Reciprocal – New Order of the Ages (Review)

ReciprocalThis is Reciprocal’s second album of Technical Death Metal. They are from the US.

A strong start introduces the band and their heavy, sprawling sound to the listener. It’s complex and interlinked whilst retaining a brutality and nastiness a lot of Technical Death Metal bands are lacking in.

This is Technical Death Metal mixed up with the modern, New-School breed of crushingly Brutal Death Metal. It’s a heady combination that immediately makes you sit up and take notice of them.

The songs are long, (for Death Metal), and the band use this time to explore the labyrinthine riffs and to show off their musical chops.

They appear to have quite the mixture of influences on this release. I hear elements of Cephalic Carnage, Carcass, Spawn of Possession, Arsis, Gorguts, Decapitated and many more crammed into the technically dense songs. There is too much going on here to absorb in one listening, which is a good thing as it increases the longevity of the album.

Vocally the band incorporate pretty much all styles in the album somewhere, although high-pitched Carcass-esque screams are the most used.

The sound is absolutely immense. It sonically shines and the tracks hit home like hammers. It doesn’t get stale or boring as the band have enough variety within their framework to introduce elements of several Death Metal sub-genres; Brutal Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal and Deathcore being the main ones in addition to the core of Technical Death Metal.

New Order of the Ages is an ambitious album; 68 minutes of music with plenty of ideas and enough talent to hold it all together. Piano and samples are used liberally to help spread the band’s message and to provide breaks between bouts of swirling riffs and widdly fret-wizardry.

I heartily recommend this album to anyone who enjoys bold, challenging, heavy, technical music. If this is you then this is a must listen.

Frontal – Death Eaters (Review)

FrontalFrontal are from France and play Techincal/Progressive Modern Death Metal.

Imagine Meshuggah if they had more of a Modern Death Metal influence; add in a bit of Technical Thrash and this is the area that Frontal inhabit.

The songs are technical, angular and also remind of Devolved only without the Industrial influence, (and blast beats). Another description I suppose would be Progressive Deathcore, which sounds like an oxymoron, but only if you assume all Deathcore is stupid, (it isn’t).

The colliding riffs and obscure melodies will no doubt put some people off, but just as many will take to this easily and lap up the heavy, militaristic Technical Thrash that the band offer.

The vocalist has a good pair of lungs and for the most part spends his time using them to shout out lyrics in a throaty roar.

This is music that lacks subtlety but is still nuanced and complex. Although the riffs come thick and fast the band allow them to congeal on occasion to produce a stirring section or emotive passage, before fracturing once more and falling away in different directions all at once.

Definitely a grower. A good album that will probably suffer from premature dismissal by a lot of people, which is a shame as there is a lot to like here. Give them the time to show you what they can do.

Deep In Hate – Chronicles of Oblivion (Review)

Deep In HateThis is the third album from French Death Metallers Deep In Hate.

The band have a good line in both brutality and melody and combine the two nicely; crushing riffs and double-bass beatdowns compete with melodic leads and riffs.

This is a band who are fully comfortable at the modern end of the Death Metal spectrum without completely giving themselves over to Deathcore; although there is a healthy influence from that most maligned of subgenres it stays on the Death Metal side of the equation more often than not. The result? Aborted meets Beneath the Massacre meets Whitechapel with, as strange as this might sound, elements of Hypocrisy at their heaviest.

The sound is crystal clear and the band use this to show you exactly what they are capable of in all its visceral glory. This is modern Death Metal played proficiently and with the sole aim of battering and beating the listener into submission.

The added melodic parts are there to keep things from becoming one-dimensional however, and the sheer aggression and brutality of the band as a whole never allows the melodies to get too out of hand; you could never describe them as Melodic Death Metal, for example. It’s a winning brutality-to-melody-ratio; brutality clearly comes out on top but the melodic aspect holds its own when the songs need it.

The vocals are deep roars full of aggression and testosterone. These alternate with occasional higher screams. The singer takes his cues from the Aborted singer and shares a talent for interesting vocal rhythms and patterns.

Each of the songs has its own identity and is capable of being a ambassador for the band. No filler.

Kaotoxin Records seem to have a talent for sniffing out the very best of French Metal talent. Deep In Hate are their latest find; let them be yours too.

 

Years of Tyrants – Leading the Blind (Review)

Years of TyrantsI believe the appropriate response upon pressing play and hearing the blasting, shredding brutality here is “holy shit”. Their sound is somewhere between technical Death Metal and technical Deathcore. And what a sound it is. Explosive doesn’t do it justice. If you like bands such as Beneath the Massacre and Infant Annihilator then this is for you.

Another French band worshipping at the altar of bruality and being rewarded handsomely by the Gods of Heaviness. One thing this album has in abundance is energy. The kind of energy that makes you want to flail around ripping anything and everything to shreds and then stomping on the remains. Riffs, licks, leads, drums – it all flies past in a blur of bloody fingers and broken drumsticks.

The sheer weight of aggression here is staggering, and thankfully there are strong songwriting skills on display; otherwise this could have been just a mess of riffs and shouting whereas what we actually have is a cohesive, albeit very short release. Too short really. Will we get more? Only time will tell but I for one do hope so.

Acrania – The Beginning Of The End (Review)

AcraniaAcrania are from the UK and play Death Metal that although shares ground with Deathcore, I see it as more in the vein of the bouncy, chuggy, Dying Fetus-style of Death Metal rather than the more generic, break-down infested style that most people seem to associate with Deathcore. Either way this 5 track EP is enjoyable, nicely written, and suitably heavy and brutal that I fail to see what there isn’t to like really. Play it loud and feel the groove.

The sound is well-recorded and sounds suitably huge and heavy for a release such as this. As well as The Blast this album has The Chug all over the shop. This is where things could, in theory, get a bit pedestrian; but I am pleased to say that this is not the case as everything fits together nicely within the structure of the song. They don’t heavily rely on done-to-death chugs/breakdowns and instead keep things a bit more interesting, lively and full of energy. In fact I’d say that there aren’t any real Deathcore-style breakdowns here as such in any case. As mentioned previously; think more Dying Fetus-style Death Metal and you’ll get the idea.

The vocals on this EP are excellent. The range, diversity and quality all deserve praise and certainly add the icing on top of a very brutal cake.

A short release that bodes very well for things to come. If they can come up with a full album of this type of material that allows them to retain the energy and focus that is displayed here then that will be something I look forward to.