The Artisan Era

Aethereus – Leiden Review

Aethereus – Leiden Review

“In his mostly positive review of their 2018 debut Absentia, Kronos pointed out that Aethereus treads the middle ground between flashy tech-death and death metal’s more dissonant realms. Not much has changed in this department, but where Absentia had a tendency to feel a bit disjointed because of the band’s stylistic duality, sophomore effort Leiden cashes in on the potential inherent in Aethereus‘ chosen sound palette.” Technical ecstacy.

Dessiderium – Aria Review

Dessiderium – Aria Review

“December is an exceptionally bad time to release any album. Between all the list compiling and TYMHM-ing that comes with the territory, I like to try to squeeze in a review or two for the “good enough” albums that find themselves caught out in the cold amid list season celebrations. Mind you, I don’t let them inside to partake, but I at least open the door just a crack to grant them a fleeting breath of celebratory warmth. For an album like Aria, this is an exceptionally disappointing fate. Had this been released even a few months prior, I feel that I would have had the time to digest this immense record to its fullest by list season.” Scrooged.

Stortregn – Impermanence Review

Stortregn – Impermanence Review

“Every year it seems that in the midst of all the doom, sludge and black metal clogging up my arteries, I find that one album of fast, technical, brutal sci-fi themed metal that I can’t stop listening to. Recent output by Xoth, Æpoch, Beast of Nod and the mighty Archspire have flayed my face meat and chilled my soul with surgical guitars and the unknowable horrors of the cosmos. In 2018 I discovered Swiss band Stortregn through their fantastic third full-length Emptiness Fills the Void. Despite its title, the album absolutely burst at the seams with blackened, thrashy tech death glory that never sacrificed melody for brutality. The cold, dark vacuum of space sounded thrilling in their capable hands. Three years later, Stortregn has moved from the diverse roster of Non Serviam Records to tech death specialists The Artisan Era for their fourth LP Impermanence.” In space no one can hear you fanboy.

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.