Dysrhythmia is a brutal prog/progressive metal band from
Philadelphia — and now,
Brooklyn — formed in . Originally an informal collaboration
between guitarist Kevin Hufnagel and bass
guitarist Clayton Ingerson, Dysrhythmia became a rock band in earnest with the addition of drummer Jeff Eber in . It was with this lineup that Dysrhythmia released their
first three full-length albums, including “Pretest”, their first
release with Relapse Records. At , however, founding member Clayton
Ingerson left the band and was replaced by Colin Marston on bass guitar. Marston has engineered most of the band’s work
since then, in Menegroth: The Thousand Caves, his recording studio in
Queens. Both Clayton
Ingerson and Kevin Hufnagel have played as part of doom metal outfit While Heaven Wept. Both Kevin
Hufnagel and Colin Marston are also members of the new (reunited)
lineup of Canadiantech
death outfit Gorguts. Jeff Eber
has been a member of New Yorkjazz metal/avant-prog outfit
Zevious since its inception in .
Colin Marston has created and/or been a member of a variety of other
experimental music (usually, but not always, metal/rock-oriented) projects, most notably Krallice,
Behold… The Arctopus, Infidel? / Castro!, and
Indricothere (a solo project).
The music of Dysrhythmia has been consistently “difficult”,
insofar as it is characterised, in the minds of most people, as being technical
& abrasive instrumental metal/rock.
It is, however, considerably more rooted in traditional approaches to musical
composition — associated with progressive rock/metal, ultimately western classical music, and even math rock — than the music of, say, Behold… The Arctopus.
labels Dysrhythmia’s music as “math rock”. While Dysrhythmia do show signs of influence from fellow
Pennsylvania natives Don
Caballero — particularly in their earlier works — the actual
influence of post-hardcore is minimal, and
Dysrhythmia’s music (again, particularly later work) is much
better characterised by labels like progressive metal and
even brutal prog. Or, perhaps having one album produced by
Steve Albini (“Pretest”) is enough to be considered a
“math rock band” forever…
In any case, Dysrhythmia are a band that put equal emphasis on all three
components of their power trio, and
their music is perhaps most unique due to the harmonic and melodic
sensibilities of guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (and later,
bass guitarist Colin Marston). Arrangement-wise,
Dysrhythmia’s music often sees Hufnagel’s guitarwork floating fairly freely, playing in counterpoint to the
to have a very clear voice in the music. Their music also sometimes features
precomposed solos, betraying the influence of progressive rock/metal. And, of course, the song structures at
play in Dysrhythmia’s music are complex, often simultaneously
appearing to be both
formal. At this point, their musical output to date is well-known and
well-respected enough to make them behemoths of instrumental experimental rock.
As an interesting sidenote, their latest release as of this writing
(“Terminal Threshold”) is somewhat of a non-sequitur to the works
leading up to it. This album alone has lead to the band being tagged here with
“technical thrash metal” (tech thrash).
“Terminal Threshold” owes much more influence to classic
thrash outfit Watchtower than previous
Dysrhythmia efforts (although, cf.Watchtower guitarist Ron Jarzombek’s instrumental project,
Blotted Science). The bass guitar is much less
present here than in previous works, and the compositions are much more compact
(the longest cut clocking in at just ).
Even the approach to audio production is different — still as slick and
steeped in modern techniques as “The Veil Of Control”, but with a
more classic-sounding focus on lows and low-mids (and thus apparently quieter
notes on the distributions
The recordings of “Annihilation II” and “Annihilation
I” that appear on Dysrhythmia’s split with
XthoughtstreamsX are different from those that appear on
The recording of “And Just Go” that appears on
Dysrhythmia’s split with Technician is different from the
one that appears on “Pretest”.
The final track on “Pretest” (“An Ally To
Comprehension”) is a Japan-only bonus track. A
re-recording of this tune appears on “Barriers and Passages”. The
deadseapianorolls distribution for “Pretest” includes only this
The final track on “Barriers and Passages” (“Void”) is
a Japan-only bonus track. The deadseapianorolls
distribution for “Barriers and Passages” includes only this track.