Tech Death Thursday: Hemotoxin and Sutrah
We’ve got some sweet new records lined up today that stray from the tech death norm.
When we last checked in on Hemotoxin, Restructure the Molded Mind was still slated for a December 2019 release, and everything was sounding a little… half-baked. Not the song itself, mind you, but the mix and master felt just a wee bit looser than ideal. Fortunately for our ears, the album was pushed out to mid March to give it a little more time in the oven, and I’m here to tell you that the final product is well worth the delay.
Hemotoxin’s particular variation of prog-death thrash is a bit more “death” and a little less “thrash” than their labelmates Algebra and Ripper, generally proceeding at a more even keel than either of the latter bands, but without sacrificing any power or ferocity. Restructure is a fairly straightforward and melodic listen; the progressive elements come more in the form of unconventional melody and note choice rather than song and riff structure (tempo shifts in “Legions of Alienation” and “Unreality” notwithstanding). Be it the band’s propensity for spidery 9th-chord melodies or sudden key changes, they keep you guessing while keeping the songs flowing at a perfectly smooth, perfectly headbangable pace. Guitar solos are frequent and flashy, and they’re a highlight of each song.
Fans of the band’s previous effort, Biological Enslavement, will have a pretty good idea of what to expect here; Hemotoxin sticks to their guns on this newest release, but they’ve tightened up both their performance and songwriting. If you’re unfamiliar with the group but are looking for some good death thrash with equal parts brain and brawn, you should keep an eye on Restructure the Molded Mind. Look for it on March 16 from Unspeakable Axe.
I’m just gonna cut all the bullshit and get straight to the point: I love this EP. I’ve been spinning it over and over for close to two months now, and every subsequent listen has brought about new discoveries in its myriad layers of mysterious melody. Frankly, I’ve been putting off reviewing it because I’m not sure I’ve got the acumen as a writer to say exactly why it’s so good, though; it’s really hard to do music like this justice in written form.
Before we get started, if you don’t know Sutrah, I highly recommend going back and listening to their last album, Dunes, and also give Link’s review and interview with the band a read; both are very enlightening and will give you a very good picture of what’s going on on the record. But if you just want the quick and dirty lowdown, Sutrah represents my absolute favorite sect of the death metal canon, the melodic, not quite brutal death metal sound that’s been explored by so few bands to date. Their riffs are fast and pummeling, to be sure, but it creates this mystical combination of brutality and meditative, enchanting atmosphere that is simply stunning to listen to.
If you had asked me back in December what my favorite 15+ minute death metal song was, I’d have had a much more ODSM-flavored answer, but Aletheia’s monstrous closing track has usurped that honor. Sutrah may be a relatively new band, but I’d put them right up there with both Lykathea Aflame and Mithras, analogous both in style and in quality. If that sounds like your jam, then be on the lookout for Aletheia’s March 13th release.
That’s all I’ve got for now; I hope at least one of these bands tickles your fancy. Be sure to check out Hemotoxin and Sutrah at their respective social media pages if you want to show them some additional support, and until next time,