Tech Death Thursday: New Blood


Prepare your butts, folks. We’ve got a couple albums coming in today from some extremely talented new artists. We’re listening to Harvest Misery and Orchid!

This week’s tech support:

  • Godeater has a new song out and it kicks ass. These guys are sounding very promising.
  • I hadn’t realized this previously, but everybody except Phil Tougas and Nick Miller is terrible at guitar. Here’s Phil playing through “L’entité” from the last First Fragment album, and there goes my will to ever touch an instrument again.
  • Beheaded has a new song up from their upcoming album, Beast Incarnate. Look for that on January 27th via Unique Leader.
  • New kings of dissonant death Setentia have released a video for “Beyond Myopic Blame.” If you still somehow haven’t heard this yet, a) shame on you, and b) it’s available at name-your-price on Bandcamp, so now you really have no excuse.
  • Maze of Sothoth have released a new song from Soul Demise, their upcoming debut. I hadn’t heard of this band prior to this week, but they sound angry and go fast so I’m into it. Look for Soul Demise on January 9th.
  • Transcending Obscurity did an interview with Crator, who put out one of the fiercest tech death albums this year. Check out that interview here and, if you live near Chicopee, Massachusetts, catch Crator live for the first time on January 14th!

I generally try to steer clear of anything tainted with the rancid stench of deathcore, but I’m making an exception this week for Harvest Misery and their self-titled debut. The band sits somewhere between brutal death metal and the latter, but somehow doesn’t really sound like either. It’s far more melodic than that descriptor might suggest, while retaining the trademark groove of deathcore and the technical prowess and vocal approach of brutal death metal. They occupy a sound space that only a handful of other bands fill, such as Monist and Shadow of Intent.

Deathcore’s biggest problems lie in a general lack of consistency coupled with an empty sound. Song structures generally fall into one of two categories; either you’ll have the extended mid-tempo groove with the occasional double- or half-time drop in tempo, or you’ll get something resembling a disjointed OSDM approach, but sticking to a singular theme with homogenized riffs. On top of that, each instrument, including the vocalist, tends to occupy the same frequency range at once, leading to the aforementioned thin sound. Harvest Misery avoids both these major pitfalls; they utilize a fair amount of syncopated and start/stop rhythms common to the genre, but they’re not afraid to build off of and experiment with a theme. The songs and performances all have motion, never lingering in one place or on one idea for too long, ensuring the music doesn’t stagnate. They also throw in some sections that sound a bit closer to standard tech death (“Human Cesspool Intervention” is nuts), showcasing their virtuosity alongside their ability to put together a head-bobbing riff. This approach is what the genre so desperately needs to be interesting, and Harvest Misery absolutely nails it.

If there’s one area where the album falters, it’s (unsurprisingly) in the production. It’s brickwalled to hell and back, and the drums sounded oddly low in the mix, though that may have just been my speakers. All of it’s very digital-sounding, and it actually sounded better on a pair of crappy earbuds than anywhere else I tried to listen to it. The only part that really sounded solid was the vocalist, whose vicious and versatile growl is a surprising highlight of the listening experience. Fortunately, it’s not so bad as to be unlistenable, and the performances more than make up for the production shortcomings. Overall, Harvest Misery is a very solid album that should not be discounted by fans of tech death for its -core leanings.

Next up is Orchid, a progressive death metal band out of Bengaluru, India, also with their self-titled debut. The best way I can describe their music is as prog death played with the attitude of Dillinger Escape Plan. Now, they don’t really sound much like DEP (despite flirting with mathcore in some parts), but this might be the most fun prog death album I’ve ever heard. Even with the angry lyrics of “Civic TV” and the creepy latter half of “Disorder,” there’s an underlying sense of joy throughout the album that’s nothing short of infectious.

Musically, it sits comfortably alongside prog acts from the last decade or so, sharing many elements with acts like BTBAM and Haken (sans clean vocals). The riffs are complex and flowery, but kept in check by relatively low tempos by tech death standards. This gives them some more creative flexibility, allowing them to move beyond the typical rigidly scalar playing of many other acts. Jazzy clean sections are in abundance as well, awash in effects and underscored by playful bass lines. There’s a lot going on here, and all of it’s good.

If you liked what you heard today, you can find Harvest Misery and Orchid on Facebook. Their music is available from 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 and make your voice heard!

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  • This Harvest Misery works for me ???

    • Spear

      You would not believe the amount of that type of deathcore I have to sift through. Jack Bauer deserves the credit for this particular find, I believe.

      • Yea I posted them in the fb group. There’s a good amount of deathcore bands I like, but I can’t stand the chugga chugga here’s a breakdown brotha type of deathcore.

      • Which kind, the mindless one-note bro chugging? Ick. I thought that started going out of style in the early 10’s when The Faceless helped usher in a more technical focus.

        • Spear

          That kind exactly. They never really get much attention outside a few select sources, but there are plenty of them out there.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Bro, chugging?! CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG

          • DO A KEG STAND BRO

          • CyberneticOrganism

            HELLZ YEAH
            *high five*
            *slams Bud Light*
            *slams another Bud Light*
            *shows off imagined six pack abs to nearby woman*

  • Joaquin Stick

    Loving everything about Orchid. Super funky. Also, that artwork is incredible.

