Review: Rings of Saturn – Lugal En Ki

22 September 2014
Rigns of Saturn - Lugal En Ki

RINGS OF SATURN
LUGAL EN KI (2014)

United States, Unique Leader, Aliencore (Technical Deathcore)

Rings of Saturn seems to attract a variety of detractors for a variety of reasons. However, with Lugal En Ki the band’s enthusiasts and critics alike have a great deal to be impressed with, as the Californian space chroniclers have crafted a much more mature and cohesive release on this third full length.

The 12 tracks are essentially based on a simple dynamic – extreme weedly parts paired against thick, ultra heavy riffs. While seemingly predictable, the oracles of alien destruction augment this with elements of the avant-garde and airy, especially in the form of extra terrestrial noises. Also worth noting, Lugal En Ki details other worldly beings that conquer man and then wage war against angels and demons. Continue reading

The Top Tech in 2013

22 September 2014
top2013

The process by which TDM calculates annual lists involves numerous people, a points systems, and blind submissions. This takes a lot of time, wracks the nerves, and always results in extended discourse.

However, none of that happened this year, because everyone was busy with other stuff, so now you are stuck with only me, resulting in a best of 2013 list going to press in August. Of 2014. Sorry about that one.

“If it’s so late, why even bother?”

Let me share a short story that, along with some reader comments, rekindled my drive to complete this list. In recent weeks I saw a list that placed Deeds of Flesh in only the honorable mention. On a list of 40! I was livid. I raged. How could the writer miss that!?

In short, I hope this list inspires the same reaction. Or, gets some listeners to check out some new bands. Sorry if I left out your favorite, as I make no claim to having heard all the possible albums (even some of which are covered by other writers on this site, sorry guys)… and if I did, please let me know in the comments.

– Witness to the Void Continue reading

EP’s Mayhem: Asylum – Committed

3 September 2014
asylum-committed

ASYLUM
Committed (2014)

USA, Self-released, Technical Death / Black Metal

The Death metal genre in general, tends to be fragmentary by nature, with so many sub-sub genres entering into existence and then fading out as quickly as they arrived. Admittedly, death metal has transmogrified greatly during the past ten years with copious usage of online activities and the inevitable awareness of cross- pollination between sub-genres. Behemoth, for example melds the machine gun riffage of death metal with the mystic overtones and anti-sectarian rebellion of black metal. Thankfully, however, the level of musicianship in the metal community has arisen to virtuosic proportions. It should come to no surprise then black metal should find its darkness permeating in the techdeath genre. This is where Fort Worth metallers, Asylum contributes best. I have read previous reviews on their new e.p, “Committed” (available on Band Camp) calling their particular brand of death metal, blackened technical death metal. I would like to add my own sub-sub genre here and deem them “techblack”. Continue reading

EP’s Mayhem: Redeeming Torment – The Dominion

1 September 2014
Redeeming Torment - The Dominion

REDEEMING TORMENT
THE DOMINION (2013)

France, Independently released, Technical Death Metal

While France may not jump to mind immediately when the discussion veers towards countries famous for death metal, some of the nation’s contributions stand apart from the brutal masses as incredibly unique.

Hence, the debut EP from Redeeming Torment may be met with high expectations. At the time of posting, the torture troupe consists of only three members, and seeks a second guitarist/songwriter and drummer. However, this situation did not prevent the band from recording an extremely promising and technically proficient EP that stands as a harbinger of dark fortunes ahead. Continue reading

EP’s Mayhem: Bleak Flesh – The Gateway

1 September 2014
Bleak Flesh - The Gateway

BLEAK FLESH
THE GATEWAY (2013)

Chile, Independently released,
Progressive/Technical Death Metal

Metal has long had a fascination with space exploration and alien life. As Lovecraft delved into the maddening realization of otherworldly beings, so headbangers look to the stars in search of something more relevant than a world wherein we see rampant materialism and mindless conformity… and a glimpse of something more is exactly what Bleak Flesh has achieved on their first EP The Gateway.

