Today began dreary and overcast, the perfect weather for seriously misanthropic music. Not one to miss out on this, I spun some Anaal Nathrakh and Mistress, who, although not very technical, definitely know how to bring the metal. Anaal Nathrakh play an absolutely virulent blend of black/grind/industrial/death with some falsetto power metal vocals thrown in for good measure, while Mistress (with 4 of 5 members also being in Anaal Nathrakh) deliver some of the most disgusting music I have ever heard. Its sludge/grind for waking up facedown in the gutter.
Anyway, the technicality was of course to ensure, beginning with a thick serving of Detrimentum. That being said, here are today’s competitors:
Detrimentum – Embracing this Deformity My second album from Detrimentum, 2008’s Embracing this Deformity is firmly entrenched in the technical brutal death metal straight from the crypts. Thick, chunky, and diseased, this one is for fans of Odious Mortem and the like. A depraved way to start the work day! I bought this album after hearing and enjoying the band’s follow-up full length, Inhuman Disgrace, and knowing that Embracing this Deformity had a much more brutal death sound to it.
Detrimentum – Inhuman Disgrace My first exposure to Detrimentum was 2011’s Inhuman Disgrace. Its a much more cleaned-up sounding album than the band’s previous full length, and coincidentally features the drummer of Anaal Nathrakh, which I didn’t remember until beginning to type this sentence. Inhuman Disgrace hits a unique, relatively unexplored microgenre, somehow fashioning progressive melodic technical brutal death metal. Check them out if you are confused – in particular I recommend “The Journeyman’s Lament.” As I have mentioned in past weeks, I bought this album completely blindly, and it sure paid off.
Decrepit Birth – Polarity I was a huge fan of Decrepit Birth’s 2008 full length Diminishing Between Worlds. It hit that technical brutal death metal with progressive leanings node. Polarity has a bit more of that progressive side, and for some reason this album has never clicked with me. I was really excited to find this at my local record store on the day of release – usually this kind of stuff doesn’t show up much in the stores.
Embryonic Devourment – Vivid Interpretations of the Void Brutal technical death metal about an alien race planting their genetic seed in the people in leadership roles within mankind? Sign me up! Errr, wait, to listen to the album I mean, not the genetics… or the leadership… oh you get what I mean.
Atheist – Unquestionable Presence Atheist is indisputably one of the most influential technical/progressive death metal bands of all time, in my opinion, second only to Death itself. Unquestionable Presence is the band’s spaciest, most astral output, with crazy time time changes and leads aplenty. I have a hard time choosing a favorite between this and the follow up Elements. Both albums are essential prog/tech death that all the 12 year old deathcore kiddies will hopefully learn about some day soon.
Viraemia – Viraemia As much as I make fun of some of today’s metal, Viraemia do it right. Everything. I can’t wait for a full length – its ultra technical, in line with Brain Drill, yet ultra catchy. Its crazy tech noodling, but in rigid jackhammer riffs, composed in extremely memorable ways. I don’t really understand how it can be so many things all at once, but this EP is. ESSENTIAL.
Archspire – All Shall Align TDM’s 2011 album of the year, All Shall Align by Archspire has some savage vocals atop riffs that remind me of Origin. The short blasts of technical surges remind me of the parts that made Dillinger Escape Plan’s Calculating Infinity so great. I also bought All Shall Align blindly, after I saw the high rankings given to it by the other inhabitants of the TDM laboratories, and I have to admit that I haven’t given it the attention it deserved. An excellent album, I highly recommend Archspire to fans of late 90s tech death along the lines of Origin, as well as newer fans of the more recent direction of technical death metal.
I also began to listen to Incurso by Spawn of Possession, but I ended up having an immediate change of heart and only listened to two tracks, which disqualifies the album from the competition.
Today’s champion iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis ————–
Unquestionable Presence. Perhaps this shows that I am a grumpy old man and reinforce the metal stereotypes (a joke: How many metalheads does it take to change a lightbulb? Five. One to change the lightbulb, and four to complain about how the old lightbulb was better). Whatever. Atheist still rules, Jupiter was awesome, and the albums Atheist was putting out in the early 90s are better than 90% of metal out there today.