Tech Death Thursday: Burial in the Sky and Wastewalker

A couple of monster tech death albums dropped last week, and skipping them is not an option. Your weekly tech support comes from Burial in the Sky and Wastewalker.

News:

  • Abnormality have released a video for “Cymatic Hallucinations,” reminding me once again that I still need to get Mechanisms of Omniscience. Pick that up here if you missed out on it earlier.
  • Alterbeast will be entering the studio on the 20th to record drums for their next album, with Alex Bent of Battlecross and Arkaik behind the kit. Look for that sometime next year, and jam Immortal again to remind yourself of why you should be excited.
  • Asylum have released a new song from Psalms of Paralysis, their upcoming full-length. Check out “Spectral Incantation” ahead of the album’s February release.

Atmospheric tech death has really hit its stride the past couple years. Fallujah set a high bar with The Flesh Prevails, and other acts seem to have taken it as a challenge; Virvum just released an amazing album not too long ago, Kardashev’s Peripety was brilliant, and even acts like Rivers of Nihil and Job for a Cowboy have dipped their toes into the genre’s swirling waters. It’s no surprise that we’re seeing more of it, but the (mostly) consistent level of quality is impressive. Now, Burial in the Sky have thrown their hats in the ring with Persistence of Thought, and they may have set the bar that much higher.

One of the album’s biggest strengths is that there isn’t a clear line that can be drawn to any one factor that influenced it. Rather than referencing their peers to build their sound, they seem to have turned to outside sources. There are tinges of modern prog and post-black metal throughout, present in the non-standard chords, the odd timing on some of the leads, and the hazy tremolo-picked chords that dominate the upper reaches of the music. Melody is the driving force on Persistence; the riffs are distinct and powerful because of it, and they successfully avoid getting trapped in straightforward scales and arpeggios. The solos are fantastic to boot, feeling like short songs unto themselves within each track. The “song within a song” approach to guitar soloing has always been my favorite way to approach it- they become more personal and don’t feel quite so gratuitous that way- and Burial in the Sky are masters of this method.

Persistence of Thought is an excellent addition to the already great lineup of atmospheric tech death albums out there today. It’s smart, original, and easy to enjoy at a lean 35 minutes. None of that time is wasted, giving each segment room to breathe without overstaying its welcome. If you’re looking for something a little different, then this is for you.

Next up we’ve got Wastewalker bringing us back to earth. A bleak, dying earth. Funeral Winds paints a picture bereft of hope and swathed in despair, focusing on internal conflict and the injustices of the world. I’m always pleasantly surprised when tech death bands write lyrics that are inwardly reflective or observant of society and the problems surrounding it, and Wastewalker do both. It grounds the album, makes it more real and personal, a nice break from the norm.

Given that, it should be unsurprising that their sound is rooted more in melodeath and thrash than anything else. Funeral Winds has energy to spare, with bouncing mid-range harmonies and a hefty low end. Their propensity for riffs that travel the fretboard reminds me of this year’s Hemotoxin release in a lot of ways, but they take a less nasty approach to it. I wouldn’t necessarily call it happier, but undoubtedly brighter. Instrumental acrobatics are in full force here, with fast, complex riffs that morph into impressive solos. The bass lines are similarly impressive, working out their own counterpoints between the dual guitar rush.

Wastewalker may have some dark lyrics and tricky music, but above all, they are unabashedly fun. I’ve been looking forward to this release for some time now, and it did not disappoint. Jump on this one if you’re looking for something with equal levels of headbanging and virtuosity.


Burial in the Sky and Wastewalker are both on Facebook; if you like what you heard, stop by their pages and waft some Toilet scents their way. Both albums are out now and are available at the Bandcamp links above. That’s all for this week, and until next time,

Stay Tech


Do you have a band you would like to see featured? A new release we should keep an eye on? Or maybe you want to do some writing yourself? Then email us at techdeathtovh@gmail.com and make your voice heard!

Written by:

Published on: November 10, 2016

Filled Under: Tech-Death Thursday

Views: 861

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    I think I will check out Wastewalker.

    • When I saw the melodic tagging I went right up to press play.

