Heck Death Thursday
It’s been scientifically proven that metal is 1000% better when Satan is involved, and tech death is no exception. We’re checking out a couple amazing debuts from blackened tech death acts this week, so draw your pentagrams and prime your goats for sacrifice!
- Xenosis has a new song out, and you should know by now that it rules. Devour and Birth is out on January 19th.
- Sleep Terror has a new album on the way, and you can check out a teaser right here. If you like funky jazz tech, then check out their debut in the meantime.
- If your taste in tech and prog death leans more towards classic acts, then you need to give this album from Unreal Overflows a listen. Latent is out on February 9th, but you can stream it in full at the previous link right now.
- Neoclassical tech death titans Inferi have a teaser for their upcoming album out right here. More information should be coming soon.
First up we have Trondheim’s Brotthogg with The Last Traveler. Stylistically, this is probably the “blacker” of the two bands today; they make heavy use of wicked sound afforded by the harmonic minor scale, as well as some chromatic chording and diminished runs. The album establishes its sinister sound right from the start, the opening riff of the title track kicking things off with furious dissonant chords and double bass. You get some of those bouncy guitar harmonies emblematic of modern tech death and plenty of counterpoint and stacked chords, as well as a nasty thrash riff near the end of “The Misanthrope.” Despite the straightforward focus of the style, the songs themselves have a lot of variety.
Brotthogg get a lot of things right that so many fast-all-the-time blackened death metal bands do wrong. The balance they strike between atmosphere and virtuosity keeps things interesting, and they don’t lapse into extended streams of single-note tremolo picking and blastbeats. The black metal influence never comes across as forced, either; the pacing and flow of it all is fantastic. There’s a lot to love in these four songs; they’re written and executed to perfection, and I can’t wait to hear more from these guys.
Was the last Enfold Darkness album too long for you to sit through? Has the wait for new Arsis material been slowly killing you? Then you need to get this Septicemic EP in your ears right now. Vrykolakas is a short but sweet shred-fest, loaded with frantic riffing and blistering solos. Hooks and harmonies abound, and you’ll find them quickly ingrained in your mind due to the mid-paced lilting feeling of most of the songs. It’s catchy and savage, a difficult thing to pull off with this type of music.
The focus of Vrykolakas is less on atmosphere and more on virtuosity; the blackened element is less the story and more the setting, if you will. The guitarists bound across the fretboard effortlessly, matched in ferocity by a powerful rhythm section. Wide vibrato and pinch harmonics are used liberally, and “Septicemia” throws in a harmonic cascade that evokes feelings of Morean and Fountainhead’s playing styles. Needless to say, this album is absolutely my jam; if you like technical riffs with a sinister bent, it’ll be yours too.
Both the albums featured today are available at the Bandcamp links above for very little (or no) cost. If you like what you heard, you can check out Brotthogg and Septicemic at their respective Facebook pages. That’s all I’ve got for this week, so until next time,
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