January 2019’s Featured Band is….Fractal Universe!

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The first featured band for 2019 is the ever so awesome Fractal Universe!  The French group caught my ears when I heard “Sons of Ignorance” off their full length “Engram Of Decline” and I’ve been hooked ever since.  This hard working independent prog/tech death band was also just recently signed to the Metal Blade Records roster as well! I think this band is a force to be reckoned for a multitude of reasons. I say so because they blend the right amount of tasteful work and complex songwriting along with great groove and soulful guitar leads (not wild 400 BPM arpeggios, sweeps and tapping on repeat!).  They’re the total opposite of Spawn Of Possession, Necrophagist and Archspire but they’re just way too good to not be heard of. What can be summed up from my fanboying is they are extremely tasteful songwriters, and are a welcome addition to a genre that can be overdone. The band has been working hard as can be in their own country with their debut offering an EP called “Boundaries Of Reality”.  They’ve relentlessly toured throughout their country and other places, as an independent band.  I’ve known of them for almost 2 years now and it has been great to see the guys progress as a band and artists.

I’m trying not to post any music, so you can check out their songs all month long.  For a new and young band, their music is well crafted and down to a legitimate science.  Fractal Universe should be heard and known about by more people and bands, and deserve a great opportunity at this point.  Getting signed to a great label should be the start of an even brighter future for the band, and couldn’t be any more excited as an avid fan of Fractal Universe.  I wish the guys the best of luck on their new endeavors with the label.  Also, that photo shows there is a new album due out in a few months!   They have been in full promotion mode for “Engram Of Decline” since it’s release two years ago and have recently been recording between shows.  If they gave us a solid offering a few years ago, I highly doubt they’ll disappoint anyone.  To anyone that doesn’t know Fractal Universe…..I hope you do now and will give their music a legitimate shot.  That is the point of these monthly showcases (with possible interviews, whenever I get around to them).

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https://www.fractaluniverseband.com

https://fractaluniverseband.bandcamp.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjLP_-0zgReR0Tl05RZ7YQ

 

Dave’s Best of 2018 Awards!

Hello folks! I am back with my second “Best Of” Awards article…..but with more sections to spice things up. Newcomer Vick wrote hers and I’m here with my valued or unvalued opinion with some possible bias. The numbers aren’t important in my article I DO NOT RANK I just list my favorite albums. I’m going to apologize right meow as I have a lot of categories if it’s too long…..but then again its for a full year and there were lots of GREAT releases and new bands starting up that should be put to the forefront.  I hope you enjoy the new categories too.  Let’s get it on!

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Up and Coming Bands

Inanimate Existence– Artisan Era (my favorite label) tech/prog death metal powerhouses released a great album “Underneath A Melting Sky” in 2017 and Guitarist Cameron Porras’ songwriting and playing only gets better every release.  The guys work great as a cohesive three piece band.  If they get put on the Summer Sumerian/Slaughter/Summer’s Disappointment tour or a big festival like Download/Hellfest/Graspop they would kick the shit out of the same pop metal bands that have graced some of those stages.  I have a lot of faith in this band and are vastly underrated.  Keep an eye on the IE dudes.

Dischordia– Oklahoma dissonant/tech/progressive death metallers released a great EP that is the most experimental and original thing I have heard in a bit in the genre.  It’s becoming blatantly obvious how much I love the different experiments some death metal bands are doing.  If a genre stays stagnant…..are you really making any progression? Does one ALWAYS have to abide by the rules and stereotype of a genre? NO! As artists, we hate feeling creatively suffocated (so to say) to a label and want to write what we want and how we want! Dischordia just keeps pushing that envelope and their crazy 2 song 24 minute EP “Binge/Purge” really surprised me.  Earlier this year I heard the guys and it blew my mind.  Ukulele, Flute, Mandolin and other various instruments are included in their latest release.  Also, there is a plethora of  heavy influence of dissonance and cool rhythms the trio has come up with.  Every release Dischordia’s sound and songwriting has progressed “Binge/Purge” has really helped push their experimentation to the forefront.  Keep an eye on them as well.  Below is my article of the EP stream through Decibel Magazine to get your Dischordia on!

