Atheist

Obsolete – Animate//Isolate Review

Obsolete – Animate//Isolate Review

“I’ve spent much of this year listening to Obituary and Mortician. Both are death metal, but death metal is a wide field and you can’t mistake either band’s sound for the other’s. To address this, we put bands into subgenres within a subgenre – Floridian death metal, for instance. This is nice because I don’t want to sift through a bunch of Entombed clones to find something like Monstrosity. What about when our subgenres within subgenres cease to be useful to describe a sound? Then we get stuff like slam, which is brutal death metal played a specific way –  a subgenre of a subgenre within a subgenre. If you’re thinking that Obsolete‘s debut Animate//Isolate will lead me down a sub-sub-sub-genre rabbit hole, go ahead and give yourself an executive producer credit.” Old tech.

Contrarian – Only Time Will Tell Review

Contrarian – Only Time Will Tell Review

“My first exposure to American progressive death outfit Contrarian was on their third LP, 2019’s Their Worm Never Dies. Despite impressing with their technical skills and old school soul, the material never quite hit loftier heights, resulting in an enjoyable, talent-laden album of the solid variety. Only Time Will Tell is a relatively speedy turnaround and comes with some line-up changes in tow.” Prog after Death.

Coexistence – Collateral Dimension Review

Coexistence – Collateral Dimension Review

“Technical death metal can be a fickle mistress. She can lure you away with promises of sublime virtuosity, only to bombard you with a cacophony of disjoined solos. She can entice you with the siren song of a bold sci-fi concept album, only to present you with a sub-standard Spawn of Possession clone. Despite this, there’s a lot of great tech death out there, but you have to be willing to separate the 8-string wheat from the 7-string chaff. So where does Coexistence fit in with their debut album Collateral Dimension?” All tech, no peace.

Cryptic Shift – Visitations from Enceladus Review

Cryptic Shift – Visitations from Enceladus Review

“While I’ve traditionally identified as a basic black metal bitch, my listening habits of late have hovered firmly above death metal territory. The art of the Big Dumb Riff has held absolute command of my Spotify search bar, and it’s all thanks to the diversity the genre pool has spawned in over three decades of evolution. Just as I finish my most recent round of dick flattening at the hands of something as unflinchingly savage as Black Curse, I know I can hop to the opposite end of the technical axis to enjoy similarly aggressive highs in a fresh context. Cryptic Shift‘s debut is about as far from something like Black Curse as you can imagine on the caveman riff spectrum, but those same thrills are all here.” Up Shift’s creek.

Lantern – Dimensions Review

Lantern – Dimensions Review

“This review is obscenely late. Mostly because I’m trying to complete a PhD and not contract terminal stupidity from my Government. I’ve also been increasingly distracted by death metal’s performance this year. Without doubt, the genre’s legion of revenant revengers have clawed through the rot of 2020 and thrust a flayed face to the light. Lantern, who shone so pallid and putrid in 2017, are of particular note.” Late to the early grave.

Hemotoxin – Restructure the Molded Mind Review

Hemotoxin – Restructure the Molded Mind Review

“In 2016 I reviewed the sophomore album by California’s Hemotoxin, entitled Biological Enslavement. It was a not-unwelcome slice of death-thrash with an eye for the old-school and a proclivity for the technical, though it suffered from indistinct song-writing. Almost 4 years later in 2020, its successor called Restructure the Molded Mind is set for release. 2020 has thus far proven to be a pretty shitty time to be alive but perhaps some raucous death-thrash was exactly what I needed to reinvigorate myself.” Blood poisoning and mind molding.

Nocturnus AD – Paradox Review

Nocturnus AD – Paradox Review

“There are few scenes that have been as instrumental in expanding metal’s horizon as Florida’s death metal explosion. Toiling towards the top of the totem has always been Nocturnus. Their debut album The Key will irrevocably remain a personal favorite and one of the genre’s canonical greats. Thanks to the incessant efforts of drummer and vocalist Mike Browning (of early Morbid Angel fame), the band has endured a tumultuous rebirth as Nocturnus AD. But can new album Paradox survive the curse of contentious re-branding and do justice to the band’s own lofty genesis?” The key to death metal’s past.

Gomorrah – Gomorrah Review

Gomorrah – Gomorrah Review

“Confession time: I am not the biggest fan of technical death metal. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the classics, such as Death and Atheist, as well as choice cuts from Cynic. But the genre as a whole suffers from either too many scale acrobatics, or way too much chugging on the low string on a 7-, 8-, or even 9-string guitar to even warrant such a overly abused tag such as “technical.” In other words, technical metal bores me to tears most of the time. You know what doesn’t bore me, though? Canada’s Gomorrah.” Smile back at this death.

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies Review

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies Review

“Dear readers, what are your favorite ’90s progressive or technical death metal albums? Perhaps it’s Cynic‘s legendary Focus, Death‘s Human, Edge of Sanity‘s Crimson, or is it Pestilence and their classic Consuming Impulse opus? Or maybe Atheist‘s brilliant Unquestionable Presence album floats your boat. Or digging deeper, a more left-field choice: Martyr‘s underrated Hopeless Hopes. New York’s Contrarian pay omage to the classic ’90s progressive and technical death scene through their retro and impressively authentic throwback style of spazzed out prog death on their third LP, Their Worm Never Dies.” Undying worms and olde death.