Monday, May 23, 2011

What's up with this new Technical Death-Wank stuff?

As a music nerd and bassist, I love technical death metal. Ulcerate is like one of my favorite bands ever since Everything Is Fire released back in 2009 (their new album destroys too; pun intended). I love their unorthodox, angular, Immolation-meets-jazz improvisational style. Gorguts, Mithras, Crowpath, Infinitum, any technical (usually dissonant) stuff with atmosphere and feeling is awesome and right down my alley.

Then there's this new shit. Kids scream out for it all over the internet: "Brain Drill rulez dude they're so technicool and awesome!" After hearing all this praise, I go to check out what the fuss is all about, and I'm hit with a blastbeat at 250bpm and lame, mindless sweeping and arpeggios, all of it without any sort of low-end or brutality. Well, that was pretty disappointing I thought. This was back in early 2008 when Apocalyptic Feasting first released. Not thinking much of it, I forgot about it entirely.

Two years later, and I guess that style of "death" metal has exploded all over the place. New bands like Monumental Torment and even some not-so-talented solo artists dominate a certain spectrum of the technical death metal genre while their legions of down-syndrome laden fans mindlessly parade around touting their "technical" ability. I understand it takes talent, I understand it took time and machine-like reflexes to play that, but I don't get why anyone would want to hear a guitar exercise in a song. Thinking to myself "this has got to be worse than anything that ever came out of that whole deathcore scene," I decided to delve into the sub-subgenre (?) hoping to find a hidden gem amongst the clots of Necrophagist-influenced wankery.

Well goddamn. I came out with nothing. That fucking sucked. I listened to the new Brain Drill album, tore out my hair to Monumental Torment's god-awful Elements Of Chaos, and even sat through a Rings Of Saturn song. That was worse than anything I had heard from those other artists.

Listen at your own risk.

What a wasted effort. I did however come up with some interesting finds: A Loathing Requiem, Ichor, Abriosis, and some other artists like Beyond Creation. A Loathing Requiem is the solo project of Malcolm Pugh, a member of Inferi and a pretty talented musician. I'm totally cool with him playing in this style too. Being a solo artist, one expects you to flaunt your skills with a disregard to how ego-stroking they may actually be. Abriosis sounds like a young startup version of the aforementioned bands, but they seem to have more creative riffing and grooves in their songs. Hopefully they mature their songwriting abilities a bit in time for their sophomore release because they really are talented musicians (like most of the bands in this entire post, really). Beyond Creation was kinda cool. Very melodic, not very heavy, but with plenty of decent riff ideas and songs. I'll have to look more into them honestly.

Then there's Ichor, a seemingly overlooked technical death(core?) band from Germany. They really surpassed my relatively low expectations with their album, Benthic Horizon. It's very modern, fairly technical without overdoing it, and has plenty of great tracks (The Wreckage being my personal favorite). Granted I would consider them deathcore with their reliance on breakdowns and some hardcore-esque D-beat sections, but not all deathcore is bad and tags are meaningless anyway. Good music is good music, regardless of genre.

So without further adieu, I give you Ichor's Benthic Horizon.

1. The Gorgon

2. Barotrauma

3. Conquest of Darkness
4. The Wreckage

5. Among the Swarm

6. More Victims

7. The Depth Within
8. The Deepest Blue Is Black

9. Possessor of Soil

No comments:

Post a Comment