After crossing paths at the 2017 rendition of Desertfest, Existence Dysphoria formed soon after in London. The trio’s 2018 Shattered demo introduced a band that paired the NOLA death/sludge (think Acid Bath) with psychedelic doom and space rock. A few years and a pandemic later, they explore the paradoxes of the human condition on their debut record, Minus Negative. Out July 1st from Sludgelord Records, Decibel Magazine has an exclusive premiere and stream a few days early.
“The Stage is Set” is part ambient intro, part precursory reprieve from the incoming distortion avalanche. At nine and a half minutes, “Sculpted Into Nothing” is the briefest epic on Minus Negative. With a median track length close to ten minutes, Existence Dysphoria is a band who can chew on a riff without losing the flavor. But there’s also frequent riff variation and psychedelic flourishes from guitarist Ben Ambrose for texture. The compositions are dynamic, with heavy bludgeons and passages of introspection. “You’re Worse” uses fleeting moments of restraint to build tension for the next hammer drop. The closing title track is a haunted, hazy journey that employs James Bullock’s thunderous bass tone as an exclamation point. The album is heavy by all definitions, including thematically.
“The term “Minus Negative” refers to the self-perpetuating cycle of events that leaves the individual at a state of worthlessness,” shares guitarist/vocalist Ben Ambrose. “This toxic cycle has many ugly manifestations. The listener shall perceive this as they see fit.”