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
Greece, Season of Mist, Symphonic Death Metal
Symphonies in metal will no doubt inspire an uproar among the old guard, oftentimes rightfully so; cheesy keyboards and overblown quasi-epic passages got old decades ago. However, in the case of a select few bands, the addition of strings and horns (especially in the form of real musicians and not a Casio) serves not to detract from the deathly parts of a record, but instead to augment them. Such is the case of Titan, wherein Septicflesh utilizes a full orchestra to enhance the rhythmic ebb of the band’s doomy core, resulting in an atmospheric yet crushing entry into the necronomicon of death metal.
Titan shows that “atmospheric” needn’t inherently equal boring, poppy, pompous, or fluffy. Sudden bursts of precision drumming harken clearly to more technical outfits than melodic mass-appeal, and increase the overall level of headbanging, as well as complexity. Simultaneously, the bombast of the orchestra carries an oppressive yet memorable atmosphere. Septicflesh summons the full demonic might of a complete classical troupe to augment aggressive riffing, resulting in a visceral tapestry of malevolent music. Continue reading Review: Septicflesh – Titan
From strictly technical band into progressive monsters – here comes Son Of Aurelius! Their debut was great but the follower is one of the best prog death metal albums I’ve heard in a long time. They combine extraordinary maturity with complex, yet catchy compositions. Very warm and positive release and nice guys beside everything. I wasn’t wrong commenting their coming through as a “rising star”. Go and listen to the “Under A Western Sun”! Continue reading Interview: Son Of Aurelius
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