Dusius - Memory of a ManThere are as many ways to suck as there are to rock. There are bands like Akoma and Starkill that make watered down, lowest common denominator crap. There are can’t-be-arsed bands like Green Bastard that sound uninterested in their own music. And there are the inept enthusiasts, of which newcomers Dusius might be the patron saint. This band clearly love what they do, but most of it is truly, genuinely bad. And let me tell you, reviewing a band like this is like kicking a puppy for being bad at chess, so it’s with a heavy heart that I strap on my steel-toed boots and line up for the shot.

Dusius sail the same waters as Eluveitie and Ensiferum, so expect folk-laden melodic death metal with a mixture of screeching, growling and some sort of clean singing. The harsh vocals are not too shabby, although they sound consistently out of breath, especially the black metal shriek. The full-bodied growl leers with one eye at Amon Amarth and is one of the strongest aspects of the album. The trouble begins whenever the clean vocals come in and hit the right notes the way a blind quadriplegic hits a piñata. The tone is supposed to be grand and epic but instead, it sounds more like a drunk larper playing a bard.

This is exacerbated by the worst language skills I’ve heard on record so far. I can forgive some clumsy phrasing, but here it gets creative with ways to spoil the music. For starters, even Gloryhammer couldn’t come up with lyrics so poorly written and lethally cheesy1, and they did it on purpose. Furthermore, the lingual problem completely destroys the meter of most sentences, which causes the the vocals to awkwardly hobble beside the music instead of riding it. “Having sentences that fit the music” doesn’t come up in most reviews because, usually, that would be the equivalent of advertising oxygen as good for your health. And as if all that is not enough, the band uses spoken word as well, even devoting an entire song to it (“Dead End Cave”), which is so toe-curlingly cringe-worthy I now have ingrown toenails in my heel.

In a just and balanced universe, this would be offset by amazing songwriting. On the bright side, bonus points for enthusiasm and variety, both of which the band possesses in spades. In fact, a lot of the music sounds downright manic. The album jerks from one riff to the next, rarely lingering for long, and you may hear four different vocal styles in 20 seconds time. Most of the riffs are grade level, but the sheer quantity sometimes hits a solid tune, like the high-speed slugfest that is “Dear Elle.” Special commendations go out to the drummer, who is easily the most talented band member, with fast and precise drumming that sounds like it belongs in a better band.

However, the universe is not just, it is a cruel, empty and endless void where hope and balance have no meaning. The folk instrumentation ranges from unnecessary to embarrassing and ruins even the tunes that are otherwise agreeable. I’d try to focus on the guitar-work or vocals, but like medieval hecklers, a combination of bagpipes, flutes and a hurdy-gurdy take turns constantly besieging the music. All of them sound off-key and the arrangements are even more basic than the guitars. It’s at least half the nails in the coffin, and boy there’s a lot of nails to be found.

Dusius 2017

The production is not much better. The mastering is loud, which is not surprising. The mix is only not surprising in the context of an amateurish piece of ADHD-suffering folk metal because it’s less consistent than Nicolas Cage’s acting career. The instruments constantly crowd each other for attention. The folk arrangements go from front to back to front without any rhyme or reason, sometimes blaring in your ear and sometimes so quiet it makes you wonder whether it was left in by mistake. The latter is actually an option considering “Coldsong” starts by replaying the last second of the previous song, like the engineer cut the album in all the time it took to heat a Hot Pocket.

All these doubtful ingredients come together into the funniest album I’ve heard since Weird Al Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun. I chuckled at the random drunken “lalalalala” in “Desecrate,” I almost fell off my bike laughing when “The Betrayal” went from promising riff to off-key singing and shitty flutes at the drop of a hat, and I positively guffawed at “Coldsong” when a choir of layered growls thundered “I’m very tired/REALLY TIRED!” Memory of a Man is a terrible album, and I wholeheartedly recommend it whenever you feel sad or inadequate. It will solve either in a hitch.


Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Extreme Metal Music
Websites: facebook.com/viking.metal.dusius
Releases Worldwide: March 17th, 2017

Show 1 footnote

  1. Yes they could, in their sleep. – Steely D.

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  • mtlman1990

    Still sounds better than Korpiklanni.

    • Wilhelm

      Korpiklaani’s first 3 albums are all amazing folk metal, they have, however, become a parody of themselves on later albums.

  • defjam

    The embedded track is sucktastic! Guess you’re right: it makes you feel good after a crap day. BTW, why do they need so many people to produce something so poor?

    • GardensTale

      Because you need extra people to be truly awful in every possible way. Otherwise you are limiting your suckitude.

      • defjam

        Hilarious review, keep it up. You made a bad day’s end better!

        • GardensTale

          Thanks! Somewhere in the upcoming weeks I’ll have a review up with the lowest score I ever gave, so stay tuned…

    • sir_c

      it makes you feel less inept, doesn’t it?

  • It is balanced universe indeed. We had too many 4.0s in march, so… something like this just had to come. Inevitably.

    • sir_c

      But I like it that way with music. Better have soaring highs and deep lows than the Great Planes Of Meh

  • RDP

    I needed a good laugh today. Glad I came here to read this review and listen to the embedded track because my day just got better.

    The keys in that embedded track sound like they came from an early 80’s Yamaha keyboard. I’m impressed someone actually tried to put that to music. Please tell me it’s not actually a flute somewhere in that song.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      I was just about to complain about the keyboards. I don’t think there are any real folk instruments in here since they sound so lame. You said Yamaha keyboard? You’re being waaaay too generous. Those keyboards scream “Casio” at the top of their lungs.