Dischordia- Binge/Purge EP stream via Decibel Magazine

Burial In The Sky– Another great up and coming band that’s helping break that stereotypical extreme metal sound.  Why do I dig this band a lot? Their latest album “Creatio Et Hominus” includes a lot of saxophone! The band also has hits of psychadelic rock sprinkled throughout the album.  BITS has been pushing progressive death metal’s boundaries as well.  Their first few offerings were more straightforward but got real experimental with the album. They’re a young and promising band who you need to look out for. Originality and talent can make for a promising career….and I hope Burial In the Sky achieves everything they want to because they deserve it.

Burial In The Sky April 2018 Interview

BEST EP’S AND SINGLES OF 2018

  1. Mordant Rapture- The Abnegation
  2. Carnal Decay- When Push Comes To Shove
  3. Dischordia- Binge/Purge
  4. Widow’s Peak- Graceless
  5. Infinitee- The Possibilities Are Endless
  6. I Am Destruction- Violence Devours
  7. Between The Buried And Me- Automata 1
  8. Divine Realm- Nordicity
  9. Leprous- Golden Prayers (Single)
  10. Cynic- Humanoid (Single)
  11. Between The Buried And Me- Automata 2
  12. The Odious Construct- Shrine Of The Obscene
  13. Godless- Swarm
  14. Oppressor God- Mechanical Manslaughter
  15. Promethean- The Nameless Colour
  16. Weaponex- In The Nick Of Time
  17. Infinite Nomad- Luminous Throat
  18. Catalysis- Catalysis
  19. Astrolabe- The Hermit, The Fool, The Hanged Man
  20. Crevassian- Crevassian
  21. Fawn Limbs- Thrum
  22. Ash prison- Prophetic Automation

BEST ALBUMS OF 2018

  1. Oubliette- The Passage
  2. Aethereus- Absentia
  3. Obscura- Diluvium
  4. Jollymon- Voidwalker
  5. Lago- Sea Of Duress
  6. Xenosis- Devour And Birth
  7. The Beast Of Nod- Vampire: Disciples Of Chaos
  8. AHTME- Sewerborn
  9. Burial In The Sky- Creatio Et Hominus
  10. Unflesh- Savior
  11. Alkaloid- Liquid Anatomy
  12. The Slyde- Awakening
  13. At The Gates- To Drink From The Night Itself
  14. Skinless- Savagery
  15. Galactic Empire- Episode Two
  16. ISA- Chimera
  17. Ingested- The Level Above Human
  18. Inferi- Revenant
  19. Aepoch- Awakening Inception
  20. Slugdge- Esoteric Malacology
  21. Augury- Illusive Golden Age
  22. Rivers Of Nihil- Where Owls Know My Name
  23. Montheist- Scourge
  24. Alterbeast- Feast
  25. Decrescent- Blackened Bequest
  26. Forever In Transit- States Of Disconnection
  27. Pestilence- Hadeon
  28. Into The Great Divide- Into The Great Divide
  29. Aviations- The Light Years
  30. Soreption- Monument Of The End
  31. Exocrine- Molten Giant
  32. Trigger- The Harbor
  33. Serocs- Phobos/Deimos Suite
  34. Cognitive- Matricide
  35. Haken- Vector
  36. Gorod- Aethra
  37. Internal Bleeding- Corrupting Influence
  38. The Ocean- Phanerozoic 1: Palaeozoic
  39. Neptunus- Alien Conspiracy
  40. Torturous Inception- Arcane Dominion
  41. Dysmorphic- An Illusive Progress
  42. Inertia- Teratoma
  43. Kraanium- Slamchosis
  44. Sarah Longfield- Disparity
  45. Psycroptic- As The Kingdom Drowns
  46. Arsis- Visitant
  47. Halothane- A False Reality
  48. Zac Leaser- Redeemer
  49. Gourmand- Blossoming From The Grave
  50. Tesseract- Sonder

