Posts Tagged ‘Technical Death Metal’

Chaos Motion - Psychological Spasms Cacophony

The twisting carnage of French death metal scientists Chaos Motion’s newest record ‘Psychological Spasms Cacophony’ must, frankly, be written by some kind of laboratory born mutant. That is the only way to explain how the genre is pulled in the strangest of directions by this band. It is out now through Transcending Obscurity.

The jerky, spasming ‘Intro’ will immediately let you know that something is afoot here. ‘The Sound of Specter’ ramps up the Gorguts and Atheist influences, but with a lot of added weirdness. This is an album that truly lives up to its title, with random jerking riffing interspersing the almost mathcore rage that infests ‘Perturbation of a Spin’. I’ve never heard anything that resembles this before, and throughout the forty minute runtime that feeling becomes more and more apparent. Just when you think you’re going to have a bit of a headbang it stops on a dime, spins and careers off in another direction.

The brain melting ‘Vital Vision Void’ sits astride the middle of this record, and its maddening structure is possibly the ideal summation of everything this record brings. There are times when I’m not even sure it still counts as death metal; where the abstraction of sound takes precedence over what we would think of as ‘typical’ death metal. ‘Inner Chaos’ is a great example of this. Don’t get me wrong though, when the heavy comes it is dense and devastating and a respite almost from the aural tyranny wrought upon us.

‘Psychological Spasms Cacophony’ is the logical conclusion of Psyopus, Meshuggah and Gorguts all fighting on a space station orbiting a black hole. An album that is not catchy, has no specifically memorable riffs or melodies but is yet utterly mesmerising. A staggering achievement, Chaos Motion have created something terrifyingly addictive with this; a genuinely unique sound.

https://www.facebook.com/chaosmotionband

https://chaosmotionband.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/transcendingobscurityrecords

Crs - The Collector of Truths

The return of Mexican death metallers Cirrosis after a twenty year silence, now styled as CRS, is hopefully a welcome one. A lot of bands that have been radio silence for decades are returning to the limelight in this current boom period for extremity and hopefully ‘The Collector of Truths’ is an album that will allow CRS to stay there, not just vanish again. It is out now through Concreto Records.

Immediately there are strong Fear Factory and Meshuggah influences apparent in the stop start, blastbeat powered opener ‘Asfixia’. It is nice to see particularly Fear Factory referenced in modern death metal, considering how superb their early output was. There is a fair amount of technical work going on here and some pretty sweet soloing as well, such as in the frantic ‘Kill My Name’. There’s a lot of Atheist in here too; some of the twisting melodies are awesome and ‘The Art of Breathing’ has a totally out of the blue mid section that I quite like. Some of the songs are a little paint-by-numbers, like ‘Resistencia’, but overall the band have got a good sound and aren’t afraid to slip in a few softer moments.

‘The Collector of Truths’ is a pretty solid return with a lot of nice ideas and some killer songs. It doesn’t grab me as much as some of the other death metal releases this year, but a bit more time with it might change my mind. An intriguing mix of melody and brutality, with some genuinely unexpected touches makes this a record you should at least hear once.

https://crsband.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/CirrosisBand

Vale of Pnath - Accursed

Technical death shredders Vale of Pnath are releasing their new EP, ‘Accursed’, through the iconic Willowtip Records, and even though it is an EP it still manages to cram 27 minutes of serious mind melting music into it. It is due to come out in May.

Like the valley of Lovecraftian horror they are named for, Vale of Pnath’s intro, ‘Shadow and Agony’ is suitably dark and horrifying. It leads directly into the maelstorm of ‘The Darkest Gate’, which couples the maddening technical death metal for which the band are known, with an undeniably miasmic black metal atmosphere. There is so much collaboration between black and death metal now that it is sometimes difficult to see where each genre splits, but Vale of Pnath manage to keep their riffing deathly and their atmospherics blackened. There’s moments in ‘Skin Turned Soil’ that bring to mind ‘Deathcult’-era Dimmu, while ‘Audient Void’ sounds like an echo chamber for the vale of Pnath itself.

The cascading death metal riffing of ‘Obsidian Realm’, that begins to drown in the blackened waters is a perfect example of why ‘Accursed’ is a record that is a joy to write about. The overall atmosphere is menacing, horrendous filth that seethes with untold terror, while the musicianship is equally jaw dropping. Vale of Pnath’s work is carved from molten rock, and burnished into an alien hue, both unknown and mesmerising.

https://willowtip.bandcamp.com/

https://valeofpnath.bandcamp.com/album/accursed

https://www.facebook.com/ValeOfPnathCO/

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Greek technical death metallers Cerebrum count George Kolias as a former member, so you know they must have done something right. Their new record, ‘Iridium’, is full of nods to legends of the technical death genre but with lashings of old school flavour and great songwriting. It is out 21st December through Transcending Obscurity.

