Tech Death Thursday: The Aftermath – Vermine
The Aftermath’s new album is upon us. Let’s get weird and gross.
- Soreption hit us with a slew of updates this week, including the announcement of their next album, a signing to Sumerian Records, and a new song, which is exactly as rad as I had hoped it would be. Monument of the End hits on August 3rd.
- Defeated Sanity will be reissuing Chapters of Repugnance on August 17th with some new material. You can check out one such song, “Insecta Incendium,” right now!
- NCS had a couple of beastly premieres this week. The first comes from Mordant Rapture with “Unsightly Beast,” the first track from their upcoming debut EP. This track absolutely crushes, and if you like it, be sure to give our premiere of “Quell the Voiceless” a listen as well if you missed it the first time around.
- The second is brought to us by Aethereus with “The Pale Beast,” which is delightfully progressive and a fair bit different from a lot of tech death bands playing the field right now. Give that writeup a read before you listen; it offers some insight into the track and album as a whole. While it’s not necessary in order to enjoy the track, it will give you a greater appreciation for it.
- Ascent of Apophis has a new track out, presenting a slick mix of atmospheric stuff and more straightforward tech death. I couldn’t find any details on an album release, but this song is definitely worth a listen.
- Warforged will be hitting the road for a US tour with Apotheon for a couple weeks in August, joined by Enigma and Increate for about a week each. Dates here.
- Instrumental weirdos Sleep Terror have a new album on the way, and if “The Wounds that Unheal” is any indication, it’s going to be equal parts brutal and funky. El Insomne is out June 28th.
I’m coming off my first full listen of Vermine as I write this, and I feel like my brain has been napalmed. I mean that in the best way possible; I like a challenging listen. I hope you’ve done your ear stretches, because The Aftermath are about to put you through some serious aural gymnastics.
For me, the phrase “dissonant death metal” conjures to mind the likes of Gorguts and Ulcerate, the swirling, ponderous sounds that feel as much like observations as they do music. The Aftermath could also be called dissonant death metal, but their style is the polar opposite of the aforementioned bands. This is fast and psychotic, more akin to the ravings of a madman than the teachings of a troubled philosopher. The band hurls riffs at you at a million miles per hour in violent, lacerating spirals. And I do mean spiraling; the musicians rarely mirror what any of the others are doing directly, giving the music a feeling of constant tumult. It’s not uncontrolled, though- each part is woven together deliberately, so while it’s chaotic, it’s coherent and precise. This isn’t the virulent haze of other dissonant death bands; this is directed, sharp, and bloodthirsty.
This might just be me, but I also feel like there’s a sort of punkish quality to the music as well, more in attitude than musical direction. Between the Alex Jones sample that starts off “Animals” and the occasional spurt of goofy David Davidson-style jazzy shredding that shows up in the leads, this feels more like tech-death Dillinger Escape Plan than Ion Dissonance. The super short song length might contribute to that as well; their speed is reflected in the album’s run time, clocking in just shy of 25 minutes. That might seem short, but as with last year’s Archspire album, the sheer volume of ideas injected into each song would make anything more feel excessive.
At other times, Vermine is surprisingly reminiscent of Spawn of Possession. Maybe it’s just because of the pinch harmonics at the start of “All You Can Eat,” but parts of the album felt to me like Incurso 2.0. There’s a little bit of neoclassical melody scattered in throughout the bedlam that, when mixed with the aforementioned skronky parts and filtered through the band’s affinity for counterpoint, really makes it sound like the next step forward from SoP’s 2012 opus. That’s not to say Vermine sounds derivative; the note choice is crazier and the pacing is totally different, but if you liked SoP, you should find something to latch onto here as well.
I’m finishing my third full listen of Vermine as I complete this review. Each pass has revealed more nuance and peeled back another layer of complexity in the music, and I imagine there will be more yet as I return to it in the future. This album is dense, filled to bursting with ideas even in its brief duration. This is definitely not going to be for everyone, but those with an ear for harshness and the patience to give it a dedicated listen will be greatly rewarded.
Is your band tech as heck? Got a juicy piece of news or an upcoming release to watch? Send it my way at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check it out. I might even talk about it.