Beep boop Onomasy boop bop Tech Death Thursday
A lot has happened in the last week:
- Archspire posted a short video of a vocal take for a snippet of one of their new songs. Spoiler alert: it’s very fast.
- Hannes Grossmann has successfully funded his new solo album The Crypts of Sleep, and has a new song streaming at Metal Underground. If the Indiegogo “estimated delivery” dates are accurate, we can expect the full length sometime this month.
- If you didn’t get enough Cognizance last week, they’ve just posted a new song from their upcoming EP Illusory. Check out “Visceral Doubt” and look for the album on August 26th.
- Destroying the Devoid has a new song from Paramnesia out here. “Carnivale Nocturno” is a typical “evil circus waltz” tune, but the last minute is pretty cool. I feel like it should have been about half the length, though.
- Equipoise released their first album last Friday, and it kicks ass. Additionally, they’ve decided to donate all sales of this album and its related items (shirts, tablature, etc.) to Jason Becker’s foundation. Head here to check it out and donate if you’re feeling charitable and get some sweet tunes in return.
- Apparently Inanimate Existence has decided that the best way to move forward is to ditch the sound they’d cultivated on their first two albums in favor of playing a sloppy mashup of Fallujah and Ovid’s Withering. I seem to be in the minority in thinking that this song is