Afterburner is back with a vengeance. This week, we’re checking out the new album from these Tech Death Thursday veterans!
Tech news you can tech use:
- Obscura will be hitting the road in Europe starting next Thursday, October 2oth, and bringing Revocation, Beyond Creation, and Rivers of Nihil along for the ride. Check out the dates for that right here.
- Hour of Penance have announced their seventh album, Cast the First Stone, will be out via Prosthetic Records on January 27th of next year. Head here for the details and far too spooky artwork.
- Some rad dudes called Lo Bruto dropped their debut album last Saturday, and they’re giving it away for free. They won’t even take your money. I haven’t had the chance to listen to the full thing as of this writing, but I like what I’ve heard thus far; it’s a little grittier than the usual tech death fare.
News of a new Hour of Penance album is pretty sweet, but if the three-month wait until then is just too painful for you to imagine, then I’ve got just the thing to tide you over until then. This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about Afterburner; the illustrious Jack Bauer covered them way back in June of last year. Since then, they’ve put their music out on some more official sources, thus eliminating the guilt and potential risk of visiting sketchy Russian social media sites just to jam their tunes. Now they’ve found themselves a label and released Tomb of Kings, and the world is a brighter, happier place for it.
To be clear, Afterburner aren’t just an Hour of Penance knockoff, and it’s only at the middle section of Tomb of Kings that really starts to sound like the latter. They play music in the same vein, though- vicious, fast, and low- but when they’re not going maximum speed, Afterburner generally takes things into a lighter midrange instead of going lower and heavier. Songs like “Scattered Remains” and “Meretseger” present an even mixture of the two styles, going incredibly fast while retaining a surprisingly somber mood. It’s an odd thing, hearing this kind of emotional reservation juxtapositioned with this level of motion; one doesn’t generally expect melancholy to be expressed at such a frenetic pace, but they somehow make it work. The first three songs and closer “Crypts” are the only songs to dive completely into this style, with the rest of the album favoring Phrygian riffing and an angrier feel. Thankfully, they do both very well, and the variety makes for a stronger experience.
Perhaps it’s because of this new approach that Tomb of Kings feels less like an explicitly tech death album than its predecessor, Dawn of Enthrallment. While it’s certainly complex music, that doesn’t seem to be the focus this time around. Dawn of Enthrallment sounded like an album with something to prove; it was fast and hectic, massively heavy at times, and it carried itself with open hostility. The band put these things at the forefront, as tech bands do, and I don’t fault them for that (Dawn of Enthrallment is a damned fine album). Their sophomore effort is a maturation in this regard, putting songwriting quality ahead of showmanship, but it doesn’t sacrifice any of the impressive musicianship of their first album in the process.
I feel like Afterburner was overlooked the first time around, but with Tomb of Kings, they’ve established themselves as a powerful new force in the tech death realm. I look forward to how they continue to expand and refine their sound. Tomb of Kings is out now and can be found at the Bandcamp links above or at Soundage if you prefer a hard copy (hope your Russian’s good). You can follow them on Facebook like the creepy weirdos I know you all are. That’s all for this week, and until next time,
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