Category Archives: CD Reviews

TDM cd’s reviews!

Review: Apocrophex – Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar

Apocrophex - Suspended from the Cosmic AltaarAPOCROPHEX

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.

Rating: 8/10
Reviewer: Witness to the Void 


Psycroptic - Psycroptic SmallPSYCROPTIC

Australia, Prosthetic, Technical Death Metal

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 Psycroptic band photoall 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.

Rating: 9/10
Reviewer: Witness to the Void


Review: Pyrrhon – The Mother of Virtues


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.pyrrhon

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

Review: Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails


USA, Unique Leader Records, Technical / Progressive Death Metal

On the run to the stars … Ah how amazing and original this band is. On the first record, they went into extremely melodic and technical black / death metal so I waited impatiently for the “The Harvest Wombs” follower. “The Flesh Prevails” has a much greater momentum and heaves wide, progressive circles. It also has a incredible speed and space atmosphere. I’m pretty sure you have not heard this year anything as intense and progressive on such scale. Vibrating guitars, like sinusoid go up and down through whole scale (NO guitar wankery!). There is no exaggeration at any moment. This is extreme but melodic music. Often stops and leaves place for improvisations. It can sing ethereally with female voices. Despite the fact it often inputs million sounds into our heads in different distances – they are perfectly fit. One guitar fills main motif and the second one limp single notes somewhere on the other side. This is also the uniqueness of these sounds. You can place them in the space because they offer great space and amazing deep. Continue reading Review: Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails

Review: Rings of Saturn – Lugal Ki En

rings-of-saturn-lugalRINGS OF SATURN
LUGAL KI EN (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 Ki En details other worldly beings that conquer man and then wage war against angels and demons. Continue reading Review: Rings of Saturn – Lugal Ki En