Today, we dive into two very different styles of tech with Hectic and Shattered. Let’s get to it!
First, the news:
- Looks like we get one more Aborted track from Retrogore before it releases tomorrow. Check out the guitar playthrough for “Cadaverous Banquet.”
- Mephistopheles, featuring former members of Psycroptic and Spawn of Possession, have released a new song. Look for it on In Reverence of Forever, out July 8th.
- Hey look, another Malcolm Pugh project that sounds like Inferi. If that sounds like your thing, check out “Fruit of the Poisoned Tree” from Virulent Depravity.
- And now for your daily dose of pathetic neckbeardism: Boy Eats Girl has a new song, “She Shattered Like Glass.” I’m not generally one to get on my soapbox about… well, anything, but can we move past the whole “women ignore me so I’m going to take out my anger on ALL of them” subject matter? It’s not even shocking anymore; it just makes you look like an asshole. Thanks for reinforcing the vapetech stereotype, guys.
- In infinitely less shitty news, you can stream a new Defeated Sanity tune right here. Disposal of the Dead // Dharmata comes out July 1st.
- Solipsist, the newest from The Zenith Passage, is now streaming in full. As you may recall, I kinda liked this one just a little bit, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, now’s as good a time as ever.
- Black Crown Initiate have announced their next full-length album, Selves We Cannot Forgive, will be out July 22nd. Go here for sweet artwork.
- Despised Icon also have a new album coming on July 22nd, but with slightly less sweet art. Check it out anyway.
- Neoclassical tech titans First Fragment have a new song streaming at Heavy Blog Is Heavy. Look for the full album at the end of May.
It’s very rare to see bands pull a full 180º on their sound between releases, but it’s been known to happen (see: Kardashev) with varying degrees of success. Hectic are one such band. Their first release, Inconsistent Mind Cell, was, to be perfectly frank, one of the least remarkable things I’ve ever listened to. It’s very straightforward death metal with no bells or whistles. The riffs are uninspired and dull, and the sterile production doesn’t work in their favor. It’s bland to the point of being a chore to listen to, and it made me quite skeptical of their newest release.
Much to my surprise, Purification, the band’s newest, is awesome, and it’s an incredible testament to the band’s growth as musicians. The invariable chugging riffs from the first album are gone entirely, replaced with menacing strains of dissonance and daring flurries of maximum-speed fills. The riffs dance across octaves and time signatures without a care and showcase a newfound confidence as both songwriters and musicians. Brutal but not unpleasant, Purification is one of the most satisfying things I’ve listened to this year, and I hope to see a full-length recording from the band sometime in the near future.
On the other side of the tech spectrum we have New Atlantis, the debut album of Germany’s Shattered. The band’s primary guitarist is a student of Christian Münzner, and it shows. While many of the riffs and passages on New Atlantis are built on sheer speed, the structure and melody of each song, especially starting on mid-album track “The Fall of Hyperion,” carry a very distinct Münzneresque quality to them. It plays largely in the middle to high range of the guitar, with plenty of octave jumps and guitarmonies laying down hook after hook.
That’s not to say it’s derivative; while the influence is apparent, it doesn’t dominate the music. This doesn’t sound like a watered-down Obscura side-project; Shattered are less focused on trying to push the genre in new directions or showcasing their talents as they are on simply writing good songs, and they’re all the better for it. While it’s clear that New Atlantis belongs in the same sphere of tech death as Cosmogenesis or Epitaph, they bring their own spin on the spacey melodic tech death that we all know and love. In any case, it’s a fantastic debut, feeling both fresh and seasoned.
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