DYSRIDER

Melodic Death Metal • Switzerland
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Dysrider is a Swiss symphonic death metal band, formed in 2007 under the name Trophallaxy. After releasing two full length albums, the band parted ways with guitarist Yannick Rey, due to musical differences, and continued on under their new name. While they were originally a power metal band with elements of various other genres, in their current form they play a fresh brand of melodic death metal with symphonic elements.

In February 2015 the band released their first album under the name Dysrider, titled Bury the Omen. This release features an increased use of harsh vocals from keyboardist Jonathan Pellet, to go along with the usual lead vocals from Joëlle "Jo" Graz, who also plays the cello.

Along with the two vocalists, their lineup also features fellow Trophallaxy member Théophile Schupbach (Drums), along with new members Damien Gautier (Bass) Darryl Ducret (Guitars).

- Biography by DippoMagoo, March 2015

Thanks to DippoMagoo for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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DYSRIDER Bury the Omen album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Bury the Omen
Melodic Death Metal 2015

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DYSRIDER Bury the Omen

Album · 2015 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Bury the Omen (2015) is the debut full-length album by Swiss metal act Dysrider. Or it could also be the third full-length album by the band formerly known as Trophallaxy, depending on your point of view. It may as well be the former though despite Dysrider being a direct continuation of Trophallaxy (with some line-up changes), as the group have also shifted the main focus of their music from power metal to death metal. This came about after Trophallaxy parted ways with guitarist Yannick Rey. Rey wasn't the main writer for Trophallaxy but perhaps his contributions held more weight with how the band sounded than writing credits really show.

But have they really changed as a band? Well I'd say the answer to that is actually both yes and no. Bury the Omen is certainly more of a death metal record than the last album released as Trophallaxy, Resilience (2013), but it doesn't fully depart from the previous incarnation's sound either. Really all they've done is switch up the elements that made their sound. Resilience was a progressive power metal album with symphonic elements and a melodic death metal edge mostly thanks to the very strong growled vocals by Jonathan Pellet (also keyboardist) and Bury the Omen is a symphonic melodic death metal record with both progressive and power metal elements. While growling vocals played a supporting role for Trophallaxy, they now take a more prominent role in Dysrider's sound, although by no means has female vocalist Joëlle Graz (also cellist) been shunted aside. The split between the two vocalists is more or less even now, to my ears at least, with the odd song where one or the other dominates. The two voices go well together. Jonathan is a strong death metal vocalist and handles the increased vocal time well. As a death metal record there may actually be a few too many clean vocals on Bury the Omen for the death metal fan palette though, but as a fan of Trophallaxy's last album I'm personally glad that the band haven't wiped the slate completely clean with this album and I certainly have no criticisms regarding Joëlle's singing. The contrast between the deep growls and clean female singing may seem an old formula to some but Dysrider is just the latest to prove its validity as far as I'm concerned.

The guitar riffs on the album feature a similar high speed assault to that of Resilience's more power metal orientated approach, but they're rawer and more aggressively delivered, sometimes even being quite thrashy, such as in the last track Embers Reflection (which also happens to be one of the best). The keyboards add a grandiose backdrop to the music, a contrast that works well, in a similar manner to the vocal approach. The key instrument on the record though is easily the cello, which I'm glad was carried over from the Trophallaxy days. It really adds a whole other dimension to the symphonic death metal sound that other artists playing the style don't have. With more and more symphonic death metal acts showing up on radar now having that extra special something is important. The progressive elements of Resilience don't crop up quite so much on Bury the Omen, but do still make an appearance every now and then to stir things up. It's fair to say I think that Bury the Omen isn't technically as adventurous than Resilience was overall but the band succeeds in their change of direction and have made a strong symphonic death metal record.

Personally speaking though I still prefer Resilience as an album; it's actually one of my favourite records from 2013 and one that I'm still regularly going back to two years after its release. It would have been a tough act to follow even if Dysrider had carried on as Trophallaxy. It's a true standout release of the power metal genre. I have to be honest, as a follow-up, Bury the Omen does fall short but it's unfair to compare a release like Bury the Omen to a release like Resilience. They may have similarities but overall are just a bit too different to compare. Resilience probably wouldn't have even crossed my mind if Bury the Omen was by anyone else. Therefore my rating is done from the perspective that this is a debut album by a new band on the scene and I wouldn't hesitate to award 4.5 stars in that situation. I really like this album in other words, but I'm also not fully convinced that changing direction was entirely the right thing to do for this particular band.

