Tech Death Thursday: A Novelist

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Get your tech on with A Novelist. Just one. It’s just one novelist.

Some tasty tidbits:

  • The aptly-named Brutality have premiered a new song from their forthcoming album Sea of Ignorance, due out sometime next year. Check it out here.
  • I don’t recall the ancient Egyptians ever being in space, but I’ve been wrong before. Turn to Blade of Horus’s new album Monumental Massacre (out January 29th) for a history lesson, and listen to their new song here.
  • New Obscura song. You may want to lay some towels down for this one; the guitar solo will spatter your brains across the floor.
  • Son of Aurelius vocalist Riley McShane has officially joined the ranks of Allegaeon. Judging by their live video for “Grey Matter Mechanics,” it sounds like he’ll be a perfect fit for the band.
  • Tired of purple swirly shit in space? Try some purple swirly shit in the deep sea! Check out “Back to Hadatopia” by Atlantis Chronicles, and look for Barton’s Odyssey on March 26th.
  • Newcomers Essomonic have an EP coming… sometime. Give “Studies of God” a listen while you wait for a release date.

There are few things that I enjoy more than an album coming completely out of nowhere, slapping me in the face, and screaming “WITNESS ME!” before blowing my mind for its duration. Portraits is just such an album. Opening track “A Progression of Hands” sounds like it was pulled straight from a film noir, save for the lack of a hard-boiled detective monologing over the top. It suddenly bursts into “Rectilinear Acceleration,” a vicious technical assault driven by dueling guitar leads and a cascade of blastbeats.

I suppose this is a good point to say that parts of Portraits are about as technical as they come without straying into Brain Drill/The Ritual Aura territory. Those of you with no stomach for sweep picking will likely not make it more than a few seconds into the first full song. However, those of you who do delve further will find it quite rewarding. The album finds its home between pure tech death mindfuckery and cerebral prog, occasionally jumping completely into one territory or the other and often multiple times in a single song. In either instance, there’s a lot of jazz influence on display here, from chromatic harmonized runs to bizarre chords to off-kilter arpeggio structures. The latter half of the album is particularly jarring, with a lot of sudden jumps in tempo and time signature. Despite that (or perhaps because of it), the songs never wear out their welcome, even at six-plus minutes in length.

One of the things that stood out to me the most was the vocals. Even with the amount of crazy shit going on underneath them, I couldn’t help but admire their presence and versatility. Ben Nugent has a nasty scream, but his cleans are equally impressive. Though they only appear a couple times throughout the album (most notably on “The Hall”), they were certainly a highlight.

Portraits is out now and available here. Don’t forget to give A Novelist some Toilet love on Facebook.

Until next time,

Stay Tech

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  • Dubs

    Space Egyptians? Someone clearly never played Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ERVezG_UbI

    • Spear

      The idea that an ancient civilization had mastered space travel is ridiculous. Just another of the many lies perpetrated by the lizard people who control the government.

      • EsusMoose

        Hey Laucertein is a trustworthy lizard! Probably!
        And I don’t know how to spell it, god dam lizards.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      So, no intergalactic marlin then?

      • Dubs

        I don’t think they have marlins in the Nile.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Are trying to dash my dreams?

          • Dubs

            Expertly

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I don’t like where this is going. If there are no intergalactic marlins able to roam free, then what’s this all been about?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAdQyjpOfrs

          • Dubs

            Life, uh uh, finds a way

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        They will NOT come out of the sky. They will NOT stand there.
        However, I will be your roundabout nonetheless.

        • ┼yree

          Yes

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      This made me chuckle.

  • ┼yree

    Not tech death related, but just death metal related news. Profound Lore Records releases Pissgrave: Suicide Euphoria on Vinyl finally.

    https://profoundlorerecords.merchtable.com/music/vinyl/pissgrave-suicide-euphoria-vinyl-lp#.VnLQDPkrKM-

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    All The Novelists.

  • Dagon

    This is very weedily and birudiliry. It makes my head spin.

  • Dubs

    Rectal Linear Axe Selleration ain’t bad.

  • Ugh, I just do not have the patience to listen to 7 minute tech songs.

    • KJM, Shake Zula

      Come to my place! We’ll listen to Yes ‘Topographic Oceans’ concerts from 1972. It’ll be fun!!

