This was incredibly hard choice! Past Year was full of amazing, technical (and not only) releases. I had almost 30 albums to choose from. From progressive / jazzy death metal to strictly virtuosic ones. It took me 3 days to listen through this list and sort it but I felt it is something important to do. Here at technicaldeathmetal.com we love support brilliant musicians who compose addictive sounds. I used word “compose” not by accident. It takes lot of skills to start doing higher form of music, which can be called simply “art”. This goes hand in hand with the creative way of killing, which I call brutal yet technical, metal. Hope You like what You find on this list…
2012 was one hell of a year for Metal music. So much so that even listing off every amazing/top notch/legendary Death Metal album from last year is practically impossible, especially in a Top 10 list. These 10 albums were chosen after much deliberation and part of that process was listening to so many phenomenal LPs that choosing 10 almost felt wrong. In the end though, these 10 albums have towered over everything else in technical death metal all year. These are the albums that redefined bands and bent genres and only one can be the very best. Let’s get to it… Continue reading Goshuggist’s Top 10 in 2012!
Another great year of metal has come to an end!
My mental dialogue earlier this week:
Me 1: This has been a great year for metal.
Me 2: Yes, yes it has. But wait, you say that every year.
Me 1: True, true. Maybe you are right. Maybe I would just say that every year …
… but wait, at least I’m not saying that this year was a bad year for metal. Now that would be bad, wouldn’t it?
Perhaps I will always find top-tier releases and memorable surprises in a yearly list of metal, but 2012 had some particularly relevant heavy-hitters. We saw new releases from technical mainstays such as Meshuggah, Hour of Penance, Gorod, Cattle Decapitation, and Dying Fetus, as well as a collaboration on 2012’s Spawn of Possession release so wicked it seemed unreal. As always, 2012 brought us some newcomers to watch in coming years: the galactic destruction of Xenocide; the decadently Necrophagist-esque sophistication of Sophicide; and the usurpers to the throne of Cryptopsy, Desecravity. Oh, and speaking of Cryptopsy, we saw a return to form that will not be forgotten anytime soon. So, without further schizophrenic commentary, here is the top 10 technical death metal releases of 2012, as seen by The Witness to the Void.
Bands worth to mention, which didn’t fit to our list:
12. Hour of Perdition – Sedition
Savage and bestial, Sedition tops the lists because it is so relentlessly destructive. Hour of Penance’s death metal bulldozes from the brutal side of the spectrum, flattening and burning everything in its path.
Fierce and crushing, Sedition is the soundtrack of the destruction of a great metropolitan city by a godzilla-sized beast. In addition, the soaring guitar leads demand mention as well.
11. Xenocide – Galactic Oppression
Hear that sick bass? Endlessly drilling through my head – and want more! Bumpy road through cosmic wastelands and drift on loose ground is the main motors in here. Maybe too descriptive but hell, this music is so illustrative! It is warm and rich in details. Crazy rhythmic with fiery, strong sound blasts through my head like smaller armageddon. This is massive fun for every techno fan. Sometimes drifts away reminding me bands like Enslaved (entertaining progression of sound). This is rare experience which made them to my personal, number three! 10/10 rate for sure.
10. Hideous Divinity – Obeisance Rising
This is simply an unknown gem which was unexpectedly found in the ruin of technical dm shrine! The extremity of this albums flows with every possible hole! The production is thick and brutal and the drums are insane! Probably one the best drumming of 2012! These Italians will lead us to destruction. Hideous Divinity is something between Hour Of Penance and Cattle Decapitation with more creepy atmosphere. There is fair amount of progressive technique together with crushing brutality. More straight – forward soloing leaves no room for breathing but makes this less virtuosic experience. A great discovery and hell of a stunner! Bow before Hideous Divinity!
9. Rings Of Saturn – Dingir
Rings Of Saturn are truly an alien incarnation. They were centimeters from (my personal) number one but hearing once again to “Incurso” made me doing some revision… Back to “Dingir”. Truly a technical masterpiece. Such a virulent atmosphere and complex, mind blowing riffs couldn’t go unnoticed. Best thing it’s all real even it doesn’t sound natural. Most of the time You have weird “sampled-all-the-fuck-way-up” feeling but genius behind the concept is enormous. I liked their debut a lot but the follower truly sets new quality in this genre. This is most insane technical release I’ve hear (probably) ever! Totalitarian technical death metal!
8. Desecravity – Implicit Obedience
In the year in which Cryptopsy returned to us, Desecravity reminded us all of all the reasons old Cryptopsy is so memorable. Implicit Obedience pulls all the best attributes from Cryptopsy’s back catalog – the vile depravity of the Lord worm years; the psychotically spastic song structure of the DiSalvo years; and the primeval roar of Once Was Not – and combines these elements with a certain pre-historical, psychological darkness. The first full-length from this Japanese four-piece evokes the feeling of a devolution into the mind of a savage and hideous species that died out thousands of years ago. Deliciously old school yet innovative, grotesquely filthy yet cleanly produced, Implicit Obedience is not to be missed.
