for more traditional black metal in the vein of Sargeist or even Dark Throne, this may not be fore them. Dystopia is more progressive symphonic, touching on areas that Emperor and even Arcturus have tread. The ‘Razernij’ series features lots of horn sections with roughly shouted vocals among crooning clean ones that are more akin to the depressive black metal vein, as the horn tones really do make the music more depressing than the punk laden grimness of more traditional black metal. ‘Part III’ sheds some of these horn sections for a faster, more raw musical approach, but the clean vocals are used more as opposed to the harsh and there is definitely a more “Anthems To The Welkin…” Emperor feel to the music with even touches of folk elements from a group like Solstafir.

The second opus, ‘Van De Meute Vervreemd’ expands more on the progressive folk elements, especially with the guitar work. ‘I’ feels like a completely different band compared to ‘II’ due to its lighter done, but with the crashing distortion ‘II’ is probably the most crushing track the album has to offer. ‘III’ melds the aggressive with the softer elements, and near the end features some of the best cleanly harmonized vocals Dystopia has done in their career, but at the same time has the worst ‘cut out’ segment that makes the track abruptly end. The closing ‘De Dwaas…’ serves as a great atmospheric instrumental, feeling more like a autumn metal contemplation that would appeal to fans of Agalloch with its folk tones amongst the harsh guitar notes.

Overall, “Geen Weg Uit” is worth listening for those who like black metal a little out of the ordinary, but not too all over the place. Each track features something unique and exciting to enjoy, and even if one can’t understand the lyrics, the instrumentation is strong enough to keep one’s attention.

3.5 / 5 STARS 

Reviewer: Colin McNamara

Oct 1, 2020

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Dystopia – Geen Weg Uit

review Dystopia- Geen Weg Uit

1. Razernij: I
2. Razernij: II
3. Razernij: III
4. Razernij: IV
5. Van De Meute Vervreemd: I
6. Van De Meute Vervreemd: II
7. Van De Meute Vervreemd: III
8. De Dwaas Komt Voor De Redder


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