One man djent/prog metal band DUSK have been gathering a lot of steam over the last couple of years. After the release of two EPs in 2020 and 2021, he is finally set to release his first full-length album on Friday. We got sent it a little early and just had to check it out!
A surprisingly cold open to the album as some high, clean chord progressions beautifully chime. Some electronics build into a rather beautiful verse. Drums and some simple bass come in over the back, giving it some great depth. And the first guest vocalist comes in, sounding a shocking amount like Kelly Jones. It fits well over the instrumentation, though, it all sounding a little ethereal. Then, out of nowhere, it djents the fuck out and gets super heavy. A heavy riff sounds through with some fantastic harsh vocals. It dials back slightly but still stays sounding massive for the chorus, before the clean stuff returns.
The formula repeats perfectly before more electronics lead into a very Periphery-style guitar solo. I cannot fault it at all though, it’s awesome. Said solo heads into a heavy, epic outro which rounds out the track well. A damn good start, even if it took a few seconds to get going.
‘Digging Deeper’ is the first of two tracks to feature Alex Hamilton on vocal duty. It get’s straight into it this time as some djenty guitars leads to a huge, crazy riff and some fantastic screams. It almost immediately cleans up though, catching me off guard. Alex has some almost rap-type flow through these clean verses, giving off Linkin Park or Falling in Reverse vibes. I wasn’t sold at first, but it builds perfectly into the heavier, screamed parts, making it more impactful. The subtle strings behind these parts was a nice touch too, as was the second riffs with the high stabs. The part where everything drops out aside for the screams was AMAZING. The screams throughout this track, especially the lows, are phenomenal. I loved this, and it easily makes our playlist!
‘Breath in, Breath Out’ slaps you straight in the face with a chunky riff. It stays heavy throughout, too, a straight-up deathcore track. Adnan’s vocals reminds me a little of Jamie Jasta’s, they have that hardcore edge to them. Still though, despite the heaviness, it has easily one of the catchiest choruses on the album. I found myself screaming along! And those riffs after the first chorus, fuck me, insanity. I’m not jealous of his playing at all… you are. It’s another amazing track, and another to make the playlist!
The second Alex Hamilton track, ‘Hatred’ is also a banger. It reminds me of early metalcore, back when it was more heavily influenced by nu-metal. Heck, it even reminds me of modern nu metal bands like Tallah and Tetrarch. Once again his vocals are a highlight of the track, fitting so well over the brutal riffs. Whether it’s cleans or brutal lows, I think I’ve found one of my new favourite vocalists. That breakdown is INSANE. As is that final scream. I love this.
The only track on the album to feature Aron Harris, ‘Lethal Perspectives’, is a heavy track. It goes hard from the get-go with huge riffs and death metal vocals, and doesn’t let up throughout. It’s a full on deathcore track in a similar vein to Lorna Shore or Job for a Cowboy. It was another great song, and I found myself appreciating the instrumentation even more here.
The second of Abzy’s tracks, ‘Agnes of Rome’, opens on a blegh, so we’re off to a good start! The spoken word parts in amongst the screaming for the verses was good, as were the clean parts. He has such an interesting cadence to his voice that I couldn’t help but love it. There’s also a nice stripped-back, almost jazzy part a couple of minutes in. You can tell it’s very electronically produced, but the vocals sound amazing over the top, a dark, brooding turn for the track. It then heavies back up for a climactic end. Another amazing song!
Next up are two tracks featuring Moe Steiger. The first, ‘Burning in my Mind’ opens on a cool electronic riff, the bass and electric drums building in over the top before the guitars complete the sound. The distorted whispered vocals remind me of an industrial sound, Nine Inch Nails or Rammstein. Then the awesome scream comes in and brings it right back to deathcore. I cannot get over how good the main riff is, too, I’d have loved it to stay as an industrial nu metal track. However, the dynamics of the track are fantastic, constantly keeping the listener intrigued.
Meanwhile the second track, ‘Karma Will Find You’ opens like a J-Pop song. It was definitely a change of pace. It doesn’t even really heavy up that much when the guitars and drums come in too, the electronics and clean vocals being the main focus. That is, until you’re slapped in the face with some HUGE screams and a dirty riff. The heavier parts are full djent while the lighter choruses are closer to pop. It’s very Periphery. The contrast between the two parts is really interesting and makes for an enjoyable listen!
‘Someone to Trust’ is another heavy, deathcore-style song, this time featuring Jon Thomas. His vocals remind me of Rob Flynn’s which I liked a lot. The clean vocals for the chorus were nice too, especially with the harmonies. Meanwhile ‘Only You’ was another nice change of pace as it’s the ballad of the album. Lighter, slower and infectiously catchy, it’s a great pallet cleanser and great song in its own right.
The final official track, ‘Celestials’, definitely lives up to its name. The synth to open it was awesome, sounding like a combination of Sci-Fi and Stranger Things. The softer clean vocals fit perfectly over the top, be it the more electronic sounds or the heavy riffs. It was another change of pace and I really wasn’t expecting a lighter end to the album, with closing interlude ‘Absence of Full’ also light. However, it was a nice surprise, and gave us a couple of fantastic tracks.
Overall: I really enjoyed this! While I’ve never dug into the djent catalogue all too much, albums like this remind me why I should. It was heavy, melodic and some of the riffs were insane. Meshari Sangora is a very talented guy, and I can’t wait to hear more from him and DUSK already!
The Score: 7.5/10