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Dust : Distortion Empire

Simply tagging this third album of German Dust "Stoner Doom" doesn't really cover the entire scope of it.

This is the third release from German Stoner Doom band Dust. Actually, simply tagging this album "Stoner Doom" doesn't really cover the entire scope of it. There is, of course, a psychedelic edge to the repetitious, droning nature of some of the passages. But there is also a certain sense of adventure to some of the songs in terms of influence, as well as some extreme agression and immense weight to others.

After the nearly 2-minute intro/noise track "Encryption", Dust kicks into the first proper song on the album "Back To Light", which offers a strong 70s vibe complete with Prog-like yet somewhat droning intro (which, honestly, first brought to mind old Rush) before moving into a slow, slithering groove and wah-pedal textures. I hear much more of a really heavy Soundgarden/Mastodon vibe on this song than "Stoner Doom", but that is certainly not a bad thing. It shows that Dust is capable of branching out.

Up next is "My Addiction (Too Far Behind)" and here, my friends, is the Doom. A brooding clean guitar melody starts us off before moving into a dark, angry procession. The slurred, gravel-throated vocals add an air of despair and anguish to the overall vibe, while the wah-pedal solo brings out the "stoner" nuances.

"Smell The Burning" brings out another 70s vibe on the bouncing clean guitar melody. It builds into a groovy jam and the vocals are delivered in a rhythmic caedence of sorts, moving along with the groove. The riffs at the 4:09 mark and again at the 5:58 mark are massive, however this is one of the albums weaker tracks overall. The vocals and repeating clean guitar melody together are not a good combination.

Dust gains some lost ground with the next track "Contact". The somber clean guitar and subtle soloing carries the listener through the first 3 minutes, slowly building it's slightly psychedlic vibe before the band comes crashing in at the 3:09 mark. From here, there are a couple of returns to the opening melody then back to the heavy bits, and overall "Contact" becomes another shining moment on the album.

This is the last of the clean guitar you'll hear, because "Dying To Be" comes in as the strongest, most obvious Doom Metal song on the album. It's slow, groove-less, full of dread and anger and will grind the listener to dust under the weight of it's merciless dirge. Then, at the 5:05 mark, Dust ramps it up a bit for a sweaty, head-banging groove which carries through the rest of the song before coming to a dramatic close.

The closing, title track, while certainly living up to its name, sadly becomes the album's second weak track. Even though I understand what is being attempted here, is IS called "Distortion Empire" after all, the song is just too long, monotonous and ultimately boring to hold my attention for the entire 13-minute duration. Some of the parts are cool, but the long rests of feedback and sustain between the riffs and crashes just make me wish it was over before it actually ends. The first real riff of the song isn't until around 4:30 and getting there is incredibly tedious. I feel like if some parts were removed or shortened, it would have been to the song's benefit. But, again, I understand what they're trying to do.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Encryption
2. Back To Light
3. My Addiction (Too Far Behind)
4. Smell The Burning
5. Contact
6. Dying To Be
7. Distorion Empire

Duration : Approx. 48 minutes

Visit the Dust bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-05-10 by Shawn Pelata
Aesthetic Death
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