The five cosmonauts travel to deep space through audio, thematic, and visual channels. A heavy emphasis on keyboards and technological sound effects transports listeners from the mundane rigors of modern life to the realm of cosmic fantasy. Amorphous, free-flowing song structures embody the celestial movement with jazz-like movement, especially in the bass guitar. Meanwhile, neo-classical elements, especially in the guitar leads, tether voyagers to humanity. In contrast, sharply precise drums maintain the heavy presence of advanced technology. All of these create a very unified vision of galactic exploration. The vocals narrate via a raspy growl typical of groups like Obscura, with a hint of melodeath or metalcore. Continue reading

Review: Septicflesh – Titan

1 August 2014
Septicflesh - Titan

SEPTICFLESH
TITAN (2014)

Greece, Season of Mist, Symphonic Death Metal

Symphonies in metal will no doubt inspire an uproar among the old guard, oftentimes rightfully so; cheesy keyboards and overblown quasi-epic passages got old decades ago. However, in the case of a select few bands, the addition of strings and horns (especially in the form of real musicians and not a Casio) serves not to detract from the deathly parts of a record, but instead to augment them. Such is the case of Titan, wherein Septicflesh utilizes a full orchestra to enhance the rhythmic ebb of the band’s doomy core, resulting in an atmospheric yet crushing entry into the necronomicon of death metal.

Titan shows that “atmospheric” needn’t inherently equal boring, poppy, pompous, or fluffy. Sudden bursts of precision drumming harken clearly to more technical outfits than melodic mass-appeal, and increase the overall level of headbanging, as well as complexity. Simultaneously, the bombast of the orchestra carries an oppressive yet memorable atmosphere. Septicflesh summons the full demonic might of a complete classical troupe to augment aggressive riffing, resulting in a visceral tapestry of malevolent music. Continue reading

Interview: Son Of Aurelius

27 June 2014

sonofaurelius-bandFrom strictly technical band into progressive monsters – here comes Son Of Aurelius! Their debut was great but the follower is one of the best prog death metal albums I’ve heard in a long time. They combine extraordinary maturity with complex, yet catchy compositions. Very warm and positive release and nice guys beside everything. I wasn’t wrong commenting their coming through as a “rising star”. Go and listen to the “Under A Western Sun”! Continue reading

EP’s Mayhem: Tranatopsy – The Illusionist

26 June 2014
Tranatopsy - The Illusionist

TRANATOPSY
THE ILLUSIONIST (2013)

Mexico, Cronophonia Records, Technical Death Metal

In the modern age of metal, listeners struggle not with finding new bands, but quite the opposite – discerning the quality releases among a sea of standard clones of copies. Especially difficult is the world of technical death metal, as, even though a million notes jammed into a single riff takes extreme dexterity, a great song it may not make.

The four-piece Tranatopsy understands the concept that a replica of a band that has been duplicated a dozen times is not what the music world needs again. Their debut EP The Illusionist showcases an upcoming band not just using ctrl+c, but instead synthesizing the old and the new to create impressive results. The five tracks bridge the gap between the old guard and the new school by combining dense technicality with ethereal sorcery, neoclassical nods, melodic moments, and bludgeoning brutality. The songwriting of yesteryear (remember actual songs?) is used particularly efficiently, but combined with enough dynamic bursts to be surprising. Of special note, the dive-bombing guitar leads marry None so Vile with Goremageddon. For further examples of the necessity of this EP in the collection of any deathfreaks out there, check out the face-stomping slowdown on “Revenge Through Impalement” or the two-part title track that begins with a slow, introspective melodic progression but techs out with professional authority. Continue reading

Interview: Sarpanitum

26 May 2014

fidelium promo med

From the ancient past, from the crumbled temples of ancient deities and forgotten cultures, emanates a wave of pulverizing brutal death metal. Heavy with the breath of yesteryear, the weight of Sarpanitum is upon us…. TDM caught up with guitarist/bassist Tom Hyde (T.H. in the interview) and vocalist/keyboardist Tom Innocenti (T.I.). Continue reading

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