Best Independent Bands

  1. Aepoch
  2. Unflesh
  3. Dischordia
  4. Xenosis
  5. Promethean
  6. Bleak flesh
  7. Gourmand

What releases I’m looking forward to in 2019

  1. Bleak Flesh
  2. Promethean
  3. Inanimate Existence
  4. Black Crown Initiate
  5. The Haarp Machine
  6. Opeth (maybe a single? Just…maybe?)
  7. Animals As Leaders
  8. Mastodon
  9. Scar Symmetry
  10. Aepoch (maybe?)
  11. Abbath (maybe?)
  12. Anabasis already won the best local release of 2019 already unless something changes my mind. If you supported the Syracuse band’s campaign, you would have received a digital download of their upcoming album “Of Conviction” due out officially in January.  If you want to grab a cd or some merchandise to help out the lads on their debut full length, go ahead and do so right here.
  13. Turning Virtue
  14. The Tao Of Davey K
  15. Fire Garden
  16. Continuum
  17. Desecravity
  18. Allegaeon
  19. Divinex
  20. Disentomb
  21. Fields Of Elysium (I hope!)
  22. Godeater
  23. Blasteroid
  24. A Novelist
  25. Contrarian
  26. The Zenith Passage
  27. Fractal Universe
  28. Organectomy
  29. Arkaik
  30. The Ocean
  31. Oblivion
  32. Devin Townsend
  33. Equipoise
  34. The Ritual Aura

Personal Favorite Music Industry Trends of 2018

  1. Increasing number of bands doing as much as they can independently. Record labels are becoming bigger blood suckers. Props to the increasing number of musicians going this route, also really great for more income coming back their way.
  2. More instrumental bands! I love seeing instrumental bands! Not every band needs a vocalist, or music needs a singer….the music can sing on its own.  Remember classical music? It was instrumental, then opera singers came along.  It’s just good to change it up….ya know, like Divinex or The Surrealist.
  3. The Artisan Era signing so many killer bands that are only strengthening their roster that has been a label since 2014.  A grassroots label run by guys in bands ON THAT LABEL there’s no suits involved….a label made by musicians, run by musicians, for musicians.  How can you not love the rise of The Artisan Era? OKAY, maybe if you don’t like or appreciate technical death metal and instrumental bands I guess I could see it.  How many did they add in 2018? Like 10 bands? But….10 GREAT BANDS.

Best TMR Moments of 2018

  1.  That wild voting race for the website’s May artist of the month….who remembers? And, who voted? That was fun!
  2. Getting a handful or more of EP, song and video premieres throughout the website’s first 10-ish months of being online.  Hard work pays off, promote yourself and your work….make connections.  I’m grateful for the friendships and opportunities I have been given in the short time Technical Music Review has been online.  I’m equally as humbled for all the music I have received through many sources. Being a musician and music freak I have learned of so many solid bands through this short journey.  And to boot, I also premiered a few playthroughs as well….the musician in me absolutely enjoyed them!
  3. Becoming the Prime Minster of Indonesia.  Not really, but seriously though their music scene is very killer and uncovered.  I discovered a few bands towards the end of the year from there and developing a growing interest in that country’s metal scene.  I’m buddy-buddy with a small record label from there and a band from said label.  It’s a tech driven country with plenty of death metal bands too.  Check out a few of their bands right here.

2018’S BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS

Yeah there are always letdowns it’s a big part of life.  Let me dive into some from 2018.

