Obscura

Deviant Process – Nurture Review

Deviant Process – Nurture Review

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: technical death metal can be a fickle mistress. For a genre so overflowing with talent, much of the actual music can come across as rather soulless, and despite all the intricacies, a lot of releases appear surprisingly formulaic. In short, I’ve been burned before. But then I look to recent releases from bands like Alustrium, Symbolik, and Allegaeon; releases that serve as a potent reminder that not all is lost, and that when the tech-death hits, it hits hard. It was with this sunny outlook that I plucked Nurture, the latest release from Deviant Process, from the promo pit.” High hopes and technical problems.

Devoid of Thought – Outer World Graves Review

Devoid of Thought – Outer World Graves Review

“Do you remember when Blood Incantation was the poster-boy of radical and boundary-pushing death metal? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Since then, however, it’s become cool to hate on the hype, and your favorite ancient alien-loving Denverites have become the flavor of “ugh, those pretentious bastards?” in spite of Hidden History of the Human Race earning a roaring 4.0 from the illustrious L. Saunders and earning acclaim from across the metalverse. Their use of OSDM with cosmic themes and enough psychedelic flourishes to get you to start smelling space colors was ambitious and thoughtful, and I believe, undeserving of the hate. I hope you like Blood Incantation, because Devoid of Thought does.”” Stare into devoid.

Hannes Grossmann – To Where the Light Retreats Review

Hannes Grossmann – To Where the Light Retreats Review

“I have a confession to make. I have a pathological aversion to bands named after people. Unless your name is Ozzy or Dio, I’m probably not going to listen to your album. Ok, I guess I love the solo stuff from Warrel Dane and Michael Romeo, but that’s it! I honestly can’t explain why, but I’ve just always thought that metal is a band’s genre. Anyways, I’ve said all that to immediately contradict myself.” What’s in a name?

Plasmodium – Towers of Silence Review

Plasmodium – Towers of Silence Review

Plasmodium is described by Metal Archives as “psychedelic black/death metal,” and that is definitely appropriate. Formed in 2016, the Melbourne, Australia, sextet features veteran blood, particularly drummer Matt “Skitz” Sanders of Damaged fame, and Aretstikapha of Mazikeen. Releasing Entheognosis in 2016 to underground interest, it introduced this highly atmospheric breed that doesn’t quite land in death metal or black metal, but somehow fills the dead air between. Featuring blackened vocals and drumming, sophomore effort Towers of Silence features some of the strangest soundscapes of 2021 thanks to its deranged string attack and cosmic ambiance.” Enjoy for silence.

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.

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.

Kaoteon – Kaoteon Review

Kaoteon – Kaoteon Review

“With a one-sheet that closed with “FFO: Behemoth, MardukWatain, and My Dying Bride,” I expected competently played blackened death metal… with weepy violins, morose lyrics, or whatever else that could possibly be associated with My Dying Bride that would potentially throw a huge monkey wrench into the classic blackened death metal formula.” If you can dodge a wrench….

Eradikator – Obscura Review

Eradikator – Obscura Review

“I grabbed this album for one reason, and one reason only: the band name. Here in Canada, at least, one can’t help see the word Eradikator and think of this timeless skit from national treasures Kids in the Hall. I’d never heard of these swaggering Brits prior to seeing their name pop up in my promo feed, so I didn’t know that Obscura is their third album this decade and that they fancy themselves a pure heavy metal band whose music will ‘make even the most hardened ears hemorrhage liquid steel.'” Feel the steel.

Fallujah – Undying Light Review

Fallujah – Undying Light Review

“Description: AMG-4165 is the fourth full length studio album titled Undying Light by California-based atmospheric technical death metal band Fallujah. Credits on this recording are listed as follows: Andrew Baird on drums; Scott Carstairs on guitars; Rob Morey on bass; and Antonio Palermo on vocals. Similar bands to Fallujah are listed extensively on several online sources, mainly citing The Faceless and Obscura, among others. The connections this current iteration of Fallujah shares with those bands are tenuous at best.” Initiate lockdown.