  • KyleJMcBride

    Apologies for OT repost:

    Hello everyone.

    I wouldn’t blame any of you if my return causes bad vibes. I just think that, given recent events, any issues I may have had with anyone here seem very small and unimportant, and I apologize.

    I’d like to return “home” if you all will have me. If not, I’ll leave and never post again. Promise.

    K.

    • Hi bud!

    • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

      Please stay here.

    • Maik Beninton™

      I don’t know and don’t wanna know what happened but welcome back.

    • Howard Dean
    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      KJ MUTHAFUCKIN M IN THE HOUSE!!!

      • KyleJMcBride

        DOOOOOOOD!!!!!!

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          How are you and Mom doing?

          • KyleJMcBride

            She’s doing ok. Thanks for asking.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            That’s awesome to hear, my friend

          • KyleJMcBride

            DOOD, I saw Monolord/Beastmaker in August!! Did you get to catch the tour?

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Whoa! I did not. I was in Germany for work at the time. I did see Conan while I was there though.

          • KyleJMcBride

            It was glorious. I don’t wanna hijack this post anymore than I have but I’ll go into detail at some point.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Talk to me whenever!

            bosstheross54@gmail.com

          • Howard Dean

            MONO = ONE
            LORD = GOD

            ?

          • ¡Monorriel!

          • KyleJMcBride

            Is there any chance the track could bend?
            Not on your life, my Hindu friend!

          • Óðinn
        • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

          I have a bit of bad news. I might not be going to that wrestling thing. My friend wants me to go see Diamond Head the same day at the venue near me.

          • KyleJMcBride

            That’s not bad. I’d do it.

          • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

            I’m planning on doing it. I wouldn’t want to miss Diamond Head.

          • KyleJMcBride

            They’re a very important band for Traditional Metal.

          • Dumpster Lung ᴰᵃᵐᵃᵍᵉ_ᴵⁿᶜ⁸⁹

            Hell yeah man, gonna see them this next Tuesday in Nashville.

          • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

            I want to see them and I want to see Flotsam and Jetsam the day before with Helstar so I have a decision to make.

          • Dumpster Lung ᴰᵃᵐᵃᵍᵉ_ᴵⁿᶜ⁸⁹

            Do you? Different days, right? Or would both require travel or be too expensive? Fortunately the Diamond Head show is local for me. Only gotta go 2.5 hrs east for Dillinger this weekend, too. Normally it’d be twice that for anything in Atlanta. Pretty excited.

            If you really must choose, that’s a tough call. My gut is telling me Flotsam probably have a way higher quantity of great material than Diamond Head, but I only really don’t know them nearly as well as I should. Diamond Head had that amazing first album/demo/etc, but I have yet to check out the new album. I’ll probably do that tonight.

            Of course there’s also how likely you think it’ll be to get the chance to see either again. Flotsam’s been more consistent over the years as far as not breaking up or having unstable lineups right?

          • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

            F&J have a relatively consistent lineup at the moment and Helstar is on the bill as well and I’ve never heard of them coming to my area before. Diamond Head has three local openers while F&J haso two touring acts and two local openers.

          • Dumpster Lung ᴰᵃᵐᵃᵍᵉ_ᴵⁿᶜ⁸⁹

            I knew Diamond Head was still around, or reunited, or whatever, but didn’t realize how many albums they’d put out since those first 3 or so (not that I was around/alive for them, just those were all I’d listened to). This new album is pretty decent, but I mainly still want to see material from Lightning to the Nations, and at this point I believe it’s just one original member of the band that’s left (Brian Tatler on lead guitar). Most of their other albums were not all that great, or not bad, but kinda grungy, and I don’t know if they’ll play those anyway.

            I wish I knew F&J better, but I would definitely jump at the chance to see them if they came nearby. I think as far as amount of great material and energy they’re probably a better choice.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      You’re back and that’s all that matters.

    • Good to see you back, man! Welcome!

    • Elegant Gazing Globe

      Congrats on question 4

      • KyleJMcBride

        Aw yeah… That was a bright spot for sure.

    • Hubert

      WHADDUP

    • Hubert

      Good to have you back my dude.

