Tech Death Thursday: Alustrium


Hold onto your butts, people. It’s Tech Death Thursday. Today we’re talking about Alustrium, focusing on their new album, A Tunnel To Eden.

– For those of you who like your tech with a little prog, Fully Consumed are streaming their new album Incendium at New Noise Magazine.

– Breeding Filth are streaming a new song over at NCS. Check out “Pronounced Cancer” here and look for Perverse Devolution sometime this fall.

– Exterminatus have posted a rehearsal video of “Metamorphosis,” the fifth track from their upcoming album, Laniakea. Based on the album art, I suspect the full thing will be largely feature lyrics about space and space by-products.

– You’re never going to hear a new Necrophagist album. To take away the sting of that statement, here’s the newest by Raising The Veil, featuring Romain Goulon on drums. Bosonic Quantvm Phenomena will be out August 3rd.

– There’s a new Gorod song! But you can’t hear it yet if you’re in the US. Fortunately, it’s up on Youtube in guitar playthrough format right here. For the rest of the world, it’s available on Deezer, the dumbest-named streaming service in a market full of streaming services with dumb names. The full album, A Maze of Recycled Creeds, will be out sometime this fall on Unique Leader and Listenable Records.

I know Jack Bauer stopped punching terrorists long enough to highlight these guys in a mini-review last week, but I feel like they deserve a little more time in the spotlight. Alustrium are one of those bands that straddle the line between tech and melodeath, with just a splash of prog here and there. They make me think of Nevermore, had Nevermore been fronted by James Dorton (Black Crown Initiate). That isn’t to say that they are one of hundreds of bands that stand in Nevermore’s shadow. While there are some songs that have a distinct Loomis feel to them, “The Atheist Phenomenon” in particular, songs like “Slackjaw” and “My Possessor” prove that guitar duo Chris Kelly and Mike DeMaria have crafted their own unique identity as guitarists. It’s more the dour, spiteful mood the songs exude that remind me of Nevermore, even in the album’s quieter moments.

As strong as the riffs are, the soloing on this album keeps pace with them perfectly. In a genre where extreme proficiency is the norm, it’s easy for guitarists to simply shred through scales and arpeggios as quickly as possible in their solos. Alustrium do not do this. There’s certainly plenty of fast, technical playing in them, but they each feel meticulously crafted to fit the song. The solos themselves tell a story, and this song-within-a-song approach actually makes them memorable instead of just being there.

Though I could gush about the guitar work all day, I would be remiss not to mention the excellent rhythm section. The drums are relentless when they need to be and reserved where appropriate, and contain some of the best grooves in an album this year. The bass playing here is just as impressive as the guitar, particularly on the second instrumental track, “Lucid Intervals.”

If the word of one Toilet writer wasn’t enough to convince you, then take it from two. Alustrium are worth your time and attention. Both their albums are available from their Bandcamp, and their first, An Absence of Clarity, is generously name-your-price.

That’s all from me for this week, and remember:

Stay Tech

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  • OldMetalHead

    Bought this last week on Jack’s recommendation. Stellar!

    • Alustrium?

      • OldMetalHead

        Yeah 😉

        • Dimadamn it is good!

  • Yes this album is the tits. The Katy Perry kind.

  • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

    Name dropping Nevermore is a good way to make me care about something.

    • What did the misses have to say about your new found fetish, W??


      • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

        Dude, she sees some gnarly stuff in the hospital regularly. A little puke doesn’t faze her.

        • I didn’t reckon she had qualms with puke in general, it was more of what she though of your fascination with puke gifs. ha

          • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

            Well, like with most things, she’s probably thoroughly disappointed in me.

    • Spear

      In that case, put track 2 on repeat and never stop. It’s very, very Jeff Loomisy.

      • Bozamole Jim

        Whoa, is it ever!

      • *ConqueringDystopiaIntensifies*

    • JamesGrimm

      Its the opposite for me. It depends on the era.

  • Tyree

    Lick it up, lick it up, it’s only right now!
    Lick it up, lick it up, ooh yeah!
    Ooh yeah (ooh yeah) ooh yeah (ooh yeah), yeah yeah!

