Tech Death Thursday: Desecravity – Anathema

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Desecravity brought some big brainy bangers with Anathema, and we’re examining what makes it so good.

News:

  • Plaguebringer have a spoopy new tune for you and a new album on the way. Big Inferi vibes from this one. Look for Diabolos on February 16th.
  • A Novelist are streaming their new album ahead of its release tomorrow. Go here to find out why you should listen to it.
  • Sick new recording of an old Equipoise jam. You don’t need me to tell you this rules.
  • Got a couple new live performance videos recently too. Inferi’s “Condemned Assailant” is as impressive to see as it is to hear, as it turns out.
  • The same goes for First Fragment’s “Paradoxical Subjugation.” They also gave a few details about their next album in the comments, most notably that they’re aiming for a 2020 release date.

Some time ago in our review of The Aftermath’s Vermine, professional Sonposter Rolderathis asked the question, “When does one listen to an album like this?” It’s a question that’s popped into my head every time I’ve encountered similar albums since; while I’m a fan of raw instrumental prowess and speed, I understand that’s not enough for a lot of people. For some context, Vermine is an extremely dense, very complex piece of work with little in the way of melodies or hooks. While I love it, it’s hard to say exactly what about it is the selling point for me. Now, with the newest Desecravity album, I think we’ve finally got the perfect entry point for this type of tech death.

To be fair, Desecravity’s music has always been a little easier to grasp than bands like The Aftermath or Serocs, but it’s anything but simple. Implicit Obedience feels a lot like an Origin album, carried along on a river of constant tremolo picking and blastbeats. Orphic Signs brought more complex riffing into the picture, incorporating more time signature changes and some of the less slammy elements of brutal death metal into their songwriting. Their newest, Anathema, further increases the intricacy of the instrumental work, but it dials back on the speed in favor of more varied riffs. You’ll get lots of those writhing cephalopodic guitar lines like the start of “Impure Confrontation,” but there are just as many gut-punching Dying Fetus-style riffs and bursts of rapid-fire tremolo.

And that’s ultimately what makes this album work as well as it does. Desecravity are masters not only of taking recognized death metal conventions and pushing them further than you might be accustomed to, but also taking the crazier elements of tech death and making them more palatable. The music is wild, but it’s structured intuitively; anytime you’re hit with something super weird, the pattern emerges quickly and clearly after one or two repetitions. At no point does it feel overwhelming, and it’s constantly headbanging.

So will Anathema be the panacea to all your extreme metal woes, the album that finally makes tech death listenable to you? Well, realistically, probably not; if you don’t like tech, this is not the album (or the band) to start with. However, if you’ve done more than dipped your toes in the genre and are looking for something to keep you afloat on the deep end, this exactly what you want. It’s dense, but not oppressively so, with enough straightforward and familiar elements to keep you from getting lost in the absurd. For everyone who’s already on board with this type of stuff, you’ve got another staple to add to your library.

Anathema is out now on Willowtip Records, and if you like what you heard, you can follow Desecravity on Facebook. That’s all for now, so until next time,

Stay Tech


Is your band tech as heck? Got a juicy piece of news or an upcoming release to watch? Send it my way at techdeathtovh@gmail.com and I’ll check it out. I might even talk about it.

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