Dystopia Nà hails from Oslo, Norway. 'Dweller on the Threshold' is their second album, the follow-up to their 2011 debut 'Syklus'. While the previous album could mainly be described as atmospheric black metal, their new effort, Dystopia Nà shows a new, evolved, sound. Blending elements of black metal, doom/sludge, shoegaze, post-rock/metal and dark ambient, this quartet comes up with something refreshing.
There's five huge songs on this album, along with a number of instrumental breathers. In some aspect, the music reminds me of bands like The Black Heart Rebellion, AmenRa, The Ocean or Deafheaven, bringing highly atmospheric pieces of metal with an eerie feel. Opener 'Doppelgänger' immediately shows that approach by being a huge anthem with tons of influences, poured into a distinct own sound. 'Through Mirrors, Darkly' goes a bit more in the direction of sludge-metal.
Yet, my favorite track, is the blackened but epic 'Winding Stares Into Nothing', driving on fierce guitars and hammering blast-beats. As far as vocals are concerned, they balance perfectly on the line between sludge and black metal. Although Dystopia Nå often uses clean vocals as well, effectively adding the 'progressive' tag to their music. These clean vocals appear over some of the elaborate post-rock passages which are pretty awesome. Yet, here too, Dystopia Nå succeeds in covering the whole in this dark, pitch black layer of blackened soundscapes.
As I mentioned earlier, there are also a number of breathers. These short, instrumental pieces lace the songs together, creating some sort of concept. Most of them are short but can pretty much stand on their own as ambient tracks, or in some cases even leaning towards folk music. 'Cold is the Colour' diverts from that ambient approach by becoming a very decent post-doom song, if I may invent a genre. Shortly after, two more epic pieces of music fill the hour long masterpiece Dystopia Nå has created.
Because yes, if you can easily cross borders between all these genre and still come up with something interesting and highly-varied, you created a masterpiece in a certain genre. For Dystopia Nå that genre is post-black and they're becoming damn good at it. I'm already curious about what these guys come up with in the future, since musical evolution seems to be what drives them. But for now, it's time to witness this on stage. So let's hope they come over here soon...