Tech Death Thursday: Heresy Denied

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Heresy Denied is confusing. Help me figure this one out on this week’s edition of Progressive Slamming Melodic Death Metal Thursday!

Nooze:

  • Gorguts will be hitting the road in the US and Canada this October with Intronaut and Brain Tentacles (who has music that you should definitely listen to right here– h/t Leif Bearikson). Needless to say (but I’m saying it anyway), this has my giblets atwitter.
  • Remember when I said Virvum had a new album coming but no music to show us? Now they have music to show us, and damn is it good. As one commentor pointed out, it has a lot of those octave-spanning tapped leads that Fallujah is so fond of (and harmonies in fifths and tremolo dips and arpeggiated ninth chords), but there’s a much more solid sound at play here. Don’t skip this one (h/t Jack Bauer).
  • Unfathomable Ruination dropped a new single a couple weeks ago and I somehow missed it. Rectify this mistake with me and behold “Nihilistic Theorem” in all its savage glory. Finitude comes out on August 31st via Sevared.
  • Hannes Grossmann has gotten noticeably more kvlt since the last time we heard from him… lyrically, anyway. Check out “Hail Satan” from his forthcoming solo effort, The Crypts of Sleep.
  • Judging solely by its cover, the new Inanimate Existence is going to be tech doom. Calling from a Dream comes out on September 16th.
  • Saturno, the breakfast cereal of the gods, has debuted the title track of the upcoming Thou Art All. Look for the full album on August 31st.

It’s not often that you hear a self-described technical death metal band that doesn’t rely very much on the “technical” part of that phrase. Heresy Denied is just such a band; it’s more accurate to think of them as a melodeath band that occasionally wears the trappings of tech, and perhaps most bizarrely, slam. I’m still not entirely convinced that it works, and it’s certainly not the most cohesive sound, but there must be something to it because I can’t stop listening. With that in mind, let’s get to dissecting this aberration and find out what makes it tick.

Innerception starts off on a surprisingly slow note, “The Unfathomable Path” crawling its way into the downtempo opening of “When He Calls.” It takes about a minute to build up into the first speedy riff, a familiar (but still awesome) harmonic minor guitar duel in thirds. It looks at this theme from a few different angles over the course of the next two minutes, switching between full- and half-time feel riffs with some interesting uses of harmony and counterpoint. Then it drops all finesse and progresses (regresses?) into a full-on slam. This was about the last thing I was expecting; one second we’re going full throttle, the next we’ve smashed into a brick wall that popped out of the road. It might leave you scratching your head, but not for long; we’re right back on track soon after, going back to the ideas explored earlier. As you might already expect, this was just an attempt to lull you into a false sense of security. It closes out with a dramatic shift in tempo and another, slower slam. All of this happens over the course of a single six-and-a-half minute song.

If this is sounding a little scatterbrained to you, you’re not alone. Almost the entire album is presented in this matter, with only a few straightforward elements present throughout. Unless chaos is the express point of the music, this is something that is almost sure to turn me off of a band. Given that the individual pieces of each song are melodic and easy to follow, I doubt that this was the case. Yet for whatever reason, I keep coming back to it and enjoying it in spite of myself. Its constituent components are certainly interesting; perhaps it’s that it’s both different and familiar enough to draw the listener in.

This may not sound like it was a ringing endorsement of the band, but I enjoyed Innerception quite a bit. The musicians are all excellent and the makings of something amazing are all there, but it doesn’t quite gel perfectly. I think just a bit more focus would do the band a lot of good without sacrificing their identity too much. In any case, this is a fun album with a lot of odd wrinkles.

Innerception is out now and available for streaming/purchase at the Bandcamp link above. You can follow them on Facebook if you’re feeling particularly spoony. That’s all for this week, flushers; until next time,

Stay Tech

(Image VIA)


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