The chugging, bending riffs of ‘Time Reversal’ open this record with some tasty, early 90s Floridian death metal goodness. The tone is scratchy and rough, but the death metal is surprisingly complex for such an old school sound. You’re getting stuff like early Atheist, where flashes of bass led progression hints at more beneath the ravaging thrust of the old school. ‘A Face Unknown’ also has a lot of that kind of early Cynic riffing, and you can feel that ‘Iridium’ is becoming something special very early. That style of progressive death from the early 90s isn’t always as much of an inspiration as it should be, and Cerebrum pay a special homage to it during the likes of the spiralling soloing of closer ‘Escape to Bliss’.

That serpentine flow of complexity through an old fashioned lens makes ‘Iridium; stand out against both old school death metal and tech death records this year, by using elements of both superbly and yet never overdoing either. Cerebrum are brutal, complex and yet weirdly melodic, creating memorable songs that also contort expectations and minds. Take ‘Absorbed in Greed’ as the best example of an album that doesn’t disappoint at any turn.

https://tometal.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CEREBRUMOFFICIAL

https://cerebrumgreece.bandcamp.com/

 

Gutted Souls - The Illusion of Freedom

Brazilian technical/brutal death metallers Gutted Souls have released their debut full length, ‘The Illusion of Freedom’, the follow up to 2012’s devastating ‘Unconscious Automaton’ EP. It came out last year, but I’ve just got my hands on a copy and man, is it a whirlwind of tech death brutality like you’ve never seen!

Opener ‘Being Human’ is dense as fuck, rampaging through some sickeningly heavy riffing but not shirking from some nice melodic work too. Gutted Souls have got a cool, Vader vibe in places, like the chugging ‘Snakes in Suits’ or the snarling, slavering ‘The Undying Stars’. Powering through a tight, technically impressive and guttural yet crisp collection of songs, Gutted Souls are full of good songwriting and rumbling intensity. There’s no sections that feel set up to impress guitar nerds, but the riffs are serpentine and everchanging in order to capture that perfect moment of destruction. ‘Psychopathic Ruler’ has one of the coolest solos in death metal today, and winding it round an absolute beast of a track helps it to stand out.

‘The Illusion of Freedom’ is a tight, solid and perfectly executed slab of brutal death that avoids the slam-and-squeal approach of many of their contemporaries in order to concentrate on a sense of weight and heft, despite being capable of fretboard fireworks at times. Gutted Souls are a band that deserve your time if you’re a fan of Vader, Cannibal Corpse or basically good death metal!

https://www.facebook.com/GuttedSouls/

https://guttedsouls.bandcamp.com/

Dominant - The Summoning

The debut EP of Norwegian death metal squad Dominant (somehow the ONLY band with that name on Encyclopedia Metallum) is a severe beating in aural form. ‘The Summoning’ is a five track EP of technical death metal brilliance, and it has been brought to us by Lacerated Enemy Records. Released at the start of the year, it has been worth scouring back through my emails to find this beauty.

This is a prime example of what death metal needs in 2018; technical riffing without relying overly on guitar wankery, brutality without boring riffing and a vocal performance that could scour concrete from the streets. The gruesome riffing is superb, and the power straining to be unleashed from the chugging ‘Servants of Damnation’ is palpable. The brutality of ‘Vultures of the Void’ is a thing of beauty, bringing to mind the classic title track to Suffocation’s ‘Blood Oath’ and as for the bone rattling ferocity of ‘Feast of Woe’, well you just need to turn it on and turn it up.

Dominant look to be a new force in death metal, bursting through the rotted soil of the underground into the harsh, burning light of day. Hopefully this is only an appetiser for the main course, and I shall look forward to their next material being released.

https://www.facebook.com/DominantNorway

https://laceratedenemyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dominant-the-summoning

Serocs - And When the Sky Was Opened

Mexican tech death squadron Serocs will unleash their newest maelstrom of devastation, ‘And When the Sky Was Opened’, through Comatose Records at the end of November, and what a staggeringly sublime piece of aural violence it is.

The swirling vortex of death metal that is opener ‘And So It Begins’ is a stunning way to kick off a record. It sets you up for one of the most neck snapping thirty six minutes of 2015. It is followed by ‘Solitude’, which has one of the finer death metal solos you’ll hear this year. The metal is fierce, rabid but also wonderfully produced. Each raging note and savage growl is crystal clear, allowing the intensity to shine through. Serocs have set themselves up to blow away any tech death album you’ll hear this year.

‘When the Ground Swallows Us…’ is something extra special though. An epic death metal odyssey that twists and turns between almost prog like territories and steamrolling Bolt Thrower worship, it is a vast stamp of individuality that looms over the rest of the band’s crushing assault. The title track has a similarly epic scale, with a bulldozer crush matched with dissonant rumblings. Each song brings the band’s songwriting credentials under scrutiny, and they pass every time. It’s difficult to create this kind of awe-inspiring tech death without running the risk of disappearing under guitar wankery.

Whether being left breathless and broken by ragers like ‘Itami’, or pummelled inexorably towards oblivion by the crushing death of ‘Them’, ‘And When the Sky Was Opened’ is highly recommened to rip your face off and shred the remains. A stunning cyclonic assault of wrath, riffs and brutality. My new favourite band do it harder than you.

https://www.facebook.com/serocsband

http://www.comatosemusic.com/

https://serocs.bandcamp.com/