I remember the first time I heard this album, back around 1994. I bought this on CD along with stuff like Deviated Instinct and Doom. I listened to those a few times, but the Dystopia disc stayed in my player for a long, long time. There was nothing else like them. Towards the end of the decade, there were some bands that did try to bite their style, and it was pretty apparent these interlopers were cheesy as hell and quickly forgotten. For me, Dystopia is one of the best bands from the 1990s, and one I can still listen to and be blown away. Musically, they were a perfect mix of metal and hardcore punk with all the offshoots—like death metal, crust, grind, and sludge—thrown in for flavoring. The guitar sounds evil, the percussion is tight and forceful, and the bass has this sinister lurking way about it. The part of “Stress Builds Character,” when the music kicks in never gets old. So f’n good it’s unreal! The whole album is solid as hell. There’s never a moment where it gets dull or repetitive. They keep the tempos varied, such as the instrumental “The Middle” and some songs that are largely sound collages, like “Sanctity,” “Love//Hate,” or the lumbering “Ignorance of Pride” to offset the sonic pummeling of songs like “Ruptured Silence” and “Hands That Mold.” This edition is true to the CD version, as it has the five songs from the original vinyl pressing, along with their material from their splits with Embittered and Grief. All pressed on two clear sheets of vinyl to be played at 45 rpm. I’m reluctant to call most records classic, but this truly is. I would like to think that over time people, if they haven’t already, will come to see this is as a pretty important piece in the history of underground music. Original, groundbreaking, and all that.