Do you like Russian Circles, but wish they added more wank to their post-metalness? Do you adore King Crimson, but wish there was less wankery – er, Frippery – in the recipes? If so, Dysrhythmia might be the bowl of porridge that is just right for you. This east coast-based progressive power trio has been around since the turn of the millennium, churning out seven solid albums of instrumental prog metal during that time. It’s been four years since Dysrhythmia dropped an album on us, largely due to the fact that guitarist Kevin Hufnagel and bassist Colin Marston are now also in influential Canadian tech death band Gorguts (which I suppose means Gorguts is only half Canadian now). After being focused on other projects for the past four years, do these guys still know how to hold the listener’s attention? The true test of an instrumental album is whether or not it remains interesting sans vocals.

That has never been an issue for Dysrhythmia, and it isn’t on The Veil of Control. The title track is also the lead song here and gets things off to a rather odd, blast beat-ish start. Don’t be alarmed: this isn’t going to be a technical progressive black metal instrumental album. While the blast beat rears its head in a couple of songs, it’s more a hint of the guys’ other work in Gorguts and Krallice (Marston is one prolific dude) than a sign of things to come. “The Veil of Control” is a frenetic opener, even without the blast beats, and pretty much fits the band’s name perfectly, with shifting rhythms, abnormal pacing, off-kilter guitar and bass lines, and all-around progressive goodness that borders on wank but never devolves into a self-absorbed noodle-fest.

“Internal_Eternal” opens with a classic King Crimson guitar line, hypnotizing us for a full minute before the band really kicks in with some jazzy improv. One can hear the post-metal similarity to Russian Circles by the midpoint here, with a less technical, more flowing variation on the guitar line, backed by a conventional chord progression and relatively sparse drum fills. I say relatively because Jeff Eber is a monster on the drums, and can make the listener dizzy with his fills. That’s two standout tracks to open things, but Dysrhythmia peters out a bit over the next few cuts. “Black Memory,” “Selective Abstraction,” and “Severed and Whole” are all solid songs that do hold our attention, but they don’t leave us panting for more at the end; rather, we say to ourselves “nice one,” and wait for the next song.

Dysrhythmia keeps The Veil of Control short and sweet. The album is 36 minutes and comprised of six songs, most of which are short (around five minutes) by the genre’s standards. Closing track “When Whens End” is the longest song, but still under nine minutes and certainly one of the strongest tracks on the album, with fantastic jazz riffing and chaotic drumming occasionally interrupted by hard stops that will test the strength of your subwoofer. It’s the band’s most technically challenging song on the album, and along with “Internal_Eternal” is the one I find myself revisiting most often to get a handle on the intricacies. The DR11 rating should lend itself to this endeavor but the organic production does not, instead giving the songs a claustrophobic feel which is most noticeable through headphones. A more expansive mix/master would have benefited this recording.

The Veil of Control is another really good release from a band that has become synonymous with quality instrumental prog. The lack of spaciousness in the production (Hufnagel plays the entire album with a twelve-string guitar, but that fact can be lost on us) and that a few of the songs are merely very good versus great keep this album from reaching the higher echelons of the Four out of Five review grade tier. The Veil of Control is still a very worthy release, both in Dysrhythmia’s catalog and for prog metal fans in general, and deserves our attention.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 11 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Profound Lore Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: September 23rd, 2016

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  • Satthia

    There should be a petition for Marston to remaster every metal album.

    • I wish more artists would pay attention to what guys like Marston, Swano and now Lowndes are doing. They would produce much sounding records all around.

      • “much sounding”

        • Corrected. Thanks.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Dysrhythmia should just rename themselves “Discount Noodles”, because I am pretty sure they are yet to release something better or worse than a 3.5.

    • brklyner

      Still much tastier than your average 99 cents prog ramen.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Nobody has more noodles than Beneath The Massacre.

  • Reese Burns

    Aside from that one Psalm Zero record, Profound Lore has been on a serious fucking role these past two years, Atlas Moth, Bell Witch (even though it wasn’t received very well here), Cruciamentum, Cobalt and now this. Makes me proud to be Canadian.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      They’ve released one of my favorite records this year by SubRosa.

      And freaking Vhol, mate, which was my ROTM last year.

      Also Abyssal, Leviathan, Lord Mantis, Artificial Brain and the list goes on.

      • Reese Burns

        Artificial Brain (whose last album sounds great on vinyl), Vhöl, Pallbearer, Occultation, Portal, AMSG, Old Man Gloom, a metric shit ton of great material.

      • Reese Burns

        Also, I’ve never listened to SubRosa, any place in particular that’s a good starting point?

      • Feytalist

        The SubRosa album is indeed killer. I wonder if it’s going to be reviewed on here?

        Nudge nudge wink.

        • André Snyde Lopes

          I told Druhm to listen to it but he’s a noobsaurus and probably forgot about it…

          • I’m a busy man, Lopes!

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Busy poking the new writers with sticks?

          • That does take up a goodly portion of my precious time, yes.

          • [not a Dr]

            Doesn’t the noob part cancel the saurus part? Or can one become an extremely experienced n00b?

        • Bendy

          That Subrosa album really -is- awesome.

          Also, if you have a chance to see them live, do it. They’re currently touring Europe. Had the pleasure last weekend (together with Sinistro, who are equally great) and had a blast.

      • El_Cuervo

        I dunno man. I’ve tried to get into it but I way prefer Landless or Dreadnought for female-fronted doom.

        • Demon Lung! Seriously, “A Dracula” is awesome

        • El_C, I love ya, but that SubRosa record -is- indeed really awesome as Bendy said.

        • André Snyde Lopes

          Landless is actually palatable but the new SubRosa kicks its ass with a violin bow.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Well, they have a really original sound, I guess. I’ll give ’em that.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Gorguts is still 100% fully Canadian. Canadian is not as much a nationality as an attitude. Canadian is not where you come from, but where you are. Says some Venezuelan guy who went to Canada for 6 months and stayed 4 years.

  • Bart the Repairman

    Oh yes, I adore King Crimson. A week ago I had an opportunity to see them live and it was impossible to describe. People on the audience shook their heads in disbelief, while watching three (THREE!) drummers exchanging mindblowing patterns and fills. And that Gavin Harrison’s solo in „(…) Schizoid Man”, sweet Jesus! I can die in peace now.
    I also adore musicians who have the courage to draw from that source of ultimate awesomness and make something interesting with those influences (like S. Wilson in „Grace for Drowning”). However, I don’t hear as much Crimson here. It’s more like a half-way point between Scale the Summit and Gorguts, which is by no means a bad thing. I could listen to such instrumental mixed-by-Marston, tapping-driven wankery 24/7. His engineering talent is a real gem.