Three years after the epic opus Chaos Philosophorum, the Dutch band Dystopia are returning with a remarkably multi-faceted new album named Geen Weg Uit, which will be released by Wolves of Hades on September 25th. It consists of three songs, two of which are divided into multiple parts.
Trying to sum up the album’s kaleidoscope of musical sensations is a daunting task. At its core, the music is black metal, but the band also incorporate elements of death metal, ethereal ambient music, prog-rock, and psychedelia — and they give a prominent role to a brass section. You might wonder how in the world all these moving parts could be joined together into something that makes sense, but banish any doubts you might have, because they do — with spectacular results.
The song that opens the album, “Razernij“, is one of the two that’s divided into Parts — four of them, to be precise, and it’s the third segment that we’re premiering today. The band have commented about the entire song in this way:
“‘Razernij’ is one of the most aggressive and emotional songs we have ever written. In this day and age that is filled with turmoil and blinded by fear and hatred, ‘Razernij’ is a cry of frustration towards those who would kill in the name of their ultimate truth. It is a raging scream. For in the end, the ultimate truth does not exist.”
It is indeed a raging scream, but it’s also much more than that. The first part (which is already out in the world) opens the album, and it left this writer pop-eyed and slack-jawed in wonder. It combines high, swirling and chiming chords, hard-rocking riffage, and physically compelling drum rhythms. It begins accelerating until it reaches a turbo-charged rush, at which point the vocalist begins stripping the skin from your face with his voice.
It’s just past the mid-point when trombones and trumpet come in, creating a grand yet somehow funereal sound. They remain a key part of the music from that point forward, even when the drums begin hurtling again and the vocalist begins screaming with terrifying intensity (if he held anything back when recording this, I don’t know what it could have been). By my lights, this first segment of the song is tremendous.
After the breathtaking rush of the opening movement, “Razernij: II” brings the temperature and the pulse rate down, creating a spell of ghostly shimmering ambience and glinting guitar. When the bass begins to murmur and the drums to thump, the trumpet carries the slow and soulful melody as the gleam behind it intensifies. When distorted guitars come in, the harsh screams are replaced with singing — and very impassioned and emotionally wrenching singing it is, though the vocals also segue again into those spine-tingling shrieks. The mood of the music is despondent and even despairing, and eventually draws the listener once more into the haunting spell with which the song began.
Continuing to vary the energy and intensity of the music, Dystopia then shift gears in the Part of the song we’re presenting today, rapidly surging into a race of battering drums, pulsating bass, and blaring, blazing melody, which grows steadily more frenzied. There’s a feeling of anguished tension in the music, and shattering pain in the vocals. But strummed guitar, lively bass, gliding horns, and sung vocals brighten the mood of the music, creating an atmosphere of aspiration and uplift.
And Part IV carries the song to a heart-pounding climax, joining together the harsh and clean vocals and sending the trumpet soaring over thunderous double-kicks. Raking riffs and bursts of extravagant melody pave the way to a wondrous extended guitar solo that would make most prog-rock bands envious.
Wolves of Hades will release Geen Weg Ui on limited-edition vinyl and digitally. It’s available for pre-order now.
Below, we’ve put a stream of “Razernij: I” first, and then followed that with our premiere stream of “Razernij: III“. Enjoy!