Tech Death Thursday: Solipsismo
I’d be willing to bet that most of you haven’t listened to any tech death since last Thursday. For shame, Toilet. To make up for that, I present you Solipsismo; no gimmicks, no twists, no bullshit. Just straight, glorious tech.
But first, this:
- The Hallowed Catharsis have a new album coming next week. While it sounds like the music is interesting enough to stand on its own, what really has me curious is the comic they’re putting out to accompany it. It makes sense for something like this to come with a concept album, and I’m a little surprised more bands don’t do this sort of thing. Look for that on the 26th.
- Fractal Generator are streaming a new song at No Clean Singing from their upcoming album, Apotheosynthesis. You can check out another song on Everlasting Spew’s Bandcamp page. Full album on May 19th.
- The Artisan Era just posted a teaser for the upcoming Dark Matter Secret full-length, and it sounds pretty damn good so far. Perfect World Creation comes out on June 2nd.
- Profanity put out one last song before the release of The Art of Sickness tomorrow. Check out “Recreating Bliss” and drop a preorder at Apostasy Records.
- Dethrone the Corrupted sound like they’d be the deathcoriest of deathcore bands out there, but they actually dole out some surprisingly sinister sounding tech death. Check out their new EP, Sephirot, complete with spooky skeleton cover art (you have been warned).
Virtuosity can be used in a couple different ways. Some musicians try to push the boundaries of their style, inventing new sounds and thought-provoking ways of approaching music. Others just want to write cool shit. And that’s perfectly fine; by no means does an album have to be groundbreaking in order to be entertaining. Solipsismo don’t just fit into the latter category; they revel in it. Sangre Antigua is very by-the-numbers tech death, but it was clearly made with a lot of heart. You can tell the musicians are having fun playing with it, and it’s easy to get caught up in their energy.
Stylistically, Solipsismo are reminiscent of bands such as Vale of Pnath and Black Dahlia Murder. That is to say, it’s generally fairly dark with some neoclassical flourishes and a hefty dose of early Gothenburg influence present throughout. There aren’t a whole lot of twists and turns in the music, but the draw is in the musicianship and the melody. Beyond being really good at their instruments, the band are competent songwriters as well. Each track is loaded with hooks and grooves, and you’ll find yourself bobbing your head along pretty quickly. Their sense of pacing is excellent, too; they give each riff time to sink in before moving on, but they waste no time in building off of them. There’s no wasted space, no ideas that are left undeveloped.
In a somewhat unconventional move, about half of the album is instrumental tracks. Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of instrumental bands focused purely on the guitarists, as they tend to degenerate into unchecked wank fests. Such is not the case here; guitarist Daniel Ortega plays it straight, treating these tracks no different from those with vocals. There’s no gratuitous shredding or indulgent solo odysseys, as the riffs themselves are complex and diverse enough to carry the songs forward on their own.
If there’s any one thing holding the album back, it’s the production. Most aspects aren’t particularly bad- just very digital and clean-sounding- but the programmed drums are a bit obnoxious sometimes, particularly when accents are needed. Superior Drummer is a robust program; it’s possible to make each snare hit sound a little different from the one preceding it, giving the drums a much more human flavor. I feel like a little more care in the programming would have gone a long way towards making the music a bit more palatable.
It’s hard to hold any of that against them, though. This was all done by two guys out of the guitarist’s home, and they’re self-aware enough to have listed Superior Drummer 2.0 as a band member. Sangre Antigua is very much a labor of love, and that excitement is incredibly infectious. It might not break new ground, but I’d be surprised if most tech death fans didn’t get some enjoyment out of it.
That’s all for this week. If you like what you heard, you can find Solipsismo on Facebook and the Bandcamp link above. Sangre Antigua is available now and will only set you back $1 USD; give them some well-deserved support. Until next time,
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