Tech Death Thursday: Vacuus


Prepare to have your minds blown: this tech death album cover features gold shit flying through space. It’s Tech Death Thursday, and we’re listening to Vacuus!

First, the news:

  • Some guys called Intonate came out of nowhere (read: Montreal) and dropped some weird death metal on us. As Dubbbz pointed out, The Swerve sounds like someone took Gorguts and old Cynic and mashed them together somewhat haphazardly, but the result is still pretty awesome. Props to Jack Bauer for finding these dudes in the first place.
  • Speaking of awesome debuts, The Odious Construct just released their self-titled EP over the weekend, and I’d be featuring it today were it a bit longer. I need more! Check it out for some excellent synthy tech.
  • Monumental Torment also released an EP over the weekend, and while the music itself is quite good, its production is headache inducing. I’d still recommend it to the most tech-hardened listeners, but prepare yourself for what is quite possibly the worst drum sound ever.
  • After several months of delays, Heresy Denied has finally released Innerception. Give it a listen if you like your melodeath more on the technical side.
  • Serpentspire, who I covered on my very first Tech Death Thursday, are re-releasing The Cosmic Throne with their new lineup and improved production. You can stream their revamped debut over at No Clean Singing.
  • In much shittier news, Arkaik had a significant amount of gear stolen from their practice space last week… right before a tour. The band has started a fundraiser to help replace their equipment; head here if you want to donate.

It occurred to me that I’ve been talking about a lot of modern-sounding bands lately on TDT, so it’s time to mix things up a little. Let me introduce you to Vacuus. They’re a new band, yes, but their sound is firmly rooted in the past, sharing much more in common with Atheist or Cynic than the likes of Archspire or Obscura. It’s a refreshing change of pace in a genre that is becoming increasingly homogenized, even if the band doesn’t bring the genre to any new places themselves.

Of course, you don’t have to break boundaries to make good music, and Vacuus are damn good at what they do. Their attack is vicious, coming in at odd angles with a continually shifting form. The amorphous song structure and pseudo-melodic approach to songwriting are reminiscent of their predecessors, but they play with the focus and drive of a modern band. What really gets me about Vacuus’ music is that they seem to have actually learned from the past; they feel like they’ve built on the foundation laid for them rather than simply reflected it. As I said, it’s not really anything new, but it feels like a culmination of sorts. I feel like the modern landscape of technical death metal would look a lot more like this if the anomaly that is Necrophagist hadn’t been introduced.

If there’s any one part of Eternal Continuum Hallucination that feels contemporary, it’s the guitar solos. They tend to be much more melodic than the tracks behind them, with plenty of legato runs and harmonized passages offsetting the general ugliness of the sound. It’s an interesting dichotomy that works surprisingly well, and while there aren’t a lot of solos, they offer a welcome (if bizarre) reprieve from the album’s steady assault.

All in all, this is a fantastic effort from a new band. It does more than simply offer a nostalgia trip; it shows that there are still ways that the genre can grow and flourish. Eternal Continuum Hallucination is out now and can be picked up at their Bandcamp page, with physical versions coming sometime in the near future. Vacuus is also on Facebook; stop by their page and tell them to jump in the Toilet. They might not understand, but they’ll learn. That’s all for this week, folks; until next time,

Stay Tech

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