SUSPENDED FROM THE COSMIC ALTAAR (2015)
USA, Manicidic Records, Technical Death Metal
New Jersey’s space-traveling duo (Justin Buell: all instruments; Pete Colucci; vocals) behind Apocarophex transmitted a two-track EP in 2014, Wheels Within Wheels, which set a high standard of virtuoso death metal destruction paired with incredibly unique bellows. And does Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar deliver to techheads eagerly awaiting the full-length?
Yes. Very much yes. Suspended may be the debut of the year. Entrenched in a fuzzy, earthy tone (with a suitably high bass production), Apocrophex stand out from the production line bands that insist on clinical coldness. The duo excel in an area that most groups in the field have never heard of: moderation. Rather than trying to outcalculate Stephen Hawking, Apocrophex focuses on organic riffing, supported by airy sections that allow listeners to gather and recollect (i.e. “Being Dissolved.”) Such moments allow appreciation of the complexity of the music and the underlying melody within it… as opposed to the tactic of flattening the audience with a forgettable, endless stream of notes.
Closer “Exposed Organics” proves a fitting description of the album; unlike a cyborg wearing organic skin atop machine parts, Apocrophex wears machine parts atop an inner working of organic elements, elevating complex songs to catchy memorability. For fans of the sub-subgenre, Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar is a debut that should not be missed.
A self-titled album anytime after the debut is a bold move, declaring an identity, decrying a specific sound for a group. Doing as much six albums in says something, and a big something, like “Yeah, YEAH, this is what we sound like.” Such may lead an intrepid metalhead to wonder, “What then is said on Psycroptic?”
In a major step up from 2012’s The Inherited Repression, the self-titled record places Psycroptic comfortable at the top of their slicing rage. Perhaps more importantly, it showcases their ability to seemlessly integrate enough pace variety and influences from outside the subgenre to keep the songs interesting.
Techdeath, as style, hasn’t been new for a long time, so it takes something to stand out from the crowd (and we know it is plentiful). Riff salads, fretboard division, calculator crunching, it can all get a bit monotonous… Yet 16 years in the Tasmanian riff tyrants find a way to craft something unique by mixing in thrash, progressive, melodic flourishes, and local flavor amongst flurries of notes and a drum hurricane. Revel in awe on “Curse of Immortality,” an early contender for song of the year. This late-album triumph is a testament to what masters of the genre can accomplish when they take creative liberty.
A complex release, Psycroptic may not click immediately; but it will reward fans of the genre who appreciate the subtleties that separate the top tier from the xerox reproductions. Bold and unflinchingly individual, yet rooted in the subgenre, Psycroptic is why modern technical death metal is worth your time.
United States, Experimental Death Metal, Relapse Records
In the field of music covered by TDM there exists a select few bands that create genuinely disturbing music. Descendants from the likes of Demilich and Gorguts, modern groups such as Gigan, Ulcerate, and Portal cause listeners to feel sincerely uncomfortable. By mixing metal, grind, technicality, doom, noisy metallic hardcore, and general all around weirdness, Pyrrhon’s second full-length The Mother of Virtues takes strange a step further – to stark raving madness.
2011’s An Excellent Servant but a Terrible Master stood out from even unorthodox death metal due to an amalgamation of surging old death/doom, mathcore, and creepiness. The Mother of Virtues furthers this style with more unhinging song mechanics and structures. In the twisted world of Pyrrhon, walls seethe and breathe, while spiders with needles for legs traverse them. This gives birth birth to songs like “Balkanized,” which transmits strangeness incommunicable in conventional description. While many utilize Lovecraftian lore, Pyrrhon incarnates into auditory form his indescribable slices of surreality. Continue reading Review: Pyrrhon – The Mother of Virtues→
This is extremely addictive piece of music. I can listen to “The Beast of Left and Right” over and over again. The amount of tempo changes and guitar work is astounding. Progressive yet melodic. In vain of Ron Jarzombek solo albums… elegant and fun musical Art! Go listen and buy their album!
PROFANITY was founded in 1993. After two demos the first album ‘Shadows to fall’ was recorded and released in 1997. In 1999 the band were signed by the German indie label Cudgel Agency and released both ‘Drowned in dusk’ a 7″ split with Lividity (US), and their second album ‘Slaughtering thougts’. In 2002 PROFANITY recorded the next 7″ called ‘Humade me flesh’ and in the same year the band supported Cryptopsy on their europen tour. PPROFANITY is an underground band that enjoys sharing the spirit of the underground with other bands and friends around the world. Over the years, the band has played a lot of shows and festivals like FTC, PartySan, MOD, Obsene Extreme, Maryland Deathfest and many more. / Source: official website