Tech Death Thursday: Redemptor – Arthaneum
Redemptor are back with their third album, and it’s huuuuuge.
- It’s a good week to be a fan of ugly death metal: Karmacipher has a new song out and a new EP on the way. No details as of yet, but keep an eye on their page if you’re interested (and catch up with them here if you’re not familiar).
- Wretched are currently in pre-production for their next album. Get hype.
- Gypsy jazz/tech death fusion one-man project Valsa Ventura has a single out, and it’s as crazy as you’d think. He also did the artwork himself, which is pretty cool.
- From The Shores are streaming their newest album here. This is one of those tech death albums where the “tech” part feels like a side effect of the writing rather than the focus, so check that out if you’re not in the mood for tons of noodling.
Those of you who’ve been around awhile might recall seeing the name Redemptor on Tech Death Thursday before. The band has released two albums in the meantime, but we’re going to gloss right over the second one to look at their latest, Arthaneum. Not that there was anything wrong with The Jugglernaut (perhaps save for the title and artwork), but this new one completely eclipses everything they’ve done up until now. Hit play on one of these tunes and let’s get started.
The first thing you’re likely to notice is how heavy their music is, especially in comparison to a lot of what gets talked about on TDT. Redemptor play the same field as bands like Rivers of Nihil and Black Crown Initiate (EP, not the full lengths, you can relax); that is to say, it’s bleak, dark, and smart. It’s more than just tonal similarity, though- Redemptor likes to use a lot of those open string half-step chords favored by RoN’s second release, and you’ll get big bursts of chunky tremolo picking and the monstrous vocal delivery of BCI. Fans of Ulcerate will get a lot of enjoyment out of “Iconic” and “Tremor,” as they crank up the dissonance and throw in some weird guitar noises. The occasional clean guitar breaks offer splashes of muted color in the gloom, though they don’t really lighten the mood- just change it from angry to depressed. Needless to say, this isn’t particularly uplifting music.
That isn’t saying it’s not a headbanger, though. The mix and tone are super thick and very fitting of the music; it’s pretty much the standard modern death metal sound, but it’s done particularly well here. Those super low-tuned guitars and driving double bass passages hit really hard while retaining their clarity, which is crucial for this particular style of death metal.
Now, anyone who has been following the band will notice a significant maturation of their sound. The EP and their last album both had this bouncy, almost nü-metal-like swagger to it. I’m not going to say it detracted from the music, but I do think this new direction favors their style much better. Arthaneum feels like much more of statement than the previous two; where those were enjoyable death metal outings, this is something that leaves an impact. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that this album is going to stick with me.
In short, this is a huge step up for Redemptor. The songs are tighter, the darker tone complements their penchant for heavy riffing, and it all around feels like a much stronger effort. Arthaneum is a beast; if you like your tech death light on the flair and heavy on substance, you’ll want to check this out. Pick up the album on CD from Selfmadegod Records and digitally from the band; be sure to check them out on Facebook, too. That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so until next time,
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