      • Damn, son. 4 songs coming in at 80 mins?!!!

        pertinent ocean gif:
        http://popcrush.com/files/2015/09/NopeNopeNope.gif

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          HAHAHAHAHA

          Some of my favorite music ever.

          • I would love to get ripped and listen to those tunes with you. Maybe one day!

          • Boss the Ross

            I will listen with you! I say yes to Yes.

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        You mean the Progeny set that was released this year? That’s from the Close To The Edge tour. Topographic Oceans didn’t come out until 1973.

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          You are correct. My shows are from 1974. Edited.

    • Dubs

      Maybe your attention span would be longer if you laid off the coke.

      • them 4 cups of black coffee every morning are great. It makes my mornings!

      • But seriously, once you go black (coffee, you pervs), you never go back!

        • Dubs

          Didn’t you not drink coffee black before we led you to the dark side, or was that Ed?

          • Eh, I really just started drinking coffee mid summer. Since I work in 2 different places during the days, across 3 buildings, 6 different coffee pots…. having it black is just waaaaay easier. But yes, both of your influences will not be forgotten!

        • Stockhausen

          Black coffee is the only real coffee.

          • You getting ready for that baby boy? Black coffee will be your second best friend, I believe.

          • Stockhausen

            I believe that 100%. I’ll probably wait until at least 2 weeks before my child has his first mug. 6 months for his first beer.

          • Boss the Ross

            Truth.

    • more beer

      Punk rock may be the answer for you. Songs between a minute and a half and two minutes.

    • I want to back track a bit…. I have listened to the first three songs and I think the structures of the songs are quite fresh. Especially for tech songs. The thin dueling leads make me sad, though :/

    • Spear

      Skip to track three. Despite its length, it feels pretty short.

  • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

    Let me just pick my face off the floor after that Obscura song…

    • PBWG!!!!! HEYO!

      • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

        Hail, George Lynch

        • Hail!

          NAME YOUR TOP THREE BEERS, NOW. GO!

          • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

            Dude that’s a tough one…

            Right now, I’m really digging these:
            1) Southern Tier’s Old Man Winter Ale. Good, hearty stuff.
            2) Lagunitas’ Czech Pils. I normally hate pilsners. Never drink them. But this actually has a good amount of flavor.
            3) Terrapin’s Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout. I’ve bought 2 six packs of this in the past few weeks. Delicious, highly recommended.

          • more beer

            You do know that Lagunitas just sold 50% of the company to Heineken. Which means their beers will go to shit very quickly. Enjoy them while you can.

          • Boss the Ross

            That’s unfortunate. I enjoy the Cappuccino Stout quite a bit.

          • more beer

            Those are delicious.

          • Boss the Ross

            Yes. GL brought it up, i will continue, top 3 beers?

          • more beer

            There are a couple of local stouts here I like more. Left Hands Wake Up Dead, and Fade to Black are two of them.

          • Boss the Ross

            Nice, what are your thoughts on the nitro?

          • more beer

            Which one? I like the Nitro Milk Stout. But the Nitro, But then again I also like the Nitro Sawtooth Ale. But I haven’t had a Left Hand beer that wasn’t good.

          • Boss the Ross

            Sorry, should’ve been more specific, it was in regards to the wake up dead nitro, but your answer was more than welcome. I do enjoy the milk stout nitro a lot as well. I’ve enjoyed the Left Hand beers I’ve tried, still need to try more though.

          • more beer

            I see them all, their brewery is only about a half hour from my house. At some point I plan on going to their tap house. The Wake UP Dead is one of my favorite beers hands down. 10.2% abv. Click on my avatar it is a Wake UP Dead.

          • Boss the Ross

            That’s bad ass. Oh yes, I recognized that label the moment I saw it’s tiny picture.

          • more beer

            Yea I know it”s small. I sent you an e mail delete your info off of that thread. Everyone who is a regular here is cool. But once in a while we get a douche bag here.

          • Boss the Ross

            Right on! Thanks for looking out. That’s my “anonymous email”.

          • more beer

            OK the one I sent you is my main one.

          • Boss the Ross

            Okay, cool. I still check that one regularly, so if you do send something it will be seen.