  1. Machine Head’s shitty album Catharsis.  This album was so bad, it forced two of it’s long time members to quit.  Now you’re talking about someone who has been a big fan of Machine Head since I got into them during the Ashes Of Empires era.  Besides The Burning Red and Supercharger I loved this band.  I’m more Conservative than anything, and even with their Liberal lyrics I still appreciate their emotion opinions and stellar musicianship.  I get it, most musicians are Democrats or Liberal to an extent.  Rob Flynn has had a solid career as a musician but the last few years have gotten bad and leading up to Catharsis (to me at least) was a totally different band.  It’s like his songwriting was uninspired and teenager like (random lyrics about sex, drug use, and not to mention bringing back nu metal to the band sound) for a band that has put out much deeper sets of lyrics.  I try to get in bed with the album, and every time I have to leave.  “Is There Anybody Out There?” was an absolutely awful song and a rant most likely about Phil Anselmo.  I had a bad feeling if their upcoming album was going to be like this song, it was going to be rough….and in my eyes I think it was.  I thought when Robb posted the acoustic set of “Bastards” I envisioned it as another rant and spur of the moment song venting frustration….I DID NOT EXPECT IT TO BE A MACHINE HEAD SONG! Voilatile is a good song musically, but when I heard he admitted he wrote the lyrics after the Charlotteville attacks was even more sketchy.  As soon as a big event happens, you decide to write song lyrics about it…..and bitch about politics again. How, original.  Let’s see if the band is done forever, or he can pull more rabbits out of his ass like he did for Ashes Of Empires and arguably the band’s greatest effort The Blackening. Oh, and the whole band costume thing is kinda gay…..like KISS gay.
  2. Threatin.  Yeah that shit was rough too.  Great for the guy he self booked and funded a European tour for his music, but feel bad for the poor bastards that temporarily took part in this shitshow.  Nobody bought the guy’s merchandise or even went to the shows.  I feel just as bad for the bands that opened up for the few shows Threatin played.  Just an absolute embarrassment all around.  To play devil’s advocate, it is pretty impressive logistically how the guy pulled this thing off financially and got artists to play his music (well for a few shows at least).  Disappointing to say the least but was there any stigma at all when he booked? Was it his fucked up masterplan that was to create a huge online presence (after he bought many Facebook likes) and promote himself? We won’t really know…or will we?
  3. Unique Leader Records and their fuckery.  COME AT ME BRO! It’s true, and their ever-growing laundry list of bands that have left the label is just insane.  They keep signing so many bands to the point they’re overloading their roster and also possibly ignoring bands.  Death metal made that label, modern metal bands are filling up their roster and the number of bands on the record label is sky rocketing unlike The Challenger.  With the unfortunate passing of label founder Erik Lindmark (Deeds of Flesh), other label coworkers took over the work in Erik’s absence.  It took them over a month to put some of their releases on Bandcamp, and kept making excuses (when it doesn’t take long) why they haven’t yet.  They recently signed another band, and I mentioned it again on their facebook announcement of another generic death core band.  They ignored and asked me if I listened to that band yet and said they should promote the bands on their label already instead of adding more.  They immediately took down their comment on their facebook page, trying to divert my attention from my comment and they failed….like they’re failing Erik who’s currently rolling over in his grave.  AND GET THIS…..they’re currently running a contest to buy one of their albums on their band camp website, and you’re then entered to WIN A CHANCE TO OWN THEIR ENTIRE LIBRARY OF MUSIC! Doesn’t that reek of even more desperation?  This shit is fishy as fuck metalheads. While they may house some great bands, shame on Unique Leader for their unprofessional fuckery and ignorance.  Shit like this is why more bands go independent.

First Fragment/Unbowed/Occultic/Eaten By Sharks/Sinner @ Warehouse 12-2-18

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I know I’ve been slacking lately on show reviews, and I have been to plenty since the few articles I did over the summer (Inferi/Alterbeast, Inanimate Existence/Last Of Lucy/Fields Of Elysium and Micawber/Ahtme/Lago in September)…..so I finally pulled my head out of my ass, and the First Fragment show in St. Catharine’s is getting the TMR treatment.

First off…..I gotta talk about how awesome Canada is.  Warehouse was a super clean venue….not just the stage (YES BUFFALONIANS THERE’S AN ACTUAL STAGE WITH LIGHTS!) but the bathrooms and bar as well.  They really, really care about cleanliness and first impressions.  What else I really, really loved was how the bands were so professional swapping over….switch over time was very efficient, and the scheduled length of the show was basically on point! Here in Buffalo for local shows sometimes it drags on past doors, and a 7pm door time might not start until 8pm or a bit later to try to get more people in the venue.  I was impressed with the logistics and sticking to the start and end time of the show. It was a very close drive, 45 minutes at most including a few minutes crossing the border on a Sunday.  And it was only $12!  If you want to keep up to date with the venue’s shows check out The Warehouse!

Now for the music….Occultic was first up.  They were on WITHIN A HALF HOUR OF DOORS! They are a no nonsense death metal band with great groove and rhythm.  The vocalist was very upfront, present and energetic.  I try not to judge bands by band names, or check out their music before a show if i’m not familiar with them.  In the modern age, we have those advantages and disadvantages.  It’s great to access music easily, but can be good and bad for attendance…..some bands are just better live than on a recording, and people can also make a short sighted judgement based on a recording negatively impacting that show attendance and vice versa.  Occultic was a passionate opener that started off a fun filled and relentless night of the various metal bands on the bill. You can check out Occultic’s groovy death metal right here.

