Tech Death Thursday: Wormed and Freedom of Fear
Hell yeah, it’s time for some tech. Er, prog tech. Should be a little something for everyone this week, so let’s dive right in!
Them wormy boys are back with a new EP, and needless to say, it fucking rules. It’s also been out for close to a month now, so you’ve probably already heard it, but, uh… better late than never, right?
Wormed’s previous album, Krighsu, is a brutal tech death masterpiece. Its hideously low vocals and frenetic pace are emblematic of brutal death, but the weird chords and surgical precision of the performances are pure tech death. In other words, it’s the best of both worlds, and it sounds like the aural equivalent of an interdimensional space spider crawling into your ears.
Metaportal is a bit more straightforward than its older sibling as far as the riffs go, but it dabbles a little more in tense ambiance than its predecessor. It’s still fast and intense, as is characteristic of their music, but the guitarists don’t jump around the fretboard quite as much. It’s no less potent, however; this slightly simplified approach allows the riffs to settle in more easily, and the cascades of blastbeats and tremolo passages pack a wallop. If you were intimidated by the last album’s insanity, give this one a shot.
Our next offering today is much less crazy, but no less awesome. Freedom of Fear has only been on my radar for about a week, but they’ve accounted for a substantial portion of my listening in that time. Nocturnal Gates is a powerhouse of melodic and progressive death metal, mixing together various aspects of established formulas into something truly unique.
The lilting 6/8 time and 9th chords in the opening of “The Consciousness of Misery” along with the prominent bass presence gives it something of a Beyond Creation feel, but the fifth harmonies and overall flow of the primary melody is very much Death/Contrarian territory. “Abstract Venom” feels very Münzneresque, and “Purgatorium” throws some monstrous Gojira-style breakdowns into the mix. There’s quite a lot at play on this record, but part of its beauty is in its cohesion. Nothing sounds out of place here, and each transition to new moods and new textures feels natural and calculated. I’m not going to go so far as to call this a perfect album, but the only real complaint I have is that there’s not more of it.
But hey, if you’re in need of more, Freedom of Fear does have one prior EP out. Kingdom of Ashes is a bit more archetypal melodeath than Nocturnal Gates, but it’s still way better than the average Bodom knockoff schlock getting churned out every week. Plus it’s name-your-price; give it a listen if you get through Gates and are hungry for more.