Tech Death Thursday: Unflesh – Savior
Unflesh are back and are bloodthirsty as ever. These riffs will cut you to pieces.
- Obscura have released the title track from their upcoming album, Diluvium. It’s good, but feels like a step back from their last album. I’ll reserve judgment for the final product. Diluvium is out on July 13th through Relapse Records.
- Humanity’s Last Breath have signed to Unique Leader. Hooray for the perpetuation of deathcore, I guess.
- Alkaloid have put out one last song before the release of Liquid Anatomy. Head over to NCS for the stream and an in-depth review, and look for Liquid Anatomy on May 18th.
- Some losers called Dischordia just released a snippet of “Binge” from their upcoming Binge/Purge EP. This Metallica live tribute comes out on June 15th.
- The Aftermath, featuring members of Deviant Process, have a new album on the way and a new song to show off. As expected, it rules butts. Vermine is out on June 22nd.
- If creeping vertical dissonance is more your speed, check out this new tune from Brood of Hatred. The full album is available now from Crime Records.
- Epiphany From The Abyss, this rad band I just came across, have released a ripping new song… from what’s going to be their final album. Go figure. Look for the rest of the album sometime this summer.
If you are anything like me, you live for the art of shred. You start to get twitchy if you go a day without hearing sweeps. You live and breathe blastbeats. Tapped bass lines are so ingrained in your system that you’d die if they were removed. If you’re like me, you think it’s about time we had an untamed, all-out shred fest around these parts, and for that, we turn to Unflesh.
I was mightily impressed by the tune we premiered a few weeks ago, and having had time to sit and digest the whole of Saviors, I’m just as enthused with the final product. It’s an improvement on the EP in every way, especially with the completed lineup bringing some diversity to the band’s sound. The point/counterpoint riffing and back-and-forth solos readily draw comparisons to Arsis, especially with the blackened feel to much of the music. And, again much like Arsis, it’s quite melodic, though it sacrifices catchiness for virtuosity at times. These are musicians who are incredibly good at their instruments, and they want to make sure you know it.
There are a lot of songs that sit right around the same tempo and are in the same key (the harmonic minor scale reigns supreme- perfect for both neoclassical noodling and spooky chords), but making them all stand out from one another in spite of that is impressive in its own right. “Savior” and “Bestowal of Decay” are both low and dirty and feature tons of spidery riffs, whereas “Final Writhe” and “Erosive Devotees” mix things up with some half-time triplet riffs and ringing extended chords. The second half of the album varies more, dialing back on the speed in favor of melody. “Caliginous” has a catchy lilting feel to it, and closer “Disintegration God” is possibly the album’s best track, carrying the strongest hooks and showcasing all sides of the band’s sound in one package. Both songs are also masterclasses in how to solo at extreme speed without sacrificing emotion; playing simultaneously quickly and soulfully is one of the hardest things to do on guitar (especially with distortion), but these are handled so deftly they make it sound easy.
I’ve been focusing a lot on the guitarists so far, but that’s not to say the rhythm section falls behind at all. The bass is a bit more subdued in the mix than I would have liked, but it’s not entirely drowned out; this is very much a good thing, as it adds another layer of complexity and counterpoint to the music. That might sound overwhelming on paper, but it’s executed in such a way that it actually keeps things from getting out of control. The way it weaves between the guitar parts feels fluid and natural, and it helps the music stay grounded. As to the drums, while Chris Dovas’ style might not be quite as refined as previous session drummer Hannes Grossmann’s, he makes up for it in sheer ferocity. Savior is a much more aggressive album than its predecessor, and Dovas’ drumming plays a large part in making the record the monster that it is.
If you’ve been looking for some tech death that will just tear you to pieces, then Savior is your album. It’s fast and vicious, but smart and intricate. Get yourself a copy when it comes out on May 25th, and be sure to give them your regards on Facebook as well. That’s all for now, and until next time,
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.