          • more beer

            cool

          • OldMetalHead

            Keegan’s Mother’s Milk and Joe Mamma’s Milk are both good as well. I spent a drunken afternoon at Keegan’s last Saturday with my buddy for his birthday.

          • more beer

            I can’t get those in Colorado. But I have a cousin in Kingston. Who I’m sure I can convince to send me a six pack. But I do have Black Sky Brewery and Trve brewery here. Besides both brewing outstanding beers they are breweries for metal heads. So the music is always good https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1b98d49ab1e1c740f4d8d6be8505687965acfacc4cbb3e7d880076cb851c3f3e.jpg

          • more beer

            Did you ever go to shows in New Rochelle at Streets in the late 80’s early 90’s?

          • OldMetalHead

            I’ve only lived in NY for a year. We live 20 minutes from Albany. Kingston was a road trip ;-). We were also supposed to go to the motorcycle museum in Newburgh but never made it past the brewery.

          • more beer

            OK I saw Kingston and thought that was where you were from. So I figured I would ask. It isn’t that long a ride from Westchester. Here check out the bands that played at this place. I knew people who traveled from a lot of places to go to shows here. http://www.setlist.fm/venue/streets-new-rochelle-ny-usa-1bd721a4.html

          • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

            Make it so.

          • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

            I’ve never seen that. Must not be available where I am.

          • more beer

            I have only gotten it in 22 oz’s.

          • Boss the Ross

            It comes in a 22oz. If you ever see it, buy it. Will not disappoint.

          • ┼yree

            Goddamn, that sounds good! I haven’t drank alcohol in almost 2 weeks. I’m not going to give in here.

          • more beer

            I highly recommend this.

          • Boss the Ross

            2 weeks? Huh, i guess you’re album pictures have been lacking in the beer department. If you don’t mind, may i ask why?

          • ┼yree

            Stomach issues I’ve had years back are back. Cutting back on acidic foods and drinks to help cure it again.

          • Boss the Ross

            Ah, sorry to hear about that. Best wishes!

          • ┼yree

            Thanks, it’s not as bad as it was. I had to quit drinking beer for a whole year before. I was starting to develop ulcers so it took a while for my stomach to heal. Lots of dieting and anti-acid medications. I just don’t want that to come back again. Stomach acid is a bitch man so is alcoholism.

          • Boss the Ross

            Damn, at least you can realize the problem and try to prevent it this time. Not everyone can or even try to do that.

          • more beer

            I had stomach issues for years. I figured it was because of my lifestyle. It ended up being Diverticulitis. I had surgery for it. Now I can eat or drink anything I want.

          • Waynecro

            Stay strong, dude. Your perseverance will be rewarded.

          • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

            Damn, I did not know that. Why only 50%? Do the original owners get any future say in the company?

          • more beer

            I’m sure they do. For now. But every time this happens, they try to do things cheaper and it ruins the beer.

  • That obscura is sexy as fuck. Also, looks like Fallujah are aiming to release the new album in the spring.

  • more beer

    Way off topic but. That douche bag Martin Shkreli. The pharmaceutical guy who jacked up the price of aids drugs. Has been arrested for securities fraud. Maybe there is some sort of justice in the universe after all.

    • KJM, Shake Zula

      Very happy about this.

      • more beer

        I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this.

        • Vladimir Poutine

          Agreed, at least as far as the silver-spoon class goes.

          • more beer

            Well yea. But he does claim to have come from no money.

          • Vladimir Poutine

            Hmm. Not sure what’s worse: pulling yourself up by your bootstraps just to turn into a douche canoe, or being born into it.

          • more beer

            I don’t think it matters. But if he was poor he forgot where he came from. So maybe that is a little worse.

  • Eliza

    “A Novelist” is a very weird band name. Like their music, though. Especially that guitar work.

  • Celtic Frosty

    Damn. I usually have no patience for tech death, but this is some solid shit. They manage to keep it interesting. Nice find, Spear!

  • sometimes work is too busy to check everything out as it goes live. so i’ll just “Recommend” the article and come back later. thanks, handsome Spear!

    • Bruckethead

      I heard the drummber is a real handsome boy. u shuld give em a spin

  • Waynecro

    I’m so psyched about the new Obscura. Blade of Horus, Atlantis Chronicles, and A Novelist tear it the fuck up as well. Another badass Tech Death Thursday, Spear. Thanks!