The name DYSRHYTHMIA had never crossed my ears until I received this promo. So, being the inquisitive little one that I am, I did a bit of research before popping it in to the ol' CD player and boy, was I surprised. How had I not heard of this band? Their first show was with DISCORDANCE AXIS and RUINS? One of the members is in BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS and another used to play in WHILE HEAVEN WEPT? The band has recorded with Steve Albini? They've toured with CLUTCH, HIGH ON FIRE, JUCIFER and MASTODON? Needless to say, my interest piqued and after playing this bad boy for about a minute, my ears perked.
"Barriers And Passages" is the fourth album from this Philadelphia-based quartet and like the work of BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS, it is an entirely instrumental and highly technical affair. The soundscapes change very often, with only two common factors stringing the record together: mind-blowing proficiency and total bad-assitude. The band can go from the Les Claypool-esque noodling ("Appeared At First") to MELVINSy sludge ("Will The Spirit Prevail") and not neglect any of the ground in between, either. After listening to the record, I was surprised to find out that this was issued by Relapse Records, as it is nowhere in the realm of their typical Metalcore/Grindcore repitoire, but rather much closer to the output of Mike Patton's Ipecac Recordings.
Needless to say, "Barriers And Passages" is a damn cool little record. If you like weird musical goodness in the form bands like BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS, THE MELVINS and RUINS, DYSRHYTHMIA won't leave you out in the cold. Just don't try to air-guitar along with the stuff - your fingers will end up tied in knots. (Online May 27, 2006)