Technical Death Metal

Killitorous – The Afterparty Review

Killitorous – The Afterparty Review

“Yep. That’s a band name. Killitorous. Say it a couple times and soon you’ll see what they did there. Tasteful, right? I’ll be honest, it took me way too long to find it (ayyyy), but by that point I was already four listens into the Canadian supergroup’s sophomore record The Afterparty and was having too much fun to care about the silly double-entendre anymore. After all, we did give high marks to bands with such respectable names as Fvneral Fvkk and Shitfucker, right? So who am I to judge?” Tech-deathicus for the rest of us.

Venomous Skeleton – Drowning in Circles Review

Venomous Skeleton – Drowning in Circles Review

“Having been raised in church, I found my religious experience carried over into my vast expeditions into metal’s colorful multiverse: I find myself reaching more and more for the stuff that incorporates a unique tone of reverence, a sound of standing beneath the colossal or infinite. For bands like Batushka, Ancient Moon, and Behemoth, this liturgical and hieratic atmosphere is proposed through its ritualistic songwriting and uses of common religious musical elements (Gregorian chants, choirs, etc.) contrasting with blasphemy’s twisted dagger in an aural representation of madness. Sonne Adam‘s death/doom solo LP Transformation did this for me.” Worship music.

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.

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.

Thoren – Gwarth II Review

Thoren – Gwarth II Review

“There’s a menagerie of experimental groups about the borders of the black and death metal scenes, tracing out their own paths without much regard for popular approval or commercial success. On occasion, these groups will sweep into the mainstream, but for the most part, their influence is more subtle, appearing in an adulterated form in the riskier songs of established artists. If your poison is black metal you can choose between the flavors of Krallice (ever bolstered by their lineup’s star power), Jute Gyte, Genevieve, and many others. If your neck is a bit larger in diameter, you might want to choke down Baring Teeth, Coma Cluster Void, or this week’s subject, Thoren.” Buffet of bitters.

Isle of the Cross – Excelsis Review

Isle of the Cross – Excelsis Review

“I admire bands who chance their arm at cracking into peoples’ music rotation, especially where their intent is to chart a new path or weave existing genres in dynamic ways. Enter Jo Schneider and the band he leads called Isle of the Cross. Excelsis is their debut release and promised to be an “enigmatic journey of sonic power.” Enigmatic is the key word as I have been unsuccessful in my efforts to learn more about the band, including the country of origin. Further promoting itself as for fans of Opeth and Symphony X is a bold strategy indeed, so I turned to my first listen with great interest.” Excelsisore!

Xenobiotic – Mordrake Review

Xenobiotic – Mordrake Review

“Recently a new rule was established in the AMG offices: no more claiming promos more than a month out. Giving everyone equal opportunity makes for more entertaining gladiatorial combat in the Skull Pit, you see. But now it’s become a game for the clever, so I decided to scout the waters ahead in case I needed to be ready to pounce. When I came across a promo by Australian prog-tech-deathcore outfit Xenobiotic, stared at the gorgeous Lewandowski cover and listened to its advance track, I actually set an alarm for the day I could lay claim to it, before Kronos or Ferrous could get their claws into my precious. Because if the rest of Mordrake was as good as the single I sampled, I knew we were dealing with potential Album of the Year material.” Throw it into the fire!

Krosis – A Memoir of Free Will Review

Krosis – A Memoir of Free Will Review

Krosis is a progressive deathcore band from North Carolina, A Memoir of Free Will being their second full-length. I’m not sure what progressive really entails, as the label has been used to describe anything from the djenty chuggaboundabounboundaluggs of Structures or Volumes, to the transcendental offerings of Slice the Cake or Kardashev.” Jawbreakers.