The Artisan Era

Symbolik – Emergence Review

Symbolik – Emergence Review

“I’ve always preferred melodic death metal to plain death metal. While I appreciate the skill involved in well-crafted brutality, I generally insist on having some kind of melody to follow along with or atmosphere to get lost in. I remember when Archspire hit the Angry Metal world through Relentless Mutation, and I could not understand the appeal. One day, not too long ago, it just… clicked. The technical skill, the expert neoclassical weavings, the sheer unmatched power of the thing — I’ve loved the album ever since. And ever since, I’ve been hungry for more. Symbolik are the next tech-death group to take a shot at winning my heart with Emergence, their debut full-length.” Heart clicks.

Myth of I – Myth of I Review

Myth of I – Myth of I Review

“The gentle field recordings kicking off Myth of I‘s self-titled debut album are just what I need to hear in the midst of experiencing a global pandemic. The sound of birds chirping delicately and water rippling steadily over a bed of rocks calm my nerves and help to flatten the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been wringing myself on. As one might be able to forecast, this opening period of serenity presented by a progressive metal band was bound to come to an end. Introductory track “Pandora” merely serves as a lush and tranquil setup for the truly fitful storm that invades the meat of Myth of I‘s first full-length album.” Mythology and madness.

Aronious – Perspicacity Review

Aronious – Perspicacity Review

“Before the podium this week is the debut from Wisconsin’s Aronious, a prog/tech death outfit with impressive chops and no lack of ambition. Across Perspicacity, Aronious can’t relax, and nor can they yield, relent, or…  uh… Anyway, they’ve heard every tech death band and will pretend to be all of them.” Pretensions to the throne.

Singularity – Place of Chains Review

Singularity – Place of Chains Review

“Remember back in March, when I brought up the subject of musical complexity? Well, here we go again with the things and the words and the stuff. But this time, my choice of symphonic technical death metal perfectly exemplifies the opposite side of the coin. Originating from the hot, dry hell that is Arizona, tech-death quartet Singularity specialize in restraint. Rather than inundating their sophomore record, Place of Chains, with layer over layer over layer of rich instrumentation, this newly-signed band chose to strengthen their compositions by dispensing with excess entirely.” Wank-free zone.

Flub – Flub Review

Flub – Flub Review

Flub is something of a supergroup, with current and ex-members of Rivers of Nihil, Alterbeast and Vale of Pnath, though their sound is markedly different than the sum of their parts. Lyrically this is standard fare for the genre—subcategory fantasy—with the tale of a hero who is possessed at the end of his life by an entity bent on destroying Mother Nature herself, but musically Flub is a bit more colorful and damn near uplifting when compared to the members’ other bands. Make no mistake, there is still brutal death metal baked into this evil fruit pie.” Little Jack Horner stays tech.

Inanimate Existence – Clockwork Review

Inanimate Existence – Clockwork Review

“Five albums in, California’s Inanimate Existence still find themselves in an ironic perpetual animation, racing through phrases song by song while never quite making headway. Since the band ditched the whole Nightwish goes tech moments of Calling from a Dream – a record that I, oddly enough, quite liked – the band have returned to the vivid progressive and technical death metal that they’ve more or less always peddled.” Existence is pain.

Warforged – I, Voice Review

Warforged – I, Voice Review

“The Artisan Era has been on a decent roll lately, releasing good to great albums left and right for just over a year. Warforged seemed like a bit of an odd duck for the label though. The Chicagoan five-piece of progressive blackened death metal don’t really fit the tech-death-heavy mold The Artisan Era have curated for themselves. It was this fact that initially drew me to I, Voice.” War by another name.

Equipoise – Demiurgus Review

Equipoise – Demiurgus Review

“Enter Equipoise, based out of Pittsburgh and made up of a veritable who’s who of the death metal spectrum—Sanjay Kumar of Wormhole and Perihelion on guitars; Chason Westmoreland (ex-Hate Eternal, ex-The Faceless) manning the kit; Jimmy Pitts from Eternity’s End and The Fractured Dimension setting the ivories ablaze; Hugo Doyon-Karout (Beyond Creation) decapitating the fret from his bass; Virulent Depravity‘s Nick Padovani on guitars both electric and nylon, along with Phil Tougas (Chthe’ilistSerocsZealotry) playing the same; and finally Stevie Boiser (ex-Vale of PnathInferiTethys) taking hold of both lyrical and vocal duties. And that’s not even scratching the surface, what with the ELEVEN guest spots included within. What in the actual heck is happening over there in Pittsburgh?” Friendtality.

Aethereus – Absentia Review

Aethereus – Absentia Review

“Since the label’s inception, The Artisan Era has been edging into Unique Leader’s territory like it’s the South China Sea. With InferiAugury, and a slew of up-and-coming tech-death acts under its thumb, the label has established an ear for quality in an overindulgent niche. And as much as The Artisan Era’s output tends towards the frilly, keyboards-and-synth-orchestra side of the genre, I’m still keen to hear from their bands, and Washington’s Aethereus have my attention.” Absentia makes the heart grow brutal.

Oubliette – The Passage Review

Oubliette – The Passage Review

“When a record feels right — truly right — you just know. No ramp-up is required. Nothing is asked of you but your admiration. Satisfaction is born in full, a sensation that mirrors the wholly filling quality of a spin free from reservations. Oubliette — a Tennessee meloblack outfit headed by married duo Emily and Mike Low, the latter of Inferi; some readers should be familiar with — comes dangerously close to that feeling with their second offering.” Marriage makes the heart blacker.