Tech Death Thursday: EP’s for the Masses


It’s that magical time of the week again! This week, we’re checking out the debut EP from The Odious Construct and some new material from A Million Dead Birds Laughing.

First, for your weekly tech death news:

  • The ongoing shitstorm between Obscura and Fountainhead only looks to be getting worse, with each party delivering conflicting statements on the situation (and Kummerer pointlessly dragging Christian Münzner into it). Personally, I’m just waiting for Fountainhead to announce his own sweet tech death supergroup, since that seems to be what happens when you leave Obscura. In the meantime, if you liked the crazy lead guitar on Akroasis, check out a track from Fountainhead’s upcoming solo album.
  • For a completely different brand of lolbuttz, check out this lyric video for a new song from Verted, “Extreme Caffeine Fixation,” though I’m giving this one a pass for actually being funny. Hopefully we’ll have a new full release from these guys soon.
  • Extreme weedly-deedly peddlers The Ritual Aura are taking things in a decidedly more reserved direction on Tæther, and it’s sounding awesome. It’s a bit like a midpoint between Inanimate Existence and Fallujah, with the song progression of the former and a splash of the latter’s atmospheric tendencies. Look for the full album on November 11th.
  • The new Alterbeast album is nearly complete, and they appear to be doing a cover of “Where Dead Angels Lie.” My loins are quivering in anticipation.
  • Ne Obliviscaris/Vipassi bassist Cygnus continues to be really good at music on this new Infinite Density tune, “The Culminate Zone.” Look for Recollapse of the Universe on July 29th.

I had briefly mentioned The Odious Construct in last week’s article, but I really can’t let this one pass without proper regards. This Sacramento-based quintet is quite new to the scene, having been around for just under two years, but they sound like seasoned veterans. Their particular brand of tech will certainly sound familiar- it’s that melodic, arpeggiated-everything, not-quite-neoclassical style of music- but it’s hard not to admire their competence. Their melodies are intricate without feeling cluttered; they make the most of their setup, rarely layering more than two distinct guitar parts on top of each other alongside the bass and synth. The orchestrations aren’t overbearing and supplement the rest of the band nicely- think more Enthean than Irreversible Mechanism.

The production on this self-titled EP is also noteworthy in that it’s not complete garbage. Production on self-released debut albums tends to fall into one of two camps: either it’s over-processed and mechanical, or it’s raw to the point of being painful. The Odious Construct thankfully had the foresight to have their album (semi?) professionally mixed, mastered, and engineered, and it shows. You’re going to hear click perfect drums and triggers abounding, yes, but it all sounds rich and full. The lead guitar tone in particular had me salivating; production can make or break a solo, even a great one, and the production here gives them an added depth that brings out the guitarist’s proficiency that much more.

Unfortunately, there are only three full songs on The Odious Construct, which is sure to leave you wanting more. I know I’m eagerly awaiting more material from these guys, as this EP shows they’re more than capable musicians and writers. Hopefully we’ll get more sometime soon.

You could probably surmise this by their name, but A Million Dead Birds Laughing is a little bit on the unusual side. They’re also fucking phenomenal; if you’re not familiar with their material, go get acquainted. Their entire discography is on Bandcamp, and it’s a relatively quick listen at that. Umbilical Dystrophy/Air Missile Defence Battle Lab serves as a brief overview of their career. The first song, “Umbilical Dystrophy,” is a song that was cut from their upcoming album due to its incongruence with the rest of the album, and the five songs following it were intended to be an EP that followed Xen.

It’s hard to really describe the band’s sound; they label themselves as experimental tech-grind, but you won’t hear much grind on AMDBL (besides the short format songs). There’s plenty of tech, though, with tons of counterpoint between the instruments, crazy guitar acrobatics, and some weird dissonant moments. It’s volatile and unpredictable; one moment it’s perfectly calm and collected (as on the majority of “Air”), and it flies completely off the rails the next. This isn’t particularly happy material, either, with an oppressive and gloomy atmosphere even in its most upbeat moments.

While the instrumentals are fantastic, it’s the vocal performance that stole the show as far as I’m concerned. Adam Stewart is easily one of the most versatile vocalists I’ve ever heard, utilizing a wide array of singing and screaming techniques. He makes great use of a Barney Greenway-esque half-growl half-shout, but complements it with a more death metal-oriented growl as well. His baritone singing voice complements the nature of the music well, and he adds in a vicious growl and some throat singing for good measure. These elements are all mixed together and frequently compounded for some truly unique sounds.

I seriously can’t praise either of these bands enough, and I hope you enjoy them even a fraction of how much I do. The Odious Construct and A Million Dead Birds Laughing can both be found at their respective Facebook pages, and I’m sure they’d appreciate it if you stopped by their Bandcamps as well. That’s all for this week folks, and until next time,

Stay Tech

(Images VIA, VIA)

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  • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2

    the reason there is death metal is because of advenged sevenfold and no one can do it better!, 4 years ago

  • Not sure why people persist with silly band names. Seems like if you were a venue and you got a phone call from someone with a band name A Million Dead Laughing Birds that you would surely just hang up. REGARDLESS, apparently they go hard. The riffs are tiiiiight.


    • Metal isn’t silly bro.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Gather round young uns. GL is giving free advice.

    • BobLoblaw

      May be while Alterbeast changed their name from Gary Busey Amber Alert (which is legitimately funny).

      • Incontinent Gorilla Rodeo

        And who can forget John Cougar Concentration Camp?

        • BobLoblaw


      • CyberneticOrganism

        That mosquito was wearing fur.— Gary Busey (@THEGaryBusey) July 4, 2016

      • Hans Müller

        Despite quickly determining that the band sucked, The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza is one that stuck with me.

        • Waynecro

          TDTDE’s last album had some OK moments. I always laugh at the band name Gay for Johnny Depp.

          • Hans Müller

            Anal Cunt could probably have confirmed that being gay for Johnny Depp is gay.

          • Waynecro

            Indeed. Alas, “Being Gay for Johnny Depp Is Gay” is yet another song Mr. Putnam will never be able to write.

        • Count_Breznak

          Their first one was great, two had it’s very rare moments (the skits were arguably better than the songs)..and everything else was crap

        • BobLoblaw

          They were misguided and certainly played lots of shows which show their dedication to “the scene”. They get a pass. iwrestledabearonce though…..

          • Hans Müller

            Ugh. That’s damn near Eskimo Callboy territory.

  • A million dead birds laughing is what Dubya has nightmares about, except they’re Hawks.

  • Looking forward to only 435BPM songs on that new Archspire LP. lolz

  • Joaquin Stick

    Liking that first one, despite thinking that their name was Odorous Construct through the first few songs.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Smelly Construct

  • JWEG

    Digging all of it. Though A Million Dead Birds Laughing gets my preferential vote.

  • Waynecro

    Damn, man, That Fountainhead song is giving me the feels. The Verted song is pretty great, and the word humaccino is goddamned funny. I am totally psyched about the new Ritual Aura and AlterBeast (DISSECTION COVER!!!) albums. I need that Infinite Density album now, and ARCHSPIRE!!! I’ve been jamming The Odious Construct since last week, and A Million Dead Birds Laughing is stellar! Stupendous work, Spear! Thanks!

  • i’ll have to check these out, but right now listening to A Million Dead Birds Laughing’s entire discography is going to take priority. das gud stuph

    • i figured it out! they share a few sonic elements with Veilburner!!

  • Count_Breznak

    The million birds died laughing one, like.

    Not sure about the 2. titel having the same acronym as the bandname is all that clever, tho

  • KC Brand

    Thank you Spear!