Psycroptic

Psycroptic – Divine Council Review

Psycroptic – Divine Council Review

“Though they arrived too late to take part in the birth of tech-death in the 1990s, Tasmania’s Psycroptic made a big mark on the genre just after the turn of the century, and by now they’re something of a legacy act. Eight albums in, Psycroptic have managed to retain their core sound, wrapped around Joe Haley’s long, eclectic riffs, for more than 20 years. The band augmented that thrashy tech death with gospel choirs for their most recent record, As the Kingdom Drowns, nearly escaping the debt of expectation set by the classic The Scepter of the Ancients back in 2003. Four years later, Divine Council nods towards the Kingdom, but doesn’t rely on past successes to make its mark.” Psy-ops.

Truent – Through the Vale of Earthly Torment Review

Truent – Through the Vale of Earthly Torment Review

“Tech death is a tough game. In the skill-leading genre even more so does the crowd appear faceless, a mathy mob of scholarly guitar solos, flatulent bass, and trigger-happy kit-meisters. To stand out in the tech realm, contemporary fan favorites Archspire combine ridiculous speeds with memorable, rap-adjacent vocals and neoclassical sweeps aplenty. Meanwhile, bands in the Psycroptic school of thought attempt groove whiplash with 270 degree riff-corners that drift into stadium-size choruses. On their debut full-length outing, the young Canadian outfit Truent shows they are fans of these two styles of tech and try to paint an identity fusing them with a little modern core sentimentality.” Arms race.

Domination Campaign – Onward to Glory Review

Domination Campaign – Onward to Glory Review

“From the ashes of Australia’s Psycroptic rises a new band to take its place in the sun: Domination Campaign. Except that’s not a great metaphor for the situation, because Psycroptic is fine and still doing its usual musician thing, but I wanted to write a dramatic intro to pique your interest. You see, Domination Campaign and their debut full-length, Onward to Glory was originally a solo project by Jason Peppiatt, who is the lead vocalist in Psycroptic.” Death, taxes, and yellow journalism.

Cambion – Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium Review

Cambion – Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium Review

“There’s a lot going on in death metal: there’s the swampy, smelly, drag-your-corpse through the mire old school sort; there’s the cosmic, existential, ponder-the-time-signatures-of-the-universe sort; there’s the thrown down, bro town, drag-your-grandma-through-the-pit sort; there’s the corpse riding, shriek gliding, casual-blasphemy-on-a-weekday kind. Then, there’s also death metal – the angry sort that starts angry and stays angry. Cambion’s gimmick is angriness and speed.” Spree-Cambion era.

Ahtme – Mephitic Review

Ahtme – Mephitic Review

“It’s hard to believe considering my current taste, but back in the mid 00s I consumed all the tech death I could. I devoured Arsis, Deeds of Flesh, Origin, and all the other bands who were just coming into their own in the midst of MySpace and metalcore. My tastes have changed since then, but it doesn’t take much to make me give a genre another try. And by “doesn’t take much,” I mean a Monday night death metal show two years ago that just happened to be taking place at my favorite bar in town.” Easy Z.

Messora – The Door Review

Messora – The Door Review

“I don’t know what makes something “avant-garde.” I remember going to an avant-garde art museum in Santa Fe, NM, where there was a movie exhibit of a haircut. Literally, two men and one woman get an identical buzzed haircut in the shade of a gazebo in the mountains of China. There’s new age music plucking around back there, walls are lined with identical shots of their new haircuts, and shadow boxes of locks of hair covered the floor. It was weird and challenging and difficult to understand, but I think about it a lot. So, if that’s what’s avant-garde, Messora ain’t it.” Hammer, don’t hurt ’em.