DYSRIDER Bury the Omen

Album · 2015 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
DippoMagoo
I've listened to a lot of great symphonic power metal albums over the last few years, especially those with female vocals. One such release that stood out from the pack as one of the better releases was Resilience, the sophomore release from Swiss band Trophallaxy. I was especially impressed by the unique sounding keys, which occasionally gave the music a gothic feel, along with the use of the cello as the main symphonic instrument, which helped give the music a fresh feeling. Shortly after Resilience was released, the band went through some lineup changes, and around this time they decided to change their name to Dysrider, and to incorporate more death metal elements on their next release. That release has now arrived, in the form of Bury the Omen, and it certainly does not disappoint.

Stylistically, Bury the Omen is not as big a departure from their previous work as I was initially expecting it to be. It's certainly a heavier, more powerful album, and the guitar work is at times quite thrashy, but the core elements of their sound remain fully intact: Female vocalist Joëlle Graz still provides the bulk of the symphonic elements with her excellent cello playing, while male vocalist Jonathan Pellet still provides the ambience with his ever impressive keyboards. If anything both of these instruments are even more prominent than before. While the album can mostly be described as symphonic melodic death metal with occasional prog leanings, traces of their power metal sound are also present on many tracks, with most songs being very fast paced and containing some very epic clean vocal sections and choruses.

Perhaps the biggest change comes from the vocals. On previous releases Joëlle stood alone as the clear lead vocalist, with Jonathan providing occasional growls, while Bury the Omen features more of a 50/50 split between the two. This works very well as Joëlle has a very clear tone, a super smooth delivery, and the ability to easily switch between operatic vocals, light clean vocals and even occasionally some very nice sounding whispers, while Jonathan's growls are very deep and powerful without ever being irritating in the least. I've found myself struggling with harsh vocals lately, often dreading their appearance on any given album, but Jonathan does such a great job that I always enjoy every part where he takes the lead, just as much as I enjoy the sections where Joëlle leads.

The album begins with an excellent intro track titled "Emergence". At first all you can hear are the keys and the cello, but eventually the rest of the instruments enter in, and then the track begins to slowly build up intensity over the course of 80 seconds, before exploding into the start of "Against Your Hold", which begins with an epic drawn out scream from Jonathan, and some intense thrash riffs, before the cello slows up to calm things down just a bit. The rest of the track seamlessly alternates between symphonic power metal and melodic death metal, and serves as an excellent showcase for the band's overall sound and especially for the two vocalists, who are both given an equal amount of time to shine. Most of the album follows a similar formula, with one vocalist leading the verses and the other taking over for the chorus, and then occasionally whoever isn't leading will provide backing vocals, while musically most tracks are very fast paced and feature some awesome guitar work, to go along with the always present atmospheric keys and the wonderful sound of the cello.

Out of the more typical songs, "Against Your Hold", the title track and "The Reckoning" are my favorites, though there aren't any less than great songs on the album. Both longer tracks are awesome, with "Time of Decay" featuring an extended opening where the keys lend a very strong gothic feel, before the intensity picks up in the later parts, while the closer "Embers Reflection" also starts off a bit slow but in a much more calming way, before speeding up and turning into the kind of epic symphonic power metal track the band excels at.

After a series of rather similar tracks, the band decides to change the formula up for three songs in a row, starting with "Story of Power". This track is by far the heaviest on the album, with Jonathan taking the lead throughout the entire track, while Joëlle provides some nice harmonies during the chorus. Usually I wouldn't like this kind of switch up, but because of how good Jonathan is and because of how great all the instruments sound, I actually find it to be one of the best on the album. The following track "Blind Avengers" is a very nice power ballad and mostly features clean vocals, before the track speeds up and the growls show up during a brief but very explosive section towards the end. The last surprise is the instrumental track "Bliss in Darkness", where everyone in the band is given a chance to shine.

I was initially nervous when I heard the band was switching gears, as I absolutely loved Resilience and feared a change in sound could be a mistake, but thankfully I've been proven wrong, as Bury the Omen is a fantastic symphonic melodic death metal album, which shows the band breaking new ground, while still leaving in traces of their power metal roots. At least so far, Dysrider is every bit as awesome as Trophallaxy was, so hopefully they can release plenty more great albums in the future.

Edit: Upgraded to 5 stars. Now that I've heard it with proper headphones, this album is absolutely insane.

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