Tech Death Thursday: Continuum and Wounds
I heard you guys like riffs. We’ve got a goddamn heap of them for you today.
For as much as I like ripping sweep arpeggios, scathing dissonant chords, and mind-bending time signatures, I am as much a slave to the riff as many of you are. Last year’s Soreption record was a beast, but 33 minutes isn’t nearly enough to sate my appetite for thick, meaty tech death riffs. And wouldn’t you know it, we just got two albums that give off similar vibes, offering up their own servings of thick, meaty riffs. Strap yourselves in and brace for beef.
First up we have Continuum with their sophomore album, Designed Obsolescence. Though the band as a unit is pretty new, it’s comprised of current and former members of acts such as Allegaeon, Decrepit Birth, Brain Drill, and Arkaik, and their collective experience is on full display here. This is the perfect mixture of laser-precise machine gun riffing and technical showmanship, hitting hard and fast and wasting no time doing it. The songs favor low end diminished runs and dark, menacing riffs, calling to mind the last Decrepit Birth and first Alterbeast albums in their vicious delivery.
The songs are as lean as they are fast- the longest couple are just over four minutes and total half an hour- and they’re very tightly written, leaving little room for experimentation or extraneous flair. It’s quite singular in its vision, but that makes those few moments that break from the norm stand out that much more. The title track and “Remnants of Ascension” have a couple haunting leads laden with reverb that add a lot to the atmosphere, and “All Manner of Decay” toys with some nasty ringing chords at a slower pace that complements the continuous drum assault. I hope to see the band do more of this kind of thing in the future, but if they don’t, I guess I can be satisfied with another pile of monster riffs.
Designed Obsolescence is out now through Unique Leader Records.
Rolderathis brought this next gem to my attention, and I am eternally indebted to him for doing so. Wounds (formerly Wounds of Ruin) bring their own similar but distinct flavor of thick, meaty riffing to the table, and I’m way into it. That delicious Soreption feel pervades the music, from the vocal and bass tone to the devastating syncopation of their groovier parts, but there are other notable influences at play here, too. The titular “Light Eater” sounds more than a little like Archspire in a couple places, and the faster portions make their way into Hour of Penance territory.
While it’s a major part of their sound, speed and aggression aren’t all Wounds has to offer. The last third or so of “Metamorphosis” cuts the tempo in two and ditches the tremolo attack in favor of big chords one of the most tasteful guitar solos you’ll hear from a tech death band. “Fractured” starts off at a blistering pace, but likewise drops it in favor of a chunky headbanging outro. While these slower portions aren’t a huge part of their sound, I feel like they’re still worth mentioning; both sections are highlights of their respective songs, and it’s the sort of thing I wouldn’t mind hearing more of on a full-length. Light Eater is a monster of an EP, tight in songwriting and musicianship, and I can’t wait to hear more from these guys.
Pick up the album now on Bandcamp.
That about does it for me, and I hope some of these riffs do it for you; there are certainly a lot to go around, and they’re all quality. Until next time,
Is your band tech as heck? Got a juicy piece of news or an upcoming release to watch? Send it my way at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check it out. I might even talk about it.