Up next were Eaten By Sharks (more band name judging!) who I was curious about because of a random band name.  Shit, did they put on a solid show and constantly required crowd interaction.  They seamlessly blended classic and modern death metal with some technical flare here and there.  I was thoroughly impressed with this awesome band, and can only add another solid band to the ever-growing laundry list of opening bands that may or may hit hit the spot…..and Eaten By Sharks fucking shredded! Check out the band here.

Sinner followed Eaten By Sharks and they were awfully confusing sound wise to be honest.  They have a grindcore influence with some hardcore moments and some quick parts as well.  Tough to describe, but they were metal for sure!  They kept the energy flowing and were entertaining the crowd without hesitation! Sinner was a fun band that also threw in a Hatebreed cover (I’m pretty sure it was Hatebreed) for good measure, as well.  If you’re into that sort of style of metal, check out the bros right here.

Unbowed came up next (who was First Fragment’s support on the tour for the November/December run across Canada) and gonna have to be honest I loved this band as much as the rest.  They have that blackened death metal feel to their sound with sweet background elements of keyboard/synth, strings and some singing occasionally that offset all the different growls.  They were very professional, energetic and had it their whole set.  I don’t know if any fans or musicians can relate to such an experience but they didn’t slack at all or show any sort of insecurity….I just KNEW they were the support band, and it did set them apart from the rest.  There was that confidence and aura that I think surrounded them during their massively impressive set.  Check out Unbowed, you won’t be disappointed at all.

Now for the main event…..First Fuckin’ Fragment.  The under appreciated tech death geniuses from Quebec.  Their stage presence is beyond wild…..taking into fact their music isn’t the easiest to replicate, I’m shocked they were able to put on a very engaging show.  I have been waiting for the guys to come close enough to Buffalo, and shit that quick trip across the border more than did the trick.  Also factoring in December around 50 degrees  throughout the day leading into the evening with barely any snow made the decision easier travel wise.  I was very impressed with their stage presence, and already knew what I was getting musically so I don’t need to constantly say the same things about the great First Fragment that have already been said.  The technicality, proficiency, clean playing of everyone and David’s energetic vocals were basically perfect.  First Fragment fucking rips, check them out PLEASE.

I absolutely needed to tell the guys how obsessed I am with their talent and skill.  And a band as talented as First Fragment they were equally as laid back, as most Canadians generally tend to be.

Here’s a quick take on my phone of one of their many impressive instrumental sections, further showcasing their talent dedication and passion to technical neoclassical death metal.

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My cheeky dumb ass between David (vocals) and the legendary Forest Lapointe (bass) (First Fragment, Augury, Ex- Beyond Creation).

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A very happy Dave with axe slinger Phil Tougas who is a wild man on stage.  Dude is a modern day legend that not enough people know about.  He has it all as a guitarist.

 

And to boot, the attendance for a Sunday evening just under a month before the Holidays was awfully impressive. Excluding the bands, I would guess there were at least 60 people there if not more for an underground death metal show maybe 70.  Many metal horns and hugs were had by all at this killer show.  Great job Canada, great fucking job.  We will be back sooner than later.

 

 

 

Vale of Pnath is December’s 2018 Band Of The Month!

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Well howdy folks! Time for the last feature of 2018 and I summon VALE OF PNATH! I’ve been into Vance Valenzuela’s band for a few years now and despite the wild number of lineup changes the man has impressively kept his band together.  The melodic technical death metal band is out of Colorado and has branched out from their original death metal sound to more prog and tech realms in their most recent efforts….by the way I am proud to share that the band finished recording a new album! In case you didn’t know, they happened to bang that out before supporting The Faceless on their Planetary Duality 10th anniversary tour (being the huge Michael Keene fan that I am….let’s hope for many people’s sakes The Faceless doesn’t drop off).

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If you want to make an attempt to go to these shows…..that’s at your own discretion.  It’s good to see Keene showing up, hopefully making positive changes.  Now let’s see some consistent shows and great outcomes for the sake of his band.

