Tech Death Thursday: Afterbirth
Whooooooooooo buddy! Today we’re eating the placentas and feeling those newborn weedlies! It’s Tech Death Thursday with monsters of brutal death Afterbirth!
But first, a bit of the news.
- In case you missed it, Inanimate Existence dropped a brand new track of feelsy tech death yesterday, right here on this very toilet fetish site. Underneath a Melting Sky releases August 25th.
- Photosequence, surely a contender for best Memento-inspired tech death band, has a new lyric video for “Parasitic.” The Biophagous EP is out August 18th.
- You can stream the new Enfold Darkness record a whole day early if you can’t make it through the day to get your serving of weedlies.
- Cryogenicide have a new video out for “Sickening Solar Mutations.” Torn Apart by Two Gravities will be out soon, so prepare your body.
- Inferi is currently tracking their fourth album! You can watch some ridiculous drumming right here!
- For some damn reason, members of Allegaeon, Job for a Cowboy, and Cephalic Carnage recorded a new tech death track as Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un, and Mike Tyson. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
- And last, if you missed the news, Cattle Decapitation, Revocation, Full of Hell, and Artificial Brain are going to be bringing gratuitous blasts and buttloads of monstrous groove to your area soon! Cum 2 Brasil!
Now time for some slams! Today’s brutality comes to you courtesy of the long-awaited debut album from Afterbirth, The Time Traveler’s Dilemma! Don’t know the name? You’re missing out, son, but let’s rewind for a minute to fill you in.
The Time Traveler’s Dilemma is the culmination of 24 years(!) of underground rumblings in Long Island. Although the band was formative in the perverse gestation of brutal death metal, the original trio of David Case (bass), Keith Harris (drums), and Cody Drasser (guitars) were only truly active as Afterbirth from 1993-1995 before taking a 17 year hiatus to let some nasty riffs boil and fester. Reforming in 2012, the band started jamming in earnest, writing new music and seeking to recapture and recontextualize the magic that made their demo Psychopathic Embryotomy such a cult classic. Recruiting vocalist Will Smith and dropping a demo and EP in the intervening years, the band looks poised to, like the titular time traveler, make history.
Perhaps it’s better for the world that the original trio, some of the earliest pioneers of brutal death, took that time off. Psychopathic Embryotomy, though classic, sounds downright timid compared to The Time Traveler’s Dilemma. Believe me, the band gets weird with it in the best possible way, infusing some jacked up blood into an overly sterile tech death landscape. Some of that influence may be due to vocalist Will Smith, whose oeuvre (Artificial Brain, Buckshot Facelift, Biolich) is a veritable cabinet of oddities, but the original trio is pretty clearly capable of cosmic atrocities with or without the intergalactic space frog croaking about ancient alien cyborgs. The Time Traveler’s Dilemma is compelling, toying with tech death tropes and invading boundaries; across the album’s 11 tracks you’ll hear trace elements of jazzy time signatures, spaced out fuzz, and bizarre melodies.
The band is most indebted, however, to the dankest curiosities of weird 90s death metal. “Eternal Return” certainly conjures the vile nature of early NYDM bands like Skinless with its huge scoops and start-and-stop double-bass. “Drills and Needles” invokes the legacy of palm-muting, time signature violating legends Human Remains with its syncopated leads and bizarre melodies. Things even get a little Timeghoul in the last few tracks as the band abandons the gory lyrics of previous demos to get spaced out with droning, truly unique riffs on the two “Time Traveler’s Dilemma” tracks. It’s all weird and wonderful, replete with syncopated rhythms, giant hooks, and a stronger focus on sheer brutality than you typically hear in this genre.
Unfortunately, “Maggots in Her Smile” a track previously unveiled on an EP, is the only song available for streaming right now. It’s great, featuring some skin-melting growls, giant grooves leading into juddering, Gorgutsian skronked-out breaks, and idiosyncratic bass swells that would bring a tear to Atheist‘s eye, but it pales in comparison to the back half of this album. Seriously, the record only gets better with each subsequent track, and soon you’ll be able to hear Afterbirth explore some cosmic territories hitherto unseen in the realm of tech. Get stoked.
Until next time,
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