Yes, fair sistren and brethren. Your eyes do not deceive. Tis I, Guacamole Jim (aka Glock Jim, aka Your Friendly Chip Dip) here to write about metal. The times, they are a-changin’ indeed. If you, the denizens of this fetid bowl, paid any attention to the introduction to this week’s Toilet Tuesday article, you will have read a fun and lively story about a tapeworm. Most of you won’t have known this, but in fact that story is the true account of Toilet author Jack Bauer’s weekend. As such, he’s decided to rework his terrorist battle plans to include tapeworms, but such a change requires much in the way of paperwork, leaving the arduous task of slaking your ravenous technical metal thirst to yours truly.
But first, TECH DEATH NEWS:
- Tech Death masters Wheedilus Corpus have reentered the studio to record a follow-up to their previous critically acclaimed masterpiece, Medical Jargon. The band released a statement, declaring their intention to “wheedily slightly less on this album, but you can expect some mother fucking deedilies!” I think I speak for everyone when I say this album promises to be exactly the same as every tech death album since the year 2000 — exactly what we fans want!
- Tech Death amateurs Corpsembobulated Shred are embarking on a multi-metre tour of Andorra, where they hope to play to more than three people.
- Local Tech Death act Sloppyasphuck Corpseweedily haven’t played a show in years; I’m beginning to think they’re not together anymore, but they haven’t updated their Facebook to reflect the current hiatus. Get your shit together, dudes.
Now that you’re all caught up, let’s get on to the metal! Full disclaimer: it’s not really technical death metal, as it were. It’s technical, and it’s metal, but it’s kinda…..
*slams bud lite*
Okay. The butthurt crowd of trve metalheads have rushed to the comments section to express their anger. The rest of you, let’s press on!
Today I’m going to be discussing the math metal band, Cilice. To be perfectly honest, I don’t really remember how or when I came across these Dutch devils, but I will say I’ve not looked back from the purchase of their debut (and only) album, Deranged Headtrip. As Cilice lists their influences as “Meshuggah, Dillinger Escape Plan and Mike Patton, among others” and classifies their genre as “Mad Math Metal,” the new listener, previously ignorant of this crushing quadrio, can begin to prepare their aural cavities for the onslaught that is about to greet their trembling, frail bodies (unless you’ve been Swellin to the Jammies, in which case, let it greet your sturdy, muscular body, you sexy beast you!).
Deranged Headtrip assaults the listener from the moment “play” is pressed. The track “God of Lies” gives no quarter to the faint of heart, showcasing the musical proficiency of these Netherlanders in a capacity seldom paralleled. And yet this song is no mere onslaught of br00tality — rather, Cilice explores ultra-tight staccato rhythms, both in the instruments and the vocals, displaying a tendency towards the chaotic to be explored through the duration of the album. However, the song’s crowning achievement, in the opinion of this humble chip dip, comes not in its heaviest moments, but at 3:08, at which point the singer suddenly breaks into (dare I say) bluesy clean singing overtop of a strange, atonal riff, not bound to the regularities of tonal convention. Cilice is not afraid to experiment with sounds that twist the untrained ear.
Not content to rest on their laurels, Cilice launches into the most melodic song on the album, “Left/Right Hemisphere,” showcasing some of the most epic moments the album has to offer (specifically coming in here – FUCK is that vocal line amazing!), yet never straying away from the math and technical precision established on the album’s opener. But even here they do not rest, immediately turning again to more experimental grounds on the tracks “Drone” and “Chernobyl,” both of which exhibit an experimentation that challenges the listener beyond what most metal has to offer.
To classify Cilice is difficult, to say the least. There is skronk. There is (very) unconventional melody. There is technicality in droves. There is djent. There is even death metal. Cilice is simultaneously all and none of these things. On first listen my ears only heard the Meshuggah influence they craved at the time, and yet Cilice has stood the test of time in my library to which so many of my Meshuggah rip-offs have succumbed. I encourage even the most doubtful among you to listen to the album Deranged Headtrip in its entirety; to give it a fair chance before writing it off as “another djent album” — which it is not. Those of you who desire challenge, find it here. Those who desire groove, bathe in the polyrhythms. Those who desire melody can enjoy it as well, albeit melody enshrined in experimentation. Those who simply desire good music, let us together jam.