7. Gorod – A Perfect Absolution
Gorod’s fourth full-length exhibits a departure from their previous highly technical and progressive releases, evolving into an avant-garde sort of death metal that is at its best when at its weirdest. Ethereal and free-flowing, A Perfect Absolution weaves and dodges like an intricately constructed clockwork insect. Gorod’s complexity and variety of influences (observe the funk on “Varangian Paradise” – seriously, you need to hear this!) will keep any open-minded metalhead demanding more, and once again proves that these Frenchmen are at the forefront of the technical death metal scene.
6. Abiotic – Symbiosis
This one is seriously messed up (in a good way ofcourse). First time I’ve listened to “Symbiosis” I thought they went way too much deathcore but I revised my feelings after couple more sessions. One thing is certain – this is ridiculously rich release. It’s far more than You think it is. They search they’re way through intelligently confusing melodies which not fall far from some crazy progressive / psychedelic stuff. They don’t like haste and force listener to focus on the inside nature of the release. Their policy of subjugation of every death metal maniac is very opened, that’s why they mix so much quality stuff in here and work diligently to achieve goals. Great band!
5. Malignancy – Eugenics
There’s no two ways about it; ‘Eugenics’ is a perfect record. From the flawless guitar riffs to the impeccable drumming, from the monstrous growls & shrieks to the otherworldly bass lines, there isn’t a single second on this record that doesn’t resonate with the Death Metal nirvana some bands spend their whole careers trying to reach five seconds of. No other band can match what Malignancy has done this year, new or old. Years from now, this record will still be a shining example of everything right and true in Death Metal and music… a true magnum opus.
4. Arkaik – Metamorphignition
More than meets the eye (or ear). Quite epic and brutal at some moments. Intense above all. Deep and mean vocals combined with blasting percussion could set Your hair on fire, while banging. You can take “Sking Graft Hieroglyphics” which has the power of the hurricane and compare it to 10-minute conglomerate “The Omnipus” and watch how the world collides. This is the essence of this release and shows the ambition and road to perfection which this band goes. Nice, not too obvious concept makes this more deep than I thought for the first time I’ve heard Arkaik.
3. Cattle Decapitation – Monolith Of Inhumanity
Never before did I think a Cattle Decapitation release could breach my Top 3 Albums Of The Year. Then again, ‘Monolith Of Inhumanity’ did a great many things I never expected; breaking new ground for intensity and progressiveness in deathgrind, the inclusion of well-done clean vocals compliments of Travis Ryan and above all else, a sense of cohesiveness and structure that Cattle Decapitation has never achieved. By all accounts, ‘Monolith Of Inhumanity’ is a triumph. It’s made fans out of virulent haters, and proven once and for all that Cattle Decapitation had the power to release a masterpiece like this.
2. Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme
Dying Fetus continually releases pummeling, offensive, militant death metal that never disappoints. Reign Supreme is no exception – the band’s seventh full-length is everything that you love about technical death metal. It’s heavy, spiteful, caustic, and blunt…yet technical and sophisticated. The most impressive part about Dying Fetus has always been their ability to write such dynamic songs with so many pace changes, which remain technical in a crunchy and memorable manner. That seems like too many things to happen at once, but its true. In conclusion, Reign Supreme contains the following things: “NO REDEMPTION – NO REGRETS – NO EXCUSES – ONLY DEATH!”
The number 1…
of TOP 2012 albums is…
1. Spawn Of Possession – Incurso
I had to do some refreshing on this one before compiling my brilliant list of brilliant tdm acts. I can’t even find words to describe this kind of genuinely crafted music. I want to make a comparison. Necrophagist’s “Epitaph” was something beyond original for me and couldn’t expect more from technical music than that. I think the Spawn Of Possession made with “Incurso”, technical death metal album of all time! No shit! This is purest reincarnation of neoclassical music! More of this – it’s driven by insanely intense death metal. This is a trip to a madman brain who is a complete creator and death meister in one person. This is modern music manifesto which leads us to better tomorrow. The world has changed with “Incurso” seeing it’s daylight. Courageous way to declare our connection with the past. Long live Spawn Of Possession.
Christian Müenzner with Spawn of Possession?! What a wicked combination it is indeed! Infinitesimal in its intricacy, Incurso favors an atonal complexity over blunt heaviness. The subject matter (evil spirituality, possession, etc.) is appropriately dark, yet ethereal and refreshing. As well, the longer songs and occasional keyboards make for a rewarding and varied album.
