Tech Death Thursday: EP Catch-Up
We’ve missed a couple EP’s from the last couple months that deserve your attention. We’ve got the newest from Kardashev and Karmacipher, plus an insane debut from Blackwater Burial!
- Aparia premiered the first song from their upcoming debut, Beyond the Walls of Man, and it’s pretty sweet; just the right amount of weedlies and grooves on this one. We should see some more details emerging soon.
- Augury unveiled the track list and art for Illusive Golden Age, their upcoming third full length. This one has been a long time coming- nearly a decade- so I’m excited to see where they take this. Look for a new single early next week and the full album on March 30th.
- Speaking of long overdue tech death, Cosmic Atrophy just put out a new track. It’s a fair bit different from Codex Incubo, but if you’re into weird, doomy death metal with crazy shreds, this is what you need. Hopefully we’ll be hearing more from them before too long.
Kardashev’s previous album, Peripety, was a powerful atmospheric death metal opus and a huge step forward for the band. They shed their deathcore trappings in favor of warm, spacey melodies over some truly punishing riffs. I’d go as far as to say that it’s a landmark album for the genre, following shortly in the wake of Fallujah’s The Flesh Prevails and helping usher in a surge of ethereal tech death releases. The only thing that was unclear was whether this represented a new direction for the band or if it was just a single stroke of genius that wouldn’t be repeated.
The Almanac proves that the shift in sound on Peripety wasn’t just a one off. Kardashev doubled down on the atmospheric side of their music on this new EP, focusing more on raw emotion than on traditional riffing. That’s not to say it’s gone entirely- “Beside Cliffs and Chasms” in particular showcases some of the band’s best riffs to date, as well as a beautiful bass-driven second half- but its role is secondary. Melodic hooks are more present in the vocals this time around, which are about fifty percent sung. I don’t know if anyone has applied the “post-tech-death” label to anything before, but that’s what I’m choosing to call The Almanac; it stands out in the crowd, and is an excellent followup to one of my favorite albums of the last couple years.
Anyone into dissonant death metal should already be familiar with Hong Kong’s Karmacipher, and I think a lot of people who prefer their metal with riffs should be as well. Their debut, Necroracle, does a good job of meeting both sides in the middle. There are clearly defined riffs throughout its run, but damn are they some ugly riffs. This balanced approach made it as memorable as it was menacing, and it’s thoroughly enjoyable.
If Necroracle was ugly, then 陣獄 (“Prison,” assuming Google translate can be trusted) is downright vile. In a move similar to last year’s Corpse Garden album, they’ve honed in on the dissonant side of their music, and the result is as harsh as you’d expect. Though only 15 minutes long, Prison is a slow burn, layering on thick, sludgy chords atop anxiety-inducing drumming. The haunting acoustic guitar ending does nothing to alleviate this, leaving you with all the tension it builds up. While it may lose some people who were a fan of the more riff-driven approach of the first album, Karmacipher are exceedingly good at what they do here. This EP is necessary listening for anyone into dissonant death.
I was completely unfamiliar with this last band before last night, but they blew me away the moment I started listening. Blackwater Burial bring together light prog elements, sweeping melodic shredding, and a sense of sinister grandiosity akin to Arsis together for a truly glorious mix. It’s the most typically “tech death” album featured here today, but the band’s sound is distinct in spite of that. Part of what makes Degraded Being so good is the band’s sense of pacing. The songs are well-structured; they know when to groove and when to blast, and no individual part overstays its welcome. Harmonies and solos hit at exactly the right spots, and the drummer does a great job of keeping repeated riffs fresh by mixing up his beats. This is just a really well put together album, and I can’t wait to hear more from the band.
That’s all I’ve got for this week; hopefully at least one of these bands tickles your fancy. Kardashev, Karmacipher, and Blackwater Burial can all be found at their respective Facebook pages and at the Bandcamp links above. Until next time,
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