Tech Death Thursday: Destroying the Devoid
Get ready to verb your nouns; Destroying the Devoid is here on this week’s Tech Death Thursday!
- Allegaeon revealed a surprisingly faithful cover of Rush’s “Subdivisions,” which will close out Proponent For Sentience. Look for that on September 23rd.
- In case you’ve forgotten how awesome Fractal Universe is, check out their new playthrough of “The Enigma of Human’s Sorrow.” Then, once you’re done cleaning up the tattered remains of your face, you can head here to listen to the rest of their album.
- Unfathomable Ruination have a new song up that you can listen to here. I like the barely-controlled chaos within their music, especially during the solos; it makes for a refreshing change of pace from the laser precision of most tech death bands. Finitude is out next Wednesday, August 31st.
- The remaster of A Loathing Requiem’s Psalms of Misanthropy is sounding quite good; take a listen to the original version of “Annihilation Induced by the Luminous Firestorm,” and compare it to the new one. Psalms is out again on September 2nd.
- In case you missed it in the Facebook group or the comments of Toilet Tuesday, there’s a new Ulcerate song that you desperately need to listen to. I give it an Everything Is Fire/3 fire emojis. Shrines of Paralysis is out October 28th on Relapse Records.
They always tell you not to judge a book (or a CD, as it were) by its cover. Usually that’s intended to avoid premature judgment of character based on a person’s outward appearance, but in this case, it’s to stifle the disappointing revelation that Paramnesia isn’t a rad new PS1 horror game. Alas, this rad tech death album will have to suffice. Now put that cover art out of your mind and dive in with me!
…Easier said than done, I suppose.
Destroying the Devoid is a solo effort from Craig Peters, formerly of Arkaik and currently of Deeds of Flesh. This project has little in common with his past work, however; Destroying the Devoid has more in common with Irreversible Mechanism, coming from the same Dimmu-meets-Pnath vein as the latter. Its intent is to explore the fragility of the human psyche, and it succeeds surprisingly well thematically while staying relatively accessible. It’s not the same descent into madness you’ll hear from the likes of, say, Gnaw Their Tongues, but it’s a far cry from the typical sci-fi worship/pervasive machismo of other tech groups.
Injecting synths into a genre of music that functions perfectly without them (see: everything not synthwave) is risky, carrying the potential to make or break your sound entirely. Fortunately, they have been very well implemented on Paramnesia and are one of the album’s greatest strengths. They’re never overbearing, generally letting the metal do its thing without crowding the sound and hopping in for melodies over simple passages, only taking over completely for quiet moments. Those keys-only sections don’t feel superfluous either, serving the dark Gothic tone of the album well. It’s consistently well-integrated, shining when it’s on its own and never detracting from the rest of the music.
Examining the rest of the music, it’s much more reserved than any of the aforementioned bands. Melody is favored over technical showmanship, which is what ultimately makes this work so well. It lets the music feel something beyond rage or frantic anxiety, with an overarching sense of haunted loneliness. Sure, there are still sweeps and some shredding, but it never gets out of control. Peters occasionally evokes a Jeff Loomis vibe, particularly in his solos and very much so on the title track (which sounds like a slightly chunkier “Psalm of Lydia” in parts). Most everything else does its job without being special, save for a couple cool fills, but there are some excellent clean vocals that occasionally shift the tone to somber introspection. Peters’ voice isn’t particularly powerful, but his soft timbre complements the themes of the music well.
I was prepared to give Paramnesia a thorough flushing from the moment I laid eyes on it, but I’m glad I gave it a shot. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable album that defies some of tech death’s regular conventions, giving it its own distinct flavor in the current landscape of the genre. If you like what you heard, stop by Destroying the Devoid’s Facebook page and let them (er, him) bask in your Toilet stank. You can get the album digitally at the Bandcamp link above and physically from Unique Leader. That’s all for this week, and until next time,
(h/t to Jack Bauer for hyping this one so hard)
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