Tech Death Thursday: Spectrum of Delusion
We’re jamming some fresh new tunes from a fresh new band today. Spectrum of Delusion is here, and they demand your attention.
- Todd Honeycutt, bassist for Enfold Darkness, has passed away. A fundraiser has been established to help his family cover funeral costs.
- Unhuman just put up a guitar playthrough for “Chaotic Equilibrium.” Hopefully we’ll get some new music from them sometime soon.
- Anachronism also has a guitar playthrough up for “Cursed Be the Senses” from their recent demo. Check this out if you want some slightly dissonant, super dark prog death.
- If that first single from Inverted Serenity left you craving more, fear not: they just released another new tune, and it jams even harder than the first one. Listen to “We Who Wander” and look for As Spectres Wither on October 6th.
It’s a testament to how spoiled we’ve been for new tech death this year when I’ve had to put off writing about a band like this for almost a month. This summer has been particularly kind, seeing the release of a couple of my favorites thus far, plus a handful of pleasant surprises. Spectrum of Delusion is one of the latest of those surprises, coming seemingly out of nowhere with a debut that puts a lot of seasoned acts to shame. I’ve been itching to write about these guys for awhile now, so hit play on one of these links and let’s get to it.
To try to liken Spectrum of Delusion to another single act doesn’t really do the eclectic nature of their songs justice, but if you go in expecting Beyond Creation by way of Deviant Process, you won’t be too far off. They have some of the same jazz touch and the fretless bass presence of the former delivered with the unwavering ferocity of the latter. It’s an extremely potent concoction; the band generally avoids the linear “follow-the-scale” approach of most musicians, but they don’t take the hazy chord approach of dissonant death bands, either. This results in distinct riffs, spruced up with tapping and string skipping, that sound like few other bands out there.
They go several other directions as well. “Timelines” is built on low head-whipping riffs designed to grind your spine to a fine powder, and “Reverie” opens with an angular, sliding harmony over a driving drum beat that crashes into beefy grooves tinged with doom. “Ruler of Cruel” goes off on a weirder tangent, taking less than a minute to hit a slithering saxophone solo and some jaunty prog riffing, reprising that saxophone solo shortly thereafter on the guitar. Oh, and you get some slams and one of the most primal death metal shrieks you’ll ever hear from a tech death band out of it as well. These brief descriptions aren’t even really that accurate, either, as each of these songs takes multiple twists and turns before they reach their conclusion.
That unpredictability is a huge part of why Esoteric Entity works so well. It subverts your expectations to the point that it feels weird when it goes in the direction your ear anticipates. This album is a prime example of clever songwriting; it naturally keeps your attention by doing all this weird shit, but the songs flow so well that it doesn’t feel like you’re putting forth any effort in listening to it. Despite its density and virtuosity, it’s very palatable, constantly catching you off guard while keeping your head moving.
Esoteric Entity is out now, available on Bandcamp for €1.50; extremely reasonable for one of the year’s best tech albums (and I know I say that about every other album I talk about, but for real this time). If you like what you heard, be sure to check out Spectrum of Delusion on Facebook. That’s all for this time, so until next week,
Do you have a band you would like to see featured? A new release we should keep an eye on? Or maybe you want to do some writing yourself? Then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and make your voice heard!