      • KyleJMcBride

        Thank you, Goat ov Skronk

    • Óðinn

      KJM! Welcome back! I missed you, and I wasn’t aware that you had “beef” with anyone here.

      http://i717.photobucket.com/albums/ww173/prestonjjrtr/DTL%20Welcome/Welcomeback.gif

      • KyleJMcBride

        If I did or didn’t, it’s unimportant to me now.

    • InfinityOfThoughts

      I’m not really around enough to say this, but fuck it. Welcome back!

      • KyleJMcBride

        You’re around enough for me to say “Thank You!” ^_^

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    You’re description regarding all of Burial in the Sky’s influences to their sound has me interested in checking them out. And your relation of Wastewalker to Hemotoxin and fun sounds like a grand old time. Excellent work, Spear my dude.

    Whe I first saw the headline I just read Sky and Wastewalker for some reason. I think Sky and the Wastewalker has a nice ring to it actually.

  • Burial in the Sky is interesting in that they don’t feel like they have to be going 1000 mph all the time, which is a nice change of pace for tech death.

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    Wastewalker has some rad riffs and solos, that’s for damn sure

  • Mechanisms of Omniscience was RIFFS, Spear! RRRRIIIIFFFFFSSS

    (If you dug new Unfathomable Ruination and new Wormed you should dig it)

    • Spear

      Oh, I dig it. I just need to get it.

      • Oh, right. Well Abnormality’s on tour with Napalm Death and Black Dahlia Murder, you could pick up a physical copy straight from them if you want.

  • Ohhhh, fuck yes, Spearrow. Wastewalker have some sweet melodic death metal riffing, like you said!!! Those melodies are sharp and I truly truly dig.

    It’s amazing how you find all these bands and nearly everytime I find something!!! <3

  • Joaquin Stick

    That last Burial in the Sky song is awesome. I love when bands are able to make the album feel complete by almost having a double-outro. Tasteful guitar solo wraps up the theme and then some nice atmospherics bring you back to silence. Well done.

  • Gonna have to spin that Burial in the Sky eventually…

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    This has solos. Does that make it techy enough to post here? Probably not.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYwfoC2aBFU

    • MAN! THAT GUITAR TONE!

      • Dave Vincent’s Perm

        It’s like they converted molten iron into sound.

        • Yeah, so devastating.

          • Dave Vincent’s Perm

            Makes me wanna unblock my trem bridge, would take an hour to tune/10

  • Óðinn

    Thanks, Spear.

  • Waynecro

    I can barely hear today because Teeth, Phobocosm, Zhrine, and Ulcerate exploded my head last night, but I think that Asylum song sounds great. I like that Abnormality video, and I’m pumped for new Alterbeast. I’ve really been digging Burial in the Sky and especially Wastewalker lately. Funeral Winds and Virvum’s Illuminance are two of my favorite tech-death albums of the year. Killer work as always, Spear!

    • Dang son….would you recommend a brotha drive 5 hours to see that show?

      • Waynecro

        Driving is one of my least favorite things in life, and I drove about an hour and a half to see the show. And I stayed out way past my bedtime on a work night. Totally worth it. All the bands were amazing, but Zhrine and Ulcerate were particularly amazing. I don’t know how Ulcerate can sound so massive live when the band comprises only three dudes.

        • Glad to hear it was a good! Guesing your jetpack was out of commission

          • Waynecro

            It was super good, dude. Still no jet pack. Evolution is really dropping the ball on this one.

        • Spear

          As another person who’s going to drive five hours to see them, this is good to hear.

          • Waynecro

            I doubt you’ll be disappointed, dude. It really was a hell of a show. The dudes in Zhrine came out in button-up shirts, looking all preppy, and then they totally demolished the place (dat upright bass). I don’t even regret getting only three hours of sleep last night.

    • Major Zim

      I saw them in Portland! I saw Ulcerate in their first west coast tour so I knew they would be amazing, but holy shit Zhrine blew me away. Even as a fan of their last album I wasn’t ready for that.

      • Waynecro

        Shit yes, brother! Zhrine sounded even bigger and meaner in person. I was shocked and very pleased.