    • Spear

      That’s one of my favorite album covers ever, I think.

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        Thank you, Spear, for your AOTY list from yesterday.

      • Wish more metal bands would step outside of their metal aesthetic comfort zone, like Orchid has done with their artwork. The genre tends to get too homogenous

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      I, too, like The Orchid. Shit’s Real.

  • KyleJMcBride

    If you live near Chicopee, move.

    • Joaquin Stick

      I’m within like 30 minutes of it. Brb, planning my move.

      • Joaquin Stick

        Fuuuuuck. I actually want to go see that show, but it’s the same goddamn day I’ll be in NY seeing Khemmis.

        • Elegant Gazing Globe

          that’s quite the line up
          Hothfest 2017
          21+ to get in
          Doors to the show open at noon,music at 1pm
          $20.00 a day or $30.00 for both days
          Cabs provided for guitarists and bass players
          Bring your own drums(drum tech provided)
          Drum clinic “Death Metal Drumming 102″ will be at 10am on Saturday Jan.14 downstairs and will feature:
          John Longstreth of Origin and Crator
          Ryan Hilerio of Necroptic Engorgement
          Alex Cohen of Malignancy
          Pariah of Necronomichrist
          John Glassbrenner of Incontinence
          It is free for drummers playing the show or paying attendees
          Or its $10.00 for people not attending the show
          (still working on this)
          No guest list
          If your not playing then your paying….
          And as usual,”Don’t be a dick!”
          Bands playing so far are listed below:

          Necroptic Engorgement (NY)
          Cyperna (CT)
          Splattered Entrails (NY)
          Cognitive (NJ)
          Begat the Nephilim (NH)
          One With Nothing (NJ)
          Malignancy (NY)
          Incontinence (NY)
          Pyrexia (NY)
          Burial (MA)
          The Killing Condition (NY)
          Assault on the Living (NY)
          Dissonant Seepage (NY)
          Boarcorpse (MA)
          Tomorrow’s Victim (NY)
          Skeptic (NY)
          Maniacal Violator (MA)
          One Ton Tommy Gun (MA)
          Hate Diplomacy (NY)
          Necronomichrist (MA)
          My Pet Carcass (MA)
          Dysentery (MA)
          Internal Bleeding (NY)
          Perihelion (MD)
          End Time Illusion (CT)
          Grzelakurse (MA)
          Aversed (MA)
          Pathogenic (MA)
          Artificial Brain (NY)

          • Joaquin Stick

            One With Nothing (NJ)… A Buddhist walks up to a hot dog cart and says “Make me one with everything”…

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            Thank you for Astronoid, sir.

          • Joaquin Stick

            Glad you like it. They were a last minute add to my list after days of fighting with myself.

  • If you put that Orchid artwork on a video game I’d buy it.

    Very reminiscent of Hyper Light Drifter (best game of 2016 fuck you)

    • Spear

      Have you played Furi? It’s very similar in both aesthetic and gameplay, but condensed down to boss battles.

      • Well I suppose 2016 is over yet 😛

        • “similar aesthetic” you mean identical. I’m conflicted now, these character designs are obviously influenced.

          HLD GOTY 2016

          • Spear

            I sincerely doubt that, given that the studio outsourced their character design to a manga artist.

          • Look it’s your game vs mine, and even though I think yours technically game out a little bit sooner, I’m going to be irrationally antagonistic to it

          • Spear

            Fair enough. HLD actually did come out two months before Furi (and I do think HLD is the better game), but it doesn’t deserve to be written off just because it looks kinda like something else.

          • I mean I already love boss rush games (Shadow of the Colossus, Titan Souls) so I’m probably going to enjoy this one. I saw that Kotaku is buttsore that it’s too hard, which means I’ll probably like it more unless the difficulty is just unfair

          • Waynecro



          • Waynecro

            I don’t have a PS4, so I’m just going to watch the playthrough on GameRiot, I think.

      • Also Furi has a pretty sweet synthwave soundtrack

        • I’m looking forward to trying it out, despite being annoyed how the player characters are almost identical.

          Cult of the Zealous (especially when paired up with the actual boss fight) is a masterpiece.

          The atmosphere, coupled with the insanely well done soundtrack and visual aesthetic/animation, and extremely smooth but very challenging gameplay, make it about impossible to topple this game.

          Let alone once you get into the themes

          • Are you saying I should play it

          • I think it’s a wonderful game that most people can enjoy. Don’t worry about the story, just enjoy it.

        • Lots of Waveshaper, a fav of mine!

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Ooooh, I’m enjoying this soundtrack. Thumbs up.

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    Gonna peep that Orchid, good job Spear!

  • Waynecro

    I’m definitely psyched to hear more from Godeater, Beheaded, and Maze of Sothoth. Some of those Harvest Misery songs are pretty swell, though the singing bums me out a bit. You’re totally right about “Human Cesspool Intervention,” dude. That song goes hard as fuck. Orchid sounds pretty interesting, though perhaps a touch on the dull side for me. Excellent work as always, Spear!