 

I don’t know how I found out about Vale of Vance….er Vale of Pnath.  I stumbled across this great band somewhere but don’t remember where or how.  I’m just lucky as hell that I did, and know of the Pnath.  Vance’s band deserves a lot more recognition starting with the wild and impressive library of his band, let alone the perseverance to keep his band going and never giving up.  Overall they’re a band that is full of potential and a force to be reckoned with.  I hope more people check out VOP as a result of this and if you have already heard their music and know of them then you’re a smart chap.

 

Now I will leave you with my favorite Vance song “Blacker Than”.  The latest album is my favorite, but I can’t be blamed as that was the first record I checked out by Vale Of Pnath. Stay tech my friends!

 

https://www.facebook.com/ValeOfPnathCO/

instagram.com/valeofpnathco

 

Infinite Nomad premieres debut song “Luminous Throat”

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Coma Cluster Void’s Jeanne Strieder and Sylvia Hinz have launched their extra weird microtonal death metal band Infinite Nomad debuting their single “Luminous Throat”.  Accompanying the guitarist and bassist in the band is Lee Fisher and Eeli Helin of the band Fawn Limbs.  This is what I live for….the odd and unusual.  Death metal is such a predictable genre not just CCV but now Infinite Nomad is really trying something totally messed up it’ll make all the normies go back to their mommies with their blankies in hand sobbing like there’s no tomorrow.  There’s no consistency, the track is full of chaos and so much is crammed into the track that is slightly under 3 minutes long.

This will make your average musician or music lover uncomfortable but you know what? I LIVE FOR THAT SHIT! I credit the band for trying something new, weird, and out of the norm.  If this wild, chaotic mashup of music is any indicator I think the metal world is in for one hell of a treat if you’re sick of the same regurgitated styles.  I hope everyone enjoys this killer song, and tries something new.  Thank you to the band for such a sweet ass song!  Cheers mates!

infinitenomadofficial

https://www.facebook.com/coma.cluster.void/

comaclustervoid.com

Great bands from Midwest/Northwest America, and Indonesia

Yeah, there’s a TON of hot bands from these areas and I’m gonna hook you n00bs up. And verbally blowing these areas, so to speak.  There’s so many good unheard of bands between Colorado, Missouri, Washington and random countries like Indonesia. Let’s fuck shit up and hopefully some of you haven’t heard of these bands and dig them!

Dischordia-  A death metal band that isn’t afraid to experiment.  Coming out of Oklahoma  (maybe southwest or southern america? close enough I guess?) I’ve been obsessed with this band since I heard their latest wild 2 song ep Binge/Purge. All sorts of weird shit beside lots of dissonance and rhythms.  There’s some ukulele flute marimba and all kinds of random shit on this killer EP.  They’ve only progressed to greater things with every release….don’t sleep on these dudes.

 

 

Aethereus- Some sweet, sweet ass tech death with prog moments from Tacoma Washington.  Another ridiculous band that the modern day metal hotspot Artisan Era record label has recently signed.  They aren’t totally over the top tech like Brain Dill or the short lived legendary cult tech perfectionists Necrophagist, but blend their sound so smoothly and perfectly.  Great vocals, guitar work and intense drumming will keep you busy for years.  Hail Aethereus!

 

 

Ahtme-  My brothers from Kansas City put on a lights out performance in September with Micawber and Lago in Niagara Falls at STAMPS.  Their album “Sewerborn” has been on constant repeat for me.   The band present a great mix of technical death metal and the groovy side of death metal that keep you foaming at the mouth.  They have another album through the original band name “A Roman Holiday” but changed their name in their new journey as Ahtme so technically Sewerborn is their debut album.  I hope you guys love this band as much as I do.  I got a chance to talk with the guys after their set that night…..they’re even cooler and down to earth.  Support this great band!

My personal favorite AHTME rager….great grooves, some technicality….Brent’s voice is awesome on this track.  

 

Sunless-  If it wasn’t for the previously mentioned Dischordia who talked about these guys, I wouldn’t have known about these lads from Minnesota.  Sunless brings the heavy with extra dissonance, like Gorguts crazy.  Many cool ass rhythms bring this band to life.  They are also recent members of Willowtip Records one of the solid record labels out there! Horns up for SUNLESS!

