Dystopia A.D. – Rise of The Merciless

Band: Dystopia A.D.
Album: Rise of The Merciless
Label: Independent
Release Date: 31 July 2020
Country: USA
Format Reviewed: High-Quality Digital Recording

Feast your ears on this brilliant, melodic, death, thrash, heavy, and progressive metal amalgamation of sound from DYSTOPIA A.D. I get so excited to discover a band that can hit so many levels of satisfaction. The album literally touches on everything that makes metal awesome and somehow comprises that range in each distinct track. No track sounds like the previous or next. That’s also what I love about this. A different flavor in each song.

DYSTOPIA A.D. hail from Jersey City, New Jersey, and is a two-member band. Aki Shishido, lead guitar and Chris Whitby, bass guitar/vocals began their journey in 2017 technically with the release of their demo “Choke”. To follow was the full-length album release of “Designing Ruin“. As a point of interest, this newest EP was partially recorded at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan where Aki Shishido was deployed as a Major in the United States Army.
“Red Sand” as a first track grabs with the atmospheric feel right off and explodes in beautiful harsh vocals that hold your attention. Skillfully blended riffs ground the track in melodic death notes. “Nomad” follows as a grungy punch again in the music gut with harsh vocals edged in a cleaner delivery. The track goes into a break of seriously immense guitar skill that gives you another jumping-off point into those unforgettable vocals. Lyrics. LOVE. Masterpiece track of this album is the third track, “Plaguebringers”, just deepens more with each listens. The layering of sound is so well mixed here. Every portion is expertly linked and then you get this surprise saxophone section. Incredible. Album title track “Rise of the Merciless” is the fourth track and it sets off on an instrumental smorgasbord that is crafted to linger. Clean vocals blend with harsh and the interplay of both styles gives this more interest. The breaks of pure instrumental brilliance really add another layer. A home run again. We get to track five, “Sisyphean Existence” and damn, it justs builds. This is my favorite track, but even that is hard to say because I appreciate all of the tracks for something different. This one feels emotional in the vocals. The riff is catchy and you aren’t left with any areas in the song that aren’t fully realized. Lastly, “Grave Pact”, it is blistering in the harsh vocals with that edge of emotive sensitivity. As a conclusion track, this brings all of it, guitar, arrangements, vocals, truly a gem.

“Rise of the Merciless” reflects on the moments of wartime spent in Afghanistan, the lyricism is full of depth and we are given an inside glimpse into that unexplainable existence. I can’t say enough good things about the creative range of this band. This is a MUST listen, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t before. I give this album a 10/10 Darksun

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10/10 : Immortal Classic
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