rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Perverse Termination (Bulb of Force)
02. AquaGenesis
03. Monrovia, LR 1990
04. Vipers At The Pony Keg
05. Огромный Кальмар (Ross Bay Trawler)
06. Bug Sounds II (Megascolides Australis)
07. The Dover Demon
08. Rat Lung-Worm
09. Sacral Brain
10. The Ochopee Skunk Ape

After a brief pause for the festive season, death metal has swiftly pulled its shit together for 2024. The third DIPYGUS album is warped and murderous: a drugged-out, cryptid-obsessed onslaught of weirdly evolved, caveman brutality, with songs dedicated to an assortment of mythical mutants, and an overall aesthetic that finds a sweet spot between psychedelic bedlam and monstrous, methodical violence. It follows last year's "Wet Market" EP and looks certain to be the Californian miscreants' most high-profile release to date, at a time when there is much clamor for underground death metal squalor of all types. For those who like their extreme metal to be as bilious and fucked up as possible, "Dipygus" comes tailor-made.

You may wish to trace a thread from DIPYGUS, right back to the formative horrors of bands like AUTOPSY, IMPETIGO and MACABRE, but these lunatics have pushed the boundaries of insanity even further. With a bedrock of churning, lobotomized death metal, DIPYGUS pile on strange guitar tones and a faint hiss of discord, turning each song into a whirlpool of queasy riffs and abyssal growls (from the truly remarkable Clarisa Bermudez-Eredia),  with an exhilarating sense that anything, no matter how deranged, could happen along the way. "Perverse Termination (Bulb Of Force)" is a choking nightmare, full of lurching pentatonic mischief and nails-down-a-blackboard lead guitar wrongness. The bestial hallucinations of "Огромный Кальмар (Ross Bay Trawler)" draw the essence of marauding giant squid from some of the sickest and most willfully ugly riffing in recent memory. Seemingly coughed up from the rancid lungs of a rabid rodent, "Rat Lung-Worm" is a sub-two-minute tapestry of angularity and spite. Meanwhile, "Bug Sounds II" is one of the strangest and most nauseating interludes ever heard on a metal record. These people are not right in the head, thank goodness.

As all nightmares should, "Dipygus" reaches an apex of surreal terror on the languid sprawl of "Sacral Brain". Like the essence of AUTOPSY's "Mental Funeral" doom awakening taken to its most absurd, balls-tripping conclusion, it ebbs and flows for 11 minutes, consuming everything in its wake with riffs spewing forth at all unholy angles, and gossamer smears of synth that twinkle malevolently amid the carnage. DIPYGUS are happily heading into the kaleidoscopic shadows here, twisting their instinctive art into alien shapes and making most of their underground peers look a bit conservative. This is heavy, horrifying and resolutely weird as fuck.

Author: Dom Lawson
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