Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Swallowed By Apathy- Dysgenesis

Swallowed By Apathy is a progressive death metal band from the US. Some of you may remember our review for their previous EP not too long ago. They followed up that EP rather quickly and have improved vastly since. This debut full-length consists of eight new tracks and a cover. Dysgenesis clocks in at just over forty minutes and throughout that time you will be taken on a tour of the many sounds that Swallowed By Apathy bring forth on this release.

The guitar playing here is pretty complex for the most part. Every riff sticks in your head and a wide range of techniques are used. Though many sections here are fairly intricate none of the songs are overly technical. It is clear when listening that all the members are well rounded with their instruments and have some solid experience under their belts. The bass also has some great moments. The most notable is on the track "Cynical Transparency" which starts off with some crazy bass playing and also has a very overpowering, thick sound when compared to the rest of the tracks on the album.

One thing that has improved in a major way since the first EP is the clean vocals. The delivery has gotten much more powerful. Most likely the power that  was lacking on the first EP may have been due to the production values, but either way it really seems like he is holding back less here. As usual Brandon Mitchell brings a wide variety of vocal styles to the table and delivers them all well. The cleans play a huge role in the albums overall sound so the improvement in that department is more than welcome. For the most part choruses consist of fairly catchy soaring clean vocals. There is also an amazing guest spot on "Sleep Paralysis" with Chris Clancy (ex- Mutiny Within vocalist), who also mixed the album. The production on this album is leaps and bounds ahead of their debut. This really helps get the intensity across overall and makes for a much more pleasant listen all around.

The variety of tracks featured on Dysgenesis is huge. Each song has it's own special vibe and none of them blend together. This makes for an extremely interesting listen and shoots the replay value through the roof. With that being said, one thing is always consistent, the songwriting is top notch all the way through. Whether it be an epic track like "Journey of the Lucid" or a heavy hitter like "Idiosyncrasy" it is clear that a vast amount of time was put into crafting every single song to be the best that it can be. Also included on the album is a cover of "Crystal Mountain" by Death. I mentioned in my previous review for the bands EP that a few aspects of their sound (especially some of Mitchell's vocals) reminded me of Death. Their version does the original justice and is hands down the best Death cover I have ever heard. In terms of covers a better choice could not have been made, it fits perfectly with the rest of the album and doesn't disrupt the flow like many covers do.

Overall considering it is the bands first full-length, Dysgenesis is an incredibly mature effort. I can only see their sound getting better and expanding from here. Fans of the EP will definitely be impressed with this album, and newcomers will most certainly be coming back for more in the future. Anyone looking for progressive death metal should give this release a listen immediately. Get.

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