Interviews About Albums: Dystopia A.D. - Doomsday Psalm (2022)

In this new interview, we sat down with the American Progressive Death Metal band Dystopia A.D. to ask some questions about their new album "Doomsday Psalm"

1. What can you say about this new EP/CD?

CW: While Doomsday Psalm is unmistakably a death metal record, it represents a lot of elements from various subgenres that make metal exciting and great. Aki and I are both huge fans of old-school thrash, traditional/power metal, and progressive rock. Those influences are on display throughout the album, and the result is a super diverse 40-minute journey for the listener. There are blackened assaults, majestic MENA scale guitar solos, and ambient soundscapes organically woven into tech-death riffage and extreme battery work. The vocals are largely rooted in death metal growls, but also feature foaming-at-the-mouth snarls, hardcore screams, and the occasional clean approach.

AS: Agree with Chris. We cover a ton of ground in Doomsday. I think Chris is constantly pushing boundaries and I appreciated the challenge of fitting leads into a very chaotic, but thoughtful and brilliant canvas. Any metal fan will get something out of it. I had a blast with this album.

2. What is the meaning of the EP/CD name?

CW: The messaging behind Doomsday Psalm is varied. Key themes include the challenges of late-stage capitalism, our tendency to obsess over minutia instead of larger issues that threaten our existence, and survival/perseverance in the face of insurmountable adversity.

3. Which one is the composer of the CD/EP?

CW: It's a partnership. I do a lot of the heavy lifting with respect to defining song structure, but Aki's songwriting sensibilities and fantastic guitar work really tie the album together. Our producer, Charlie Munro, was also super influential during the songwriting process.

AS: Chris is definitely the mastermind. He'll send me the demo tracks and I'll think: "This kicks ass, what am I even supposed to add here?" It really comes together great at the end and Charlie did an awesome job with the production.

4. If you had to pick one song, which one would you pick?

CW: I'm partial to Fields of Carrion. It's essentially a blackened power metal song with a big, chunky breakdown and a folky interlude in the middle. Everything that I love about metal is illustrated on the track - there are range vocals, moshable riffs, and really terrific leads scattered throughout the song.

AS: Chris beat me to it! Fields of Carrion is my favorite as well. This track is an updated version of an older Dystopia song on the first album. I actually did not play on that particular track and was excited to take a crack at it this time around. Anything that takes you from serpent black metal vocals to a power chorus and then into a mosh pit makes for good times.

5. Is there a special message in this EP/CD? If there is what it is?

CW: No, I don't think so. We don't want to be overly preachy. Our songwriting, lyrics, and performances are delivered with intent and meaning, but ultimately it's really about creating kickass metal and hopefully achieving a somewhat unique sound that stands out in what is already a very diverse and talented scene.

AS: I feel the message is the same for all good metal: Embrace the darkness and persevere.

6. Are there some lyrics that you'd love to share?

CW: The chorus of Terminal Lucidity describes the struggle between bullshit and things that really matter, like my family and making music that excites me. Savor your final breath As a life unseen Reveals itself to you These are the remnants of Your existence The taste of regret

7. Which inspirations have been important for this album? Like musically or friends, family, someone you'd love to thank especially?

CW: In terms of bands, it's probably Sepultura, Death, Bloodbath, and Blind Guardian. There are probably a thousand other bands that I'm failing to mention. 

AS: I recorded my parts to the last album while on deployment in Afghanistan - so much of what you hear in that stemmed directly from war and was almost exclusively MENA scales. This time around, I was in the US during COVID. I kept some MENA flavor but definitely added in more harmonic minor. I had Death and Blind Guardian in mind for much of it.

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