    • KJM

      Awesome. Animals(even the ones I eat) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      • Tyree

        Adorable, yes.

  • Awesome music they have there. There were some parts that even reminded me of Dark Tranquillity. Good writing, Handsome Spear!

  • Bozamole Jim

    Great writing, Spear! I see what you mean about the guitar work. The solos are unusually thoughtful for tech death.

    • Spear

      I’d say they have a Petrucci quality to them, but they never devolve into wank odysseys.

      • Bozamole Jim

        Which is refreshing to hear, especially when the music is as busy as tech death is. You need a break.

      • “Wank Odyssey” by Hooooohmer.

      • Yeah, the melodic death metal elements make it more dynamic. That’s why I liked the two songs I listened.

        And, to be honest, it makes me hope that traditional melodic death metal at least would come back with more fusions.

      • though i miss jack’s TDT’s, you do a superb job in his place!

        • Spear

          Thanks! I do my best.

          • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

            You’re THE best.

          • Spear>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

            Plus, he is very handsome.



  • whao, i was jamming the album on bandcamp when this article went live. it’s a gud, a rill gud.

  • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

    We’ll never hear another Necrophagist record?

    • Necrophagist pales in comparison to all the newer stuff at this point. If we got a new necrophagist record in the same vein of their previous ones I doubt it would even make a top then. The genre has evolved a lot since then.

      • Spear

        I’ve never actually seen the need for a Necrophagist reunion, especially since Obscura exists. I mostly just wanted to rub it in for the people who actually care about it.

      • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

        I just never could get into them. Way too much noodling and showing off for my tastes. #LookAtHowManyAugmentedScalesICanSquishTogetherCore

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Finally got through a couple of songs here. This is… somewhat good actually. Hasn’t got what I most dislike in tech-D and songs even have a little catchy in them at times.
    Also, Def not gonna edit the news post anymore. You’ll have the same news twice then.

  • ME GORAK B.C.™

    ALUSTRIUM ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guppusmaximus

    Probably the first Tech Thursday on TOV that showcased a truly talented Death Metal band, imho. It’s sad that this genre had to be relabeled to imply that anything released under said banner was anything technically worth listening to or technically superior to that labeled Death Metal. Spewing rehearsed & practiced arpeggios from millions of hours of Youtube viewing, drums that sound canned and editing your shit through pro-tools till you’ve deleted the huamn touch does not a Death Metal band make. If you have no concept of melody & cohesion you should just stick to working at Best Buy… *end rant*

    • CT-12

      Hey, is your avatar taken from an Ironchrist album?

      • Guppusmaximus

        Yes sir… “Getting The Most Out Of Your Extinction”. An album that pushed the envelope and took Crossover to a whole other level. A masterpiece… You should buy the deluxe edition if you can find it.

        • CT-12

          I’ve listened to it on Divebomb/Tribunal’s bandcamp a few times and was always on the fence about buying it. I’mma give it another spin now that I hear your high praise of it.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Well, I’m rather biased because I bought it on cassette when it first came out and still listen to it on an almost daily basis. IMHO, if you compare what Ironchrist did on this record to what other Crossover acts were doing at the time I don’t think you’ll hear anything as Progressive. The rawness of the recording which showcases their natural talent might make you cringe at first but I’m used to it because that’s how a lot of Hardcore / Punk was recorded back in the day. That’s the sound I dig and it’s missing from today’s scene… Just my .02

          • CT-12

            Well I appreciate that .02! Might as well just fucking buy it then, right? I work for a reason.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Yea… Don’t you know you’re supposed to spend every cent you make on Metal albums?! Fuck the roof over your head:)

          • CT-12

            Guess I’m going roofless tonight, cause I bought it!

          • Guppusmaximus

            Da Roof, Da roof, Da roof is…er,um…never mind. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Honestly, it has sat comfortably in my top 10 for the last 20+ years. I don’t know if that says a lot about the album or very little about the Metal scene…

  • KJM
  • Waynecro

    I’ve been listening to Alustrium all week. “A Tunnel to Eden” kicks ass. I just got A Loathing Requiem’s “Acolytes Eternal” from Bandcamp, and I think I’ll be blasting it for at least a week.