Tech Death Thursday: Djinn-Ghul
Spear’s out of town, so I’ve got the House of Tech all to myself. Boy, you know we gon’ get ignorant. It’s time for some slams with the absurdly heavy Djinn-Ghul!
But first, what’s going on in the wide world of Tech?
- Entheos released a new music video ahead of their next album Dark Future, due out November 10th. It’s got a slightly poppy sound for tech death, so perhaps the band is trying to expand their appeal.
- Michael Keene and The Faceless ghouls have released a new song called “Digging the Grave” ahead of In Becoming a Ghost, due out December 1st. The YouTube comments tell me Brojob think this song is “dick-swinging.”
- Aparia have finished tracking vocals and solos for a new album. Release date to be set soon.
- Subnuba have released a new song/video called “Invocatus” as a proof-of-concept, of sorts, for an upcoming full-length. You can also download the track “Harmoniae Mortuae” for free. Get your yub-yub at Bandcamp.
Alright, enough of this. Let us dawn our best flat-brimmed caps, mesh shorts, and gold-flecked grillz. Come on and slam!
While Tech Death Thursday is traditionally the home of finesse and speed, occasionally we like to indulge our deviant desires and get fat and sloppy in the process. Enter Denver’s Djinn-Ghul, a two-piece brutal death/slam band with a handful of interesting attributes to separate their brand new album, Wander Not, from the pack. For one, this band’s sound is absurdly heavy. All of the guitar parts, written by Grant Nachbur, make use of extremely-downtuned riffs varying from slower chugs to surprisingly tight tremolo and more traditional death metal riffs. Nachbur achieves this heaviness by unabashedly borrowing a tone and tuning that would make The Acacia Strain post-8-string-guitars blush. Think Beneath the Massacre technicality filtered through Whitechapel’s low-register pick scrapes and string bends circa A New Era of Corruption but used to deliver Nile-esque sweeps and chugs, and you’ve got an idea what to expect.
Thankfully, Nachbur and vocalist/producer/engineer Junior A. Patiño have the compositional chops to ensure that this band doesn’t devolve into the abject blandness and rote technical monotony of many of the aforementioned artists. No, Djinn-Ghul’s second appeal is the band’s sense of dynamics and variety. Across these seven tracks, Nachbur delivers more machined rhythmic changes (the drums are programmed) than you’ll find on a Disfiguring the Godess record, and with a mercifully and significantly lower number of breakdowns. When the band does slow things down, however, the songs become all the more interesting for it because of the little eccentricities Nachbur has programmed into the music. Take “Ichor to Flesh,” for example. Although the song quickly morphs from a series of grinding slams into a full-blown blastfest, it quickly comes juddering into a messy heap again. Thankfully, this breakdown is accompanied by both power metal(!)-esque synths and an absolutely absurd blast/programmed tabla and sitar attack. It’s stupid and ridiculous, and I love it.
On paper, that sounds jarring and discordant and unappealing, and while it certainly is nuts, the band’s bizarre knack for making experimentation sound sexy and exciting in an often regressive genre is ultimately what makes them so fascinating. In addition to those little power metal and Eastern folk flourishes you’ll hear a lot of unexpected syncopation, layered and diverse vocal effects, throwbacks to 80s horror movie soundtracks, and about ten times more counterpoint than you’d ever expect to hear from a band that slams. The drum programming too is a far more of a help than a hindrance; the snare blasts get dialed in at just the right tone and impact for the music, never dominating the fat riffs but never sounding tinny or fake. It’s obvious they aren’t played by a human, but when you’re going for a goregrind-inspired, absolutely gnarly sound, I’m not sure any old meatbag could really fit the bill.
In summation, Djinn-Ghul do a lot of really, really stupid things on this record, but they all work in such a way to elevate Wander Not to the peak of the slam pile. It’s technical and heavy and zany, and it all just makes me want to hate mosh my brains out.
Until next time,