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Nothing but Winter: Chilling Depths of Nguyen Duy Tri’s Acid Madness

nothing but winter nguyen duy tri • acid madness • 2023

In the desolate, snow-swept landscapes of “Acid Madness,” Vietnamese experimental guitarist Nguyen Duy Tri weaves a narrative of existential dread and introspective turmoil. Released in 2023, the album isn’t merely a collection of songs; it’s a chilling descent into the artist’s psyche, a sonic manifestation of anxieties and disillusionment that resonate with chilling familiarity in our fractured world.

Haunting Echoes of Winter

The album opens with the title track, a glacial expanse of distorted guitars and echoing vocals that evoke the stark isolation of a frozen wasteland. Tri’s playing is both precise and visceral, each note dripping with a melancholic intensity that sets the tone for the journey ahead. “Monochrome Dreams” follows, its ethereal melodies punctuated by sudden bursts of feedback, mirroring the unsettling beauty of a fragmented dreamscape. The sense of winter lingers throughout, not just as a physical setting, but as a metaphor for the emotional numbness and despair that permeate the record.

The “Acid” Within

As the album progresses, the “acid” in the title begins to reveal its corrosive presence. Tracks like “Corrosion” and “Rust Devours” employ harsh noise textures and industrial rhythms, representing the destructive forces gnawing at both the individual and the societal fabric. Lyrics like “The world is burning, and I’m just ash” in “Pyre of Discontent” speak to a pervasive sense of disillusionment with the contemporary world, while “Viral Dissonance” evokes the cacophony of conflicting narratives and information overload that plague our digital age.

Fragments of Light in the Darkness

Yet, amidst the desolation, flickers of hope and resilience emerge. “Celestial Whispers” offers a moment of ethereal respite, its swirling guitars and atmospheric synths hinting at a yearning for transcendence. In “Echoes of Spring,” a fragile piano melody pierces the icy soundscape, suggesting the possibility of renewal, even in the harshest of winters. These glimmers of light are fleeting, but they serve as crucial reminders of the human capacity for resilience and the enduring beauty that can exist even in the face of darkness.

Beyond Personal Demons: A Societal Tapestry

While “Acid Madness” delves deeply into the artist’s internal struggles, it also extends its gaze outward, offering a scathing critique of contemporary society. Tracks like “Dehumanized Algorithms” and “Caged in the Machine” rail against the dehumanizing forces of technology and consumerism, while “Ghost Town of Utopia” paints a bleak picture of a disillusioned generation chasing unattainable ideals. Tri’s music transcends the realm of personal expression, becoming a poignant commentary on the anxieties and discontents of our times.

Sonic Experimentation

“Acid Madness” is not merely a thematic journey; it’s also a sonic adventure. Tri’s mastery of the electric guitar is evident throughout, as he conjures up a kaleidoscope of distorted textures, shimmering feedback, and atmospheric soundscapes. His use of non-traditional instruments like the zither and the jaw harp adds further depth and texture to the music, creating a truly unique and immersive listening experience.


Nguyen Duy Tri’s “Acid Madness” is not an album for the faint of heart. It’s a challenging, demanding listen, but one that rewards repeated immersion. Its icy beauty and searing honesty provide a powerful reflection on the darkness within and the uncertainties of the world around us. Ultimately, “Acid Madness” is not just a collection of songs; it’s a testament to the enduring power of art to confront our demons, illuminate our anxieties, and remind us of the flickering embers of hope that keep us burning even in the coldest of winters.


The title can be interpreted in multiple ways. It could refer to the corrosive effects of personal demons and societal ills, or it could allude to the psychedelic and experimental nature of the music itself.

Tri’s music draws inspiration from a wide range of genres, including experimental rock, noise, shoegaze, and traditional Vietnamese music.

No, “Acid Madness” is Tri’s fourth studio album. He has also released several EPs and collaborated with other artists.

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