First of all, this album messed with me a couple of times early on, and it’s the bass guitar’s fault. Dust of Existence isn’t necessarily that brutal or technical like an Origin or Cryptopsy release, but that instrument sports an incredibly twangy presence for some reason. While this isn’t always a bad thing, on here it just sounds as though it was played unplugged with loose strings and played while held up to a microphone recording the chords that way. Other than a few spots like the longer held notes of “Messiah”, certain guitar solos, and some of the bulkier material that erupts from time to time, it often came off like either my car speakers had blown out, or the muffler was dragging as I carried on down the road.
That twanging sounds like something that would work better with an early KoRn album than it does this release, honestly. I genuinely have no idea why this infernal twang that sounds so different and distractingly out of place is even present, but, when it’s a rich rumble, it sounds fantastic, not to mention makes me think there’s a second bassist, even though there isn’t. Perhaps it’s just the way the studio picked up the performance and how it’s tuned, as this does have a very strong back bone that I do enjoy when I’m able to look past the sound of the random hanging parts of the car dragging across the mildly bumpy asphault behind me.
And while I’m on the topic of KoRn, the only other thing I can say negatively is the hooks during “High Voltage Castration” reminding me of L.D. 50-era Mudvayne. This is one that will end up more a perception issue, really, but I hear those as being similar to how the hooks in the chorus sound on the song “Death Blooms”, one of my favorite tracks from the band (yes, I admit to being an early Mudvayne fan, what of it?). I’m not saying the two are structurally the same, just the tone and cleaner output happen to match, kind of taking me out of that somewhat, but obviously not everyone will feel the same way.
Other than that, I’m really digging this effort from this Canadian death metal group. While it sounds like your typical helping of death metal with hints of hardcore influence from time to time, such as during some of the main verses of “Cellar Goreatory”, it still comes off as ballsy and moody, something that any fan of the style can get behind. The more time I put into Dust of Existence, the more I find myself bobbing my head along compared to the previous spin through. So, if someone asked me about it at this point, I’d say it’s worth at least sampling to see if you can look past the poor bass guitar twang that makes up most of the release. Thankfully, it seems Dust of Decay‘s Bandcamp account is set to debut two streaming tracks at some point, so it might not be that long before you can get a taste and judge for yourself.