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: Asylum – Committed
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: Redeeming Torment – The Dominion
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 EP’s Mayhem: Bleak Flesh – The Gateway
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 EP’s Mayhem: Tranatopsy – The Illusionist
Rejected Atrocity (2014)
Canada, Self-released, Technical Death / Thrash Metal
At the beginnig I must admit that Endless Chaos has as much energy as a small power plant. Throughout the whole 12 minutes it is driving at high speed. Guys bend unbridled, almost phallic rhythmics. It places great emphasis on it and the ep would sound completely shallow if not truly addictive melodies. They further emphasize atmosphere by the overall vocal minimalism. “Rejected Atrocity” is like a missile launched toward the listener. At times, very melodic and generally trying to decapitate the listener. The band rarely slows down but it can give you a breather. With only three songs there are no concerns about mental health, but I assume that debut material will decompose strengths through play time. Experience intesification is very rich and feels like locked in an airtight room from with oxygen escaping at an alarming rate. This an EP bodes very well for the future. Perfect production tumbles head and dense compositions fill all the cracks. It is a very dynamic, tailor-made material. It sounds extreme, stimulates and dazzle with energy. For all the metal-frenzy fans with a touch of technique. Continue reading EP’s Mayhem: Endless Chaos – Rejected Atrocity