Tech Death Thursday: Infecting the Swarm and Banisher
We’ve got two very different flavors of death metal for you on this edition of Tech Death Thursday. Check out the newest from Infecting the Swarm and Banisher!
First, the news:
- Burial In The Sky have released a new song from their upcoming sophomore effort, Persistence of Thought. There’s definitely some of that mid-tempo spacey feel to it that’s been all the rage these days, but it doesn’t really sound like any of the other bands doing it. I look forward to hearing something a little different when it drops on November 4th.
- Kinda prog, kinda tech, kinda deathcore band Kairos. (yes, that period is supposed to be there) has a bizarre new music video out for “KRS-NA” from their upcoming EP, Fission Spectrum. Look for that on October 20th.
- One-man project The Dyatlov Discovery has a new lyric video for “Tow the Line,” the third track from his recently released album The Human Condition. You can check out the full album right here.
- Remember when Setentia put out an album this past March and promptly vanished off the face of the earth? Turns out Blood Music, eternal purveyors of good taste, snatched them up shortly after its release and are priming for a physical version. Check out “Seeds of Death (Departure)” and get ready for some supreme mindfuckery on November 11th.
- The dudes from Interloper have posted a guitar playthrough video of “The Conjuration,” a currently homeless single that could really use a full album of tunes to hang with. Hint, hint, guys. …Please? In any case, you can pick up all three of their excellent singles right here.
- Speaking of playthroughs, Wastewalker have also just put one up for their new song, “Immortal, I Create.” This one is the most melodic of the four songs released so far and features a sweet guitar duel at its midway point. Funeral Winds is out November 8th.
- Apparently the reason we haven’t gotten that new Virulent Depravity album yet is due to an extensive rerecording of the guitars and complete overhaul of the production. It sounds like the typical blinding sheen of tech death production will be stripped back for a more real final product, to which I say, “Fuck yeah.” In the meantime, give another listen to “Fruit of the Poisoned Tree” and get hyped.
If you’re at all into brutal death metal and aren’t familiar with Infecting the Swarm… well, that’s honestly completely understandable given the huge volume of BDM albums constantly being released, but you should go catch up. It won’t take long; 2014’s Pathogenesis is their only other work to date. It’s certainly not the most creative album ever, but it is very enjoyable. The band established themselves as one of the smarter brutal death acts around, utilizing the genre’s tropes to their fullest while keeping their songs concise and pointed.
It should mean something then when I say that Abyss is an improvement upon Pathogenesis in every respect. You’re still getting all the same brutal death you already know- stomping chords, rolling waves of tandem tremolo picking and blastbeats, tricky discordant riffs, and unintelligible guttural vocals- but it’s executed with rare precision. The band knows when to put a turn where you’d expect it and when to surprise you; I never once felt like any one section was dragging on for too long, and breaks came whenever I started to feel like the sonic onslaught was getting to be too much. I didn’t even mind that the majority of the album was at the same tempo, as it was paced so well.
The only real drawback to Abyss is that it never strays too far from its comfort zone. Maybe I’m asking for too much from my BDM, but I was a little disappointed that they didn’t follow through on the curveballs they through out. There are plenty of them; sudden stops and triplets come frequently, there are occasional nasty-sounding open chords and a couple jumps from the extreme low register to the top end of the guitar. They just don’t last long enough to be truly satisfying. If the band were to experiment more with that, they could take elevate themselves to something truly special. Still, I had a lot of fun with Abyss, and it’s definitely worth 40 minutes of your time.
Banisher was not a name that was familiar to me until fairly recently, but I’ll be damned if Oniric Delusions didn’t leave a hell of an impression. I haven’t listened to any of the band’s previous material (this is their third album), but they definitely sound like a group with some hefty experience under their belts. They’re one of those bands that seems to value songwriting as much as technical aptitude, and the result is an album that is as catchy as it is impressive.
“Axes to Fall” opens with a swell of inky black noise that bursts in a frenzy of double bass and a frenzied parabolic riff before cutting away for long, low chords. It quickly starts spitting out tons of notes again before shifting once more to a mid-paced groove. This is the norm for the album; pure, unadulterated riff-worship that keeps you on your toes. There’s a lot of variety across the album’s seven songs, and it’s all given an equal amount of care and attention. Don’t like that groove on the opening track? You won’t hear another one like it. Is “Human Factor” a little too melody-focused for you? Don’t worry, because “The Iconoclast” is fast and discordant almost up to the end, until a brilliant guitar solo comes in.
Everything on Delusions sounds great, too. Everybody is in a good place in the mix, the rough edges of the bass cutting through without being obnoxious and the guitar and vocals sharing equal space in the midrange. I’m a big fan of the lead guitar tone as well; it reminds me of the last Bloodshot Dawn record, but with a bit more kick. It doesn’t lose any potency when going from picked to legato playing, a consistent problem for guitarists who use a lot of tapping. It all comes together for a powerful and memorable album that deserves a spot on any tech death fan’s shelf.
Infecting the Swarm and Banisher can both be found on Facebook; swing by and give them the Toilet’s regards. You can get Abyss and Oniric Delusions at the Bandcamp links above. That’s all for this week, and until next time,
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