      • GardensTale

        I don’t think they used real folk instruments in this track much, but according to MA, they do have one folk guy who does flutes, bagpipes and hurdy gurdy.

        • [not a Dr]

          Where did he find a Casio flute?

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            And Casio bagpipes and Casio Hurdy gurdy?

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Come to think of it, Casio are likely the inept enthusiasts of the musical instrument making world.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    “Yes they could, in their sleep.” Steel, that’s almost a compliment.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    The band photo reminds me of the Dark Forest band photo, but oh what a musical difference!

  • Andrew Rowland

    Cover reminds me of Lake of Tears

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Ah the inept enthusiasts! They are always the best of the worst!

    • Julien Robitaille

      The Room comes to mind…

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I was thinking The Shaggs. Never heard about The Room, but I guess that’s not something I should be worried about.

        • Julien Robitaille

          You’ve honestly never seen Tommy Wiseau’s ‘The Room’ ?

          It’s the best worst film of all time!

          EDIT: Just googled The Shaggs and was not disappointed. Wow…

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I thought you were talking about some band! Of course I know about Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. I have not watched the whole of it, the trailer was enough to convince me not to waste any more time on it…

          • Reese Burns

            Watching The Room is never a disappointment

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            How could anyone be disappointed by The Shaggs? THEY SUCK!
            If there was a definition for “inept enthusiasts” in the dictionary, The Shaggs’ picture would be next to it.

          • GardensTale

            I feel bad for The Shaggs. They were basically abused and forced to perform by their delusional father.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I don’t know enough about their story to know if they were “abused and forced” I would have to further investigate that. But their father sure was delusional. Well, at least they got a claim to fame…

  • sjforr

    Very entertaining review, thank you Sir!

    I feel a little bad for them though. They are so earnest. The death growl in the embedded track is, as you say, pretty good actually; but everything turns instantly sour (or should I say saccharine?) when those keys kick in.

    Maybe it’s an Italian thing? The musicianship may be better, but I find Fleshgod Apocalypse excruciatingly cringe-worthy in the exactly the same way.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      I was also thinking if it’s an Italian thing… it’s like nothing ever is “over the top” for Italians.

      • sjforr

        Exactly

  • METAL OTTER

    The band name does sound like ‘deuces’, so no false advertising there…

  • Eli Valcik

    Oh dear

    • basenjibrian

      Oh DEER, you mean?

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    You’re way too generous,
    by my (patented) calcs this is a solid 0.5

    Pink deer in the moonlight +.5 (would make great tattoo or panel van art)
    No fucks given bag pipes + 1
    Reckless non ironic Italian kilt wearing +1
    Putting album up for review and reviews Weird Al reference = +0.5
    Mercifully restricting promo song to only 3 minutes +.05

    Negligent and criminally reckless use of flute – 1
    Band name sounds like something from The Muppets production of Sparticus -0.5
    Promo song stealing 3 minutes of my life – 1
    One finger pocket casio keyboard melody. -0.5

    • Thatguy

      Finger pocket casio keyboard melody is -1 surely…

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        That would be mean

  • Tofu muncher

    they should gig with Deathless Legacy then to make it 1.5/5, or will that be 0.75/5?

  • Choodi

    Honestly, I think the review is a little harsh. Yes the keyboards are awful, but at least I listened to the whole song, unlike some of that bullshit hipster black metal that gets praised around here. Fuck that shit. Most boring crap ever.

    • GardensTale

      This is one of the least awful tracks on the album. I was actually disappointed I couldn’t just link the hilarious spoken word track instead.

      • Choodi

        Oooh, that sounds fun. Maybe I’ll have to give the full album a listen.

    • herrschobel

      name some hipster black metal that gets praised here…bring it on mate ;-)

      • Choodi

        Just pick any of that post-black metal trash and you’re probably on to something.

        • herrschobel

          not a valid reply…i am not going to pick for you :-)

          • Deafheaven would be my first response.

          • herrschobel

            ah well yeah…thats THE one ….

    • sjforr

      The words “bullshit” and “hipster” do not belong in the same sentence as “black metal”

      • Choodi

        Unfortunately they do.

    • GardensTale

      This is amazing! Although without the antlers it kind of looks like a unisheep right now, but that’s not your fault. If this does not become featured comment I will become very angry. REALLY ANGRY!

      • Thanks. I believe it’s a sub-species of some sort.
        You are truly an angry metal… dude.

        • sir_c

          It’s the Pink Impaler Of The Radiating Moon

  • Innit Bartender

    Have to hand it to them, a pink and blue cover stands out from all the black and red that go around today like a third eye on the forefront.

  • Sean Sky

    There are some decent riffs on here and the harsh vocals are indeed pretty decent. I only skipped around a bit on the album and I definitely understand the complaints but it’s not the worst thing I’ve heard either.

  • Mark Z

    I just have to laugh that the label is called “Extreme Metal Music.”

    • sir_c

      Well, it’s quite accurate. From a Metal Perspective this is pretty extreme stuff. Only, they reside at the wrong side of the firmament

      • Mark Z

        No I understand it’s accurate, I just thought it was a funny name for a label. Just very on the nose.

  • sir_c

    I think one of the band members is a Emerson Lake & Palmer fan

  • Judging by the embedded track, this is no better or worse than the majority of other folk metal out there. I’d say this is just average rather than horrible.

    • GardensTale

      This is one of the least-awful tracks, though. There’s much worse on there.

  • Mephisto

    I went to see Kong yesterday. The king of his jungle stared in the eyes of his offenders… And crushed them like overripe cherries…

  • RuySan

    At the beginning the music is more uninspired than downright awful, but when the keyboards kick in, it becomes completely adorable.