Introducing… Technical Tuesday!
At my place of employment I enjoy the distinctly awesome opportunity of being able to listen to music of my choice while working. This of course allows me to listen to a lot of metal. The weather outside very much influences my choice in music – once old man winter leaves for the year, Immortal’s At the Heart of Winter doesn’t see rotation again until the first snow.
If the season can influence my music choice, why not the day? Hence, Technical Tuesday, a new weekly column where I will be giving very short summaries on each album I listened to, and picking a weekly winner. Let’s begin….
Spawn of Possession – Cabinet
I was recently assigned a new project on cabinets, which, combined with how AMAZING Spawn of Possession’s new album Incurso is, will lead to me spinning this chunky tech death genre leader quite a lot in the future.
Xenocide – Galactic Oppression
I listened to “Death from Orbit” and the title track over and over again on YouTube before realizing I could buy Galactic Oppression from the band’s website. Crushing technical cosmic death metal excellence, for fans of the thicker and chunkier moments of Obscura.
Desecravity – Implicit Obedience
I just reviewed this album in longer form, and it is an absolute savage masterpiece that compiles all the best moments of Cryptopsy, while adding its own razorblade twist. Not to be missed – a perfect 10/10.
Appalling Spawn – All Spawns
This album is a recently released compilation of the demo Bestial, Mystical, and Spiritual (First Spawn) and full length Freedom, Hope, and Fury (The Second Spawn) of the band that would later become Lykathea Aflame. It sounds very similar to Lykathea (extremely technical brutal death metal), but lacks the ethereal/celestial airy parts that made Elvenfris such a cult classic.
Augury – Fragmentary Evidence
Augury – Concealed
Augury’s work fills a similar airy, ethereal, floaty, progressive tech death vibe (you can see a trend developing here for this Tuesday). I especially enjoyed the operatic female vocals from Concealed, but also the concreteness achieved later on Fragmentary Evidence. Highly recommended.
Decrepit Birth – Diminishing Between Worlds
A technical death masterpiece. The title track is absolutely soaring; the album’s careening solos remind me of leaning over a cliff, and then leaping forward and ripping through space and times. Unforgettable. A perfect balance between the brutal technical death of their first album …And Time Begins, and the slightly too restrained latest release Polarity.
Atheist – Jupiter
I have always been a huge fan of 90s prog death legends Atheist, and sat up at night waiting for the release of a new album when I heard about their comeback. Many older fans attack Jupiter, but it again shows that Atheist are leaders, not followers, as they bring back their signature progressive death, while appropriating some absolutely absurdly heavy riffs in an album that never fails to impress.
Obscura – Cosmogenesis
Obscura’s later two released (Cosmogenesis and Omnivium) remind me a lot of Atheist, but if they had started in 2008, as opposed to being one of the original pioneers. A great album nonetheless with some very spacey parts, rubbery bass, and the absolute crushing and blazing technicality of the title track.
Illogicist – The Unconsciousness of Living
I bought this album completely on a whim because it seemed like the most likely candidate for a technical death metal review for the week. I was kind of confused and unsure after listens one and two, but on the third spin I had an absolute epiphany and realized how amazing this album is. Imagine late era Death combined with Revocation, and throw in a few more shakes of awesome. I don’t listen to this album nearly enough (I have only listened to 103 track totalling 527 minutes in the last six months), and I didn’t rank it nearly high enough in my end of year poll for 2011 (it was only number five).
Beyond Creation – The Aura
Talk about that bass! I can’t get enough of rubbery bass in progressive technical death metal, and these guys know how to play. I really like how they can tech out, but have the sense to slow it down and get some of that jazz in there (see instrumental “Elevation Path.”)
Alright, so those are the competitors. This week has some steep competition, especially with that Illogicist album, but sometimes the oldies are the goodies. For the inaugural Technical Tuesday, my champion is ….
Atheist’s Jupiter! If any old deathheads from the 80s try to tell you that Atheist lost it…well, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but sometimes people are just wrong. Atheist’s latest is a megalithic space monster that is crushing, technical, progressive, surprising, and, most of all, memorable. Jupiter has interesting, insightful lyrics and stand out performances by every band member. If I didn’t have a policy about trying to review recent albums I would go back and give this a 10/10. Then again, we do have a Technical Classics category…