Tech Death Thursday: Blame and Clavicus Vile
Two Tech Death Thursday alumni are back this week with beastly sophomore albums. Blame and Clavicus Vile bring the shreds once again!
- Devastation on the Nation tour dates are up now. Joaquin wasn’t kidding; this tour looks insane.
- Obscura have announced their next album, Diluvium, will be out this summer. I’m very curious to hear what their new lead guitarist brings to the fold. Be on the lookout for more info soon.
- Xenosis are streaming their newest album here; if you’re not listening to it, you’re not living your life properly. Devour and Birth comes out tomorrow.
- Composition of the newest Beyond Creation record has been finished. With any luck, we’ll be hearing more about that in the near future.
- If you’re one of the three people who hasn’t heard the new Cynic song yet, here it is.
- Augury are geared up for a short Canadian tour at the end of March. They say this includes the release party for their new album, so I’m assuming we can look forward to hearing that around March 29th.
- If you like kinda-djenty instrumental prog, check out this new album from The Blue Prison. I imagine fans of Angel Vivaldi will find a lot to like with this one.
- That Vimana EP I talked about awhile ago is getting a physical reissue courtesy of Willowtip Records. Check that out for supreme weedlies and some pretty damn good deedlies to boot.
If you haven’t listened to Blame’s debut EP yet, go catch yourself up right now; it won’t take long. For the rest of you, we’ll get right into it. At its core, Almanac is more of the same grindy, slammy tech death that made Dark Eyes so good; it’s fast, violent, and surprisingly melodic at times. Valeri Golub’s guitar and bass playing is as sharp as ever, ripping through spiraling riffs and solos at dizzying speeds. George Kollias brings his trademark ferocity in on the kit, and Anich Andrew’s powerful vocals drive the album forward. The performances are heightened by an excellent mix, which, while largely the same as their previous EP, gives the bass some added punch; perfect for the nature of the music.
Where Almanac differs the most from its predecessor is in its songwriting. It feels like each of the signature elements of their sound has been taken to further extremes here; you’ll immediately notice an increased presence of brutal-death-style slams and greater incorporation of slides and harmonics into the riffs. “Almanac” and “Victory” see the band going fully into melodeath territory, the former even opening on some atmospheric clean guitars. They’ve also trimmed the fat from their songs; not that there was much to begin with, but the average song length is actually shorter than on Dark Eyes. Each of its songs is very focused on a small handful of ideas, and it flows immaculately because of it. Almanac is an evolution of the band’s sound that retains everything that made the original great; don’t miss out on this one.
You might not remember Clavicus Vile; their only output to date has been a little EP that, while musically solid, was very much demo quality in every other aspect. It was actually kind of endearing in its sloppiness, which I’m sure is owed to how solid the songs were. It was fast and brutal, featured tons of shredding, and felt human. Still, it could have been better. I’m pleased to report that The Nightspirit’s Call is a tremendous improvement in every aspect.
If you listened to The Incipiency, you’ll notice right away how much better The Nightspirit’s Call sounds. The strings are warm and mellow, and the vocals no longer sound like their being screamed through a pillow. The drums are programmed this time around unfortunately, but the samples chosen mesh with the rest of the band just fine. On top of that, they have all tightened up their playing, making for a much more pleasant listening experience all around.
All that said, the biggest improvement is in the sheer variety of styles at play here. Based on the EP, I was expecting non-stop noodling and blastbeats. While there is some of that still around, there is much more to this band than they initially let on. Some of the earlier songs feel like old Decapitated in the way the riffs flow, and others reach a Brain Drill level of intensity in their leads. Other times, they turn down the tech in favor of quiet moments of emotional introspection. “Journey Toward Ancient Kadath” and “The Existence Paradox” combine all of these together, and it’s way more cohesive than it has any right to be. I was quite impressed with The Nightspirit’s Call, and I know it’s going to find a place in my regular rotation. This album should be a no-brainer for fans of tech death.
Blame and Clavicus Vile can be found at their respective Facebook pages; be sure to drop by and show them some appreciation if you like what you heard. Both albums are available today at the Bandcamp links above. That’s all for this week, and until next time,
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