Sound: Instrumental band Dysrhythmia combines elements of jazz, metal, and a progressive sound to forge the sound of the album Pretest. This 2003 album would be their first released on Relapse Records. Drummer Jeff Eber, guitarist Kevin Hufnagel, and then bassist Clayton Ingerson have no need for vocals on this effort. Instead, they use their instruments as their voices, taking turns speaking with their actions, not their words. The quality of the CD is very good. The balance of drums, guitar, and bass are mixed very well. // 9
Lyrics: 01. Bastard: the first song on the album. An opener can make or break an album, and while this song definitely does not break the album. This song is a medium tempo, and seems more like the band warming up for the rest of the album. This would be a good song to check out if you were not familiar with the band.
02. My Relationship: My Relationship is the best song on the album. Even though it is the shortest song on this CD, it is energy driven and grooves from start to finish. My Relationship is probably Dysrhythmia's most popular song, and the instruments all share a good balance in the mix.
03. And Just Go: And Just Go shows the experimental side of Dysrhythmia. The majority of the song has no distortion, but the song builds up to a heavy section, and it builds down at the end as well. The soft part at the beginning somewhat reminds me of the verse to "Forsaken" by Dream Theater or about a minute into "Swim to the Moon" by Between the Buried and Me, although others would probably disagree.
04. Heat Sink: the guitar creates a distorted riff that almost makes you want to skip to the next song. About halfway through, Kevin Hufnagel finally decides to change into more of a cleaner solo. Drummer Jeff Eber takes advantage of the moment to spice his drumming up with some fills and some more technical beats.
05. Running Shoe Of Justice: this song is a prime example of the band members talking with their instruments. Everyone gets their turn to say something. This would be another song to look up.
06. Annihilation II: this song is basically a filler. Nothing really happens, but it kind of builds up in the middle. This song is more of an intermission, when you would take a break from listening to the CD.
07. Annihilation I: on this song, the album picks up the pace again. This is also one of the heavier tracks on the record. There are some stop and go segments, and the only spoken words on the album.
08. Catalog of Personal Faults: starts out with a VERY heavy guitar riff. This song is another jam session, and it shows some more of the progressive element in their playing style.
09. Touch Benediction: I can't find the reason this "song" is on the album. It is very experimental and "out there." Clocking in at almost 12 minutes, it is the longest track on the record, but my least favorite. The drums are very repetitive, and the guitar doesn't do much other than play a single note here and there. // 8
Overall Impression: Dysrhythmia's Pretest album is overall a good effort by the band. I like it because it's by an instrumental band, which is different for me, and the musicians seem to have a good idea of what they want to do on the record, even if I don't agree with them (i.e. Annihilation II and Touch Benediction). My Relationship, Bastard, and Running Shoe of Justice would be songs I would recommend the most. I am fine that the CD has only 9 songs, because I buy Dream Theater and Opeth CDs with 7 or 8 songs. What I do not like about it though is that a band trying to make a name for themselves would put filler songs on the album. Overall, this is a fine CD that I would recommend to my friends. // 8