 

 

Decrescent- A killer tech death release from this year from Milwaukee’s finest (quite possibly) was such a great surprise.  As a guitarist I was naturally drawn to that part of the band.  The vocals stuck with me, shortly thereafter.  They’re a great project to write down and keep an ear open for….Blackened Bequest is a great album and hell of a debut. Feast your ears on this one tech trekkers!

 

 

Vale of Pnath- A killer, killer tech/progressive death metal band from Colorado slays.  Vance Venezuela has gone through many lineups but has put out some of the most underrated music in the genre(s).  Enjoy this killer band and Vance’s wild shred, it’s one hell of a ride so hold on for dear life!

 

My favorite Vale of Pnath track….fuck yeah BLACKER THAN!

 

 

Now for a few bands from Indonesia…..yeah that’s right.  They really throw the fuck down! Here’s a few bands that will kick your ass.

Neptunus-  For you overdone tech lovers that love Brain Drill with a bit of Rings of Saturn and Necrophagist this is for you sick fucks.  Over the top, heavy, and wild technical death metal to the CORE…seriously.  Dive right into this fucker right NOW.  Product of the great Indonesian extreme label Eastbreath Records!

 

Wormrot- Okay, they’re from Singapore but they’re pretty close to Indonesia….so I guess it counts? If you like disgusting, heavy and energetic grind core this under appreciated band should get your attention. They can groove the fuck out, and then explode out of nowhere into an obnoxious realm.  They’re very, very awesome.  I have a soft spot for grind core with their heavy ass and fun quick songs….if you can’t appreciate a good grind core quickie then WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?

 

 

Cadaver- A disgusting tech death band with death metal roots from the same label as Neptunus brings the heat big time.  Some great grooves, addicting vocals and sweet drumming keep me locked in with this band at least.  These guys have a great future! Check this wild band out!

 

 

 

Okay, now that i’ve verbally wanked off these bands go check them out and their regions! Canada is churning out some great technical and progressive death metal too.  If there’s any other great bands from these areas as well don’t forget to mention them.  I figured I had to write a piece on these killer bands that more people should be familiar with.  Stay Tech my freaks!

 

Diagoras- Enigma

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Progressive/Technical Death Metallers Diagoras recently released their EP “Enigma” October 5th.  It’s a very groovy and technical when it has to be.  Lots of great tech bands pride themselves in the such, and can understand why some people shy away from these weird sub genres.  Diagoras though crafts great groove and technicality to make any metalhead happy.  Enigma is full of killer riffs and melodic guitar leads thanks to Mitchell. Their vocalist Erik Olans has some great gutturals, and even some singing at a few points.  The rhythm section of Simon and Ljuba is very fun to hear on their crazier parts and their locked & loaded groovy sections as well.

The Swedish Quartet put together an engaging EP.  The band also nods to classic death metal occasionally in their music as well.  They’re located in melodic death metal heaven AKA Gothenburg, Sweden.  I think bands from Sweden generally have something in the water that makes them superior artists….I don’t know what or why, but they just fucking do.  Stay up to snuff with what these cats do, because I guarantee you boring breakdown riff metal will bore the shit out of you and bands like Diagoras don’t!

DIAGORAS:

Erik Olans- Vocals
Mitchell Colbert- Guitar
Ljuba Tripković- Bass
Simon Wärnén- Drums

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDiagoras/

releases

October’s Artist Of The Month is….VIRVUM!

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October’s featured band is the very potent & young talented prog death metal monsters VIRVUM! These guys grabbed my attention and kicked me in the balls when I heard “Tentacles Of The Sun”.  What makes this newer band so damn great? Well, their guitarists are pretty damn good to start.  They are the type of progressive death metal band that thinks outside the box, and really sticks to melodies and a song rather than showing off with receptive sweep picking patterns on guitar and tapping bass strings constantly.  They focus on creating a soundscape and cinematic experience, rather than just putting together songs.  The songs transition well on their debut “Illuminance” and really set the mood. Their bassist Arran really, really kicks ass.  He adds many great tasty bass leads throughout their only album to date “Illuminance” which is most likely the best release from 2016.  Fear no more techers: they ARE working on a follow up album while monstrously promoting their album and band.

