Toronto alt-metal duo Dichroma picked a bad year to introduce themselves to the world. Their debut EP One was recorded in 2019, mixed in January and dropped on April 3rd, when we still had naïve hopes that this global pandemic would blow over soon. Bandmates Aaron Dawe and Paul Christopher were probably expecting to wow audiences with an explosive live performance, but will have to wait another year before anyone takes notice.
The first track “Oxygen” starts off promising: we hear an industrial guitar loop, followed by pounding drums and the swell of a string ensemble with somber piano notes. Then comes the fuzz distortion and the sci-fi synths, but when the vocals finally came in, my heart sank. Not that they’re bad singers, but the vocal tracks were passed through so robotic sounding filters. Maybe that was the desired effect, but it sounded much too doctored for my liking. The string ensemble returns in the beginning of “This Empty Earth,” but soon fades away to make way for the dull melody. It has a familiar sound, but it’s not worth searching the deep recesses of my memory for a comparable artist I might have heard once on the radio.
The final track, “Cause And Consequence,” has a heavy opening riff you would hear building up at a hardcore show. But instead of going into a breakdown that would make you want to windmill-attack the nearest person near you, it switches to mellow section that sounds more like Tool than Knocked Loose, which makes me instead want to punch myself in the face with the goal of knocking myself out so I won’t have to listen anymore.
In their self-deprecated bio, Dichroma states that they have a modicum of talent. That may be true, but I don’t believe they’re putting that modicum to good use. I normally enjoy industrial music because it allows for innovation, but in this case, Dichroma is opting for the conventional. I can hear the potential, but I found this first offering incredibly boring.
Written by Chris Aitkens
*Edited by Dominic Abate