Tech Death Thursday: Tethys
Tethys brings us that sweet, pure tech we so need on Thursdays. Brace for weedlies!
- In case you missed it, we premiered a new Æpoch song yesterday. Check this out for tastefully prog-laden death metal with some chunky vocals. Awakening Inception is out on April 13th.
- If you dug the last Dyscarnate album, but thought it could have been a wee bit slammier, check out the new tune from Ingested. It’s certainly not pure slam, largely running the course on brutal death metal riffs, but it’s a knuckle-dragging good time regardless (if a bit on the clean side). The Level Above Human comes out on April 27th through Unique Leader.
- This Unflesh teaser sounds amazing. Blackened tech death at its finest. Savior comes out on May 25th.
- Invisible Oranges is streaming “Carrion Tide,” the newest tune from Augury. It’s jazzy and has a super unique middle section; be sure to check that out for some prog death goodness. Illusive Golden Age releases on March 30th.
- Rivers of Nihil have the title track from Where Owls Know My Name streaming over at Loudwire. Turns out my Black Crown Initiate vocal comparison was a little more on point than I expected. Look for the full album on March 16th.
- Zac Leaser is not a name I had heard prior to listening to this song, but he’s definitely on my radar now. “Arrival” has some intense guitar work, and I’m hoping the rest of the EP follows suit. Arrival is out on May 4th.
- Where Deprivation Lies put out a little instrumental demo earlier this week, and it just kicks so much ass. Hopefully we’ll see the full release of Psalms to the Synthetic Divine sooner rather than later.
- Coexistence has a new song that sounds exactly like “Earthborn Evolution.” Like, almost note-for-note through the introduction, until it transforms into a different Beyond Creation song at 2:30 or so. I guess they moved that slide note from the bass to the lead guitar, at least? Anyway, Contact with the Entity comes out on April 20th.
Apparently I went braindead last November, as everyone else in the tech death community seems to have jumped on the new Tethys EP already as it flew completely under my radar. One of you probably sent it to me (probably Jack Bauer) and I forgot about it, so uh… woops. In any case, I’m just getting around to Whispers of Creation now, and it fucking rules. Let’s jam some tech.
Whispers of Creation is one of those cases where it’s totally okay to judge a book- or album, as the case may be- by its cover. Swooping green and purple extraterrestrial landscape? Band named after a celestial body? Mystical-sounding album title? You already know what you’re in for here: fast, flashy tech death with a strong affinity for the harmonic minor scale, sweeps, and some light touches of progressive elements. They’ve got a few things that help separate them from the pack, though. Clean vocals are sprinkled in on a couple tracks, but their use is very different in each spot: they have an unhinged feel on “Progenitor of Thought” not unlike the early days of Sanctuary, and they help build on the spacey atmosphere of “Astral Transcendence.” There’s a substantial focus on syncopation over constant sixteenths as well; a fairly small difference, but its impact is noticeable.
A big part of what makes Tethys’s music work so well is their separation of the showy parts from the vast majority of the riffs themselves. There’s certainly a lot going on at any given point, but the more technical parts are by and large relegated to the leads. The riffs themselves are simpler and to the point, working with the drums and bass to anchor your ear to the flow and rhythm of the song. It frees the lead guitar to explore more complex melodies without being overwhelming.
And boy, there are a lot of melodies. If you’re a fan of solos (and lead guitar in general), you’re going to love this album. Whispers has leads aplenty, and while they’re finger-breakingly fast, there’s a lot of heart put into them. The solos are played with the song-within-a-song approach, each one going through its own mini journey.
While not the most groundbreaking material ever penned, Whispers of Creation is a very enjoyable listen. It’s technical without going overboard, has some meaty riffing, and a solid mix and master. If you’re at all a fan of tech death, you’re going to have fun with this one. You can pick it up at Bandcamp, and you can follow Tethys on Facebook. That’s all for this week; until next time,
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