Brutal death metal act Focal Dystonia was only formed at the beginning of 2020 by multi-instrumentalist Floor van Kuijk (Korpse, Carnifloor) and drummer Florent Duployer (Anachronism, Kakothanasy), yet by the end of the year the duo had released their debut album together. Although they used guest guitar soloists on a couple of tracks, one of the things that makes this album a little different is that they recorded all the music themselves and then brought in a different singer for each song. So, we start with Don Campan (Hate Diplomacy, Walking The Cadaver) on the opening “Ascending Thy Abhorrent Gods” and then different singers take on each song until we end with Mike Gamboa (Euphoric Defilement, Innominate) ending with the title cut.
To be honest, there are few which singers who really stand out from each other, as this is brutal death metal and they are all doing their best George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher impressions, but that is exactly what this music needs. It is violent, massively over the top, yet Floor and Florent are not afraid to slow it down when the time is right. This makes it an easy album to listen to as there are lots of changes in pace and dynamics, combined with a crunching heaviness. This is an album which is going to make a lot of metalheads sit up and pay attention, as it is unusual to hear a BDM album which is just so immediate yet always dramatic and contrasting. Floor mixed and mastered this, and the result is something which is going to find its way into the collection of anyone who enjoys extreme metal.
8/10 Kev Rowland