Tech Death Thursday: Blasteroid and Infected Dead
We’ve got a pair of awesome EP’s this week, just in time to mess with your top 10’s. Check out these debuts from Blasteroid and Infected Dead!
The tech news:
- New band, new album, new song: Aphelion has a playthrough video up for “Beyond Singularity” from their upcoming debut. It sounds a bit like a meaner take on Virvum’s sound, which is to say, it rules.
- Daemoness Guitars just posted a studio video of Soreption going through some new riffs. It’s sounding pretty damn good so far.
- Interloper finally has a debut album on the way and have a new teaser up. The instruments sound fantastic, but what really caught my attention was the vocals; they’re all sung. Moreover, they sound really damn good. Hopefully we’ll have more from them soon.
I don’t know how long Voivod worship has been a thing or why it’s been so prolific this year, but it’s a good time to be into goofy thrash. Droid and more recently Vexovoid have both put out their own take on technical, jazzy, punky thrash this year, and now Blasteroid have cast their hats into the ring as well. However, despite following what’s apparently some kind of legally mandated naming convention for bands of this sort, Blasteroid veers much harder in a death metal direction than any of their compatriots.
Unsurprisingly, this gives them a pretty distinct sound despite drawing inspiration from the same source. All the expected elements are there- the ascending diminished progressions, the little jazzy twists, the spastic bursts of dissonance, all wrapped in a sci-fi shell- but it’s much more aggressive than other bands of their ilk. “Baryogenesis” opens up with an OSDM-flavored tremolo riff, and “Universal Knowledge” features a chunky palm-muted gallop near its climax. The solos are slick and fluid, tearing across the neck in a flurry of arpeggios and tapping.
Despite all of this being generally uncharacteristic of this particular subset of bands, it works really well. They’ve created their own distinctive sound while wearing their influences on their sleeves; nastier than the source material, but still more lighthearted than most tech death bands. It’s good, thrashy fun that’s worth a listen even if tech death isn’t your go-to style of music.
Let’s get this out of the way right away: the drums on Archaic Malevolence sound like ass. I don’t know if they were programmed or played on an electronic kit with bad sample sounds or what (the band does have an actual drummer), but the cymbals and kick in particular are distractingly bad. That’s not to say they were poorly written- they’re appropriately intense, not overly blasty, and have some great fills- but it’s a bit tough to get past the tone. I don’t like starting off a review of a good band on a sour note, but I figured a heads-up was in order in this case.
The good news is that the album ultimately overcomes its engineering shortcomings with its music. Infected Dead sound like a mixture of The Black Dahlia Murder and Arkaik, with a splash of Enfold Darkness-style malevolence. It’s melodic, but in a sinister way; they make heavy use of that harmonic minor Gothenburg sound, but give it a bit more gravitas by favoring the low end of their instruments. The performances are extremely tight, from the machine-gun tremolo picking to the arpeggiations to the lightning-fast shredding. The little bits of dissonance and touches of black metal influence help them stand out among their peers; it’s worth listening to even if you feel you’ve worn yourself out on this type of tech.
One track stands out in particular; centerpiece “Invocation of Unspeakable Gods” is nothing like the rest. It kicks off with a slow stomping riff over driving double bass, immediately reminiscent of Alkaloid’s “Cthulhu.” I might just be a sucker for this type of song, but between the way it progresses, its vicious delivery, and the incredible solo, this instantly became one of my favorite tech death songs of the year. That’s no mean feat, considering what it’s up against.
Universal Knowledge and Archaic Malevolence are both available now at the Bandcamp links above. Check out Blasteroid and Infected Dead on Facebook, too; they deserve the support. That’s all for this week, and until next time,
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