Virvum is from Switzerland.  Europe just has such a great knack for all sorts of metal bands, as evident by many.  I think these guys will only keep getting better, creating great music that will fill the void of some of the genre’s greats who are done (Necrophagist and Spawn of Possession, unfortunately).  They are very underrated and very talented, and my logical choice for October’s follow up in comparison to a totally different prog death band last month in Burial In The Sky.

Enjoy the music from these masterful musicians all month long of October! Buy their shit! Play their album loud! Hear them roar motherfuckers!  And let’s hope we get a new single soon from that aforementioned second album.

Virvum:

Bryan Berger – Vocals
Nic Gruhn – Guitars
Arran McSporran – Bass
Diego Morenzoni – Drums
Toby Koelman – Guitars

https://www.facebook.com/virvum/

https://virvum.bandcamp.com/

 

Oh, and enjoy the wild bass work on that track that drew me to Virvum…..That freaking chorus, man.

The Odious Construct- Shrine Of The Obscene

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Melodic Tech Death Quintet The Odious Construct is releasing their second EP “Shrine Of The Obscene” October 12th through The Artisan Era.  What drew me to the band initially was their great drumming, guitar work and vocals.  It was an instant click for me with their self titled debut EP.  What is different this time around for the Californians is a wider and deeper sound, with more darkness and melody as well.  Lots of symphonic elements and synthesizer tracks enhance their wild journeys. Dare to say there are some blackened sections that remind you of European greats Wintersun at some points. I think the band really, really morphed together on this upcoming EP it’s extremely interesting.  They don’t necessarily overdo it and the band writes great songs.  They can hold a great groove, while organizing some cool sections.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say “Shrine Of The Obscene” is one of if not the best EP’S of this year as good as that recent Mordant Rapture release over the summer.  The Artisan Era is proving its value and talent signing some great bands to its diverse tech & prog filled roster, and not just signing bands to organize a label.  You can clearly see their vision and the Odious Construct is another great example of their recent success.  Their rhythms are great and rather intoxicating, to say the least.  I think their songwriting improved this time around as well with deeper subjects such as psychological problems rather than the usual death metal jargon.

You can grab preorders at the links below for this bad boy.  Don’t forget this and mark it on your calendars!  Also: you can get a look into The Odious Construct, their creative process, the upcoming EP and more with my recent interview with them right here.  I enjoyed this impressive and strong sophomore release and hope the rest of the metal world does as well!

http://smarturl.it/ODIOUS-BANDCAMP
http://smarturl.it/ODIOUS-MERCH

Shrine of the Obscene:
1. Vortex of Self
2. Descension
3. They Came Through the Mirrors
4. Cyanide Eyes
5. Shrine Of the Obscene

The Odious Construct:

Casey Ryle – Vocals
Wesley Yee – Guitar
Ben Jackson – Guitar
Sam Datu – Bass
KC Brand – Drums (The Ritual Aura)

https://www.facebook.com/TheOdiousConstruct
https://theodiousconstruct.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArtisanEra/?fref=ts
http://www.theartisanera.com/
https://theartisanera.bandcamp.com/

Prophetic Scourge- Calvary

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Progressive Death Metal Frenchmen Prophethic Scourge are releasing a heavy, heavy album on September 28th through Season of Mist and Klonosphere.  It’s full of groove, emotion, and plenty of brutality.  The band released its debut EP “Corrupt Karmik Invigilators” and Calvary definitely brings this young band to a new level.  In their short existence they have already opened for notable extreme metal acts such as Six Feet under and Benighted!  The band experimented a bit more (and I thoroughly enjoy it!) in comparison to their straightforward and heavy EP by adding more progressive, thrash and black metal elements to their songs.

https://www.facebook.com/propheticscourge

https://www.facebook.com/KLONOSPHEREPR

http://season-of-mist.com

 

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I absolutely love the voice of Josh Smith and their drummer John Erviti.  It’s great to have vocalists in death metal you can actually understand! I know, it’s rare but it DOES happen.  John’s drumming is also a great highlight for me as in my world he’s almost like a human drum machine.  The guitar work is very groovy, occasionally technical and very driving.  I can’t say how much I really enjoyed “Calvary”, gonna have to say this beast is gonna be an under-looked record of this year. Enjoy a larger prog metal influenced track “A Medium- The Spider Goddess Revealed” below!