// Witness To The Void
In many ways, ‘Incurso’ is more than just a technical death metal album. It’s a full-fledged rebirth of classical music, particularly in the vein of Rachmaninoff. There is no other neo-classical death metal band that can ever achieve what Spawn Of Possession have here. With Christian Muenzer as a band member, their dominance is unquestionable. This is not only some of the most technical music ever made, it’s also some of the most haunting, beautiful and downright game changing of all time too. How Spawn Of Possession can ever top this, I have no idea.
United States, Relapse Records, Death Metal
“Fuck the baby, let it die.”
Remember when I said ‘There’s no possibility of Reign Supreme being mediocre or awful’? I was right… so deliciously right. This is the best Dying Fetus has been in years and easily one of the most brutal albums 2012 has given us. Liked Descend Into Depravity’s technicality? You haven’t heard anything yet. Remember how pissed off Killing On Adrenaline was? Prepare to get reacquainted real goddamn quick. In many ways this is the perfect modern Dying Fetus album; vitriolic and destructive like their classic work while perfecting the technicality of later releases that weighed War Of Attrition down and made massive headway on Descend Into Depravity.
Quite honestly, the only way brutality junkies like me could see a better release from an old school giant this year is Internal Bleeding or Suffocation’s latest and even then, Dying Fetus has set the bar extraordinarily high. From Trey Williams’ savage drum assault to John Gallagher & Sean Beasley’s masterful vocals/riffing to the downright FILTHY slams, this is a release NO ONE has an excuse to miss, except of course the mental incompetents that couldn’t handle Dying Fetus to begin with. Yet another modern classic to add to the (already) monumental 2012 success list.
10/10 – Goshuggist
“Question: Can you teach an old fetus new tricks?”
Answer: I DON’T NEED NO NEW TRICKS!
If you are reading this, chances are you have heard a Dying Fetus record or seven, and know what to expect. On DF albums released since, say 2000 or so, we hear the following things: low belched and mid-ranged rasped vocals; militant, crunchy riffs; spiraling staircases technical washes; tank-tread double bass rolls; gurgling bass guitar accents; dynamic song structures; wicked, memorable leads; and absolutely depraved slams. Sound familiar?
It should, because these things makes every Dying Fetus album SO. DAMN. GOOD. Intellectual and intricate, yet crushingly heavy and memorable, these top of the pack tech-metallers continually put together these elements into anthems of brutality that impressive on every single record. Unlike many metal bands that soften their sound and fall into mediocrity, the ole ‘Fetus continues to improve and progress, while staying loyal to the rule of crushingly heavy and politically pissed brutal technical death metal. These guy are at the top of their game… no, scratch that, at the top of the genre.
Better answer: If it ain’t broken.. LET DYING FETUS CRUSH IT!
10/10 – Witness to the Void
“It’s not my fault I’m pregnant and I love drugs”
From rather raw power to one of the uttermost balanced and promising technical death metal bands. This is a story about new Dying Fetus release. I can’t imagine better played death metal with such obvious technicality in it. Dying Fetus always was a more than solid death metal horde but they’re crossed all the boundaries and started to reinvent their own style. They mixed blasting stylization with intense and “straight-in-the-head” complexity to create technical dying metal. Can’t say they’re original in all ways but hey – fuck off and smell coffee flavored coffee – this is war! War between the raging drums, crisp guitars and down-stamping bass. All of this fueled by brutal vocals of John Gallagher which in fact – reminded me Chris Barnes of Six Feet Under.
“Reign Supreme” is something different by this band and I adore it as I love “Descend Into Depravity” which was the fundamental, death metal example for me. Amazing connection of brutality, passion and higher form of technical death is what You should find here. Lot’s of stop&go and a little of straight forward death. All this in the manner of extreme art in which Dying Fetus feel like a fish in the water and should be respected by everyone. Ever-blasting, ever-crushing, dominating and relentless force. Shit! I love Dying Fetus!
10/10 – Rimmon
“The opposite of Juicy Fruit?”
Dying Fetus. The 2 words alone are known to almost every death metal fan. Intrinsic to the development of modern tech-death, their 7th album is yet another step forward. Essentially the opposite of Juicy Fruit gum; this band has been pushed and chewed around the metaphorical mouth of the tech-death scene and still retained its flavour, *cough* Nile *cough*.
Huh? Anyway, Dying Fetus had a very high standard to reach with “Reign Supreme”, and in my opinion, they achieved that with the greatest of ease. The sound was rather reminiscent of their older material, albeit with cleaner production, and a very crushing sound, for example the main riff of “Subject to a Beating”. My favourite part of the album is the vocals. John Gallagher’s low burps are still impressive, and Sean Beazley’s snarls are, at times, somewhat akin to Lord Worm’s vocals circa 1996, the way some screams sound like whistling wind. Listen to “Invert the Idols”, you’ll see what I mean. Overall, I’m very impressed with this album, especially the songwriting ability, which is no less than the usual brilliance that Dying Fetus manages to display with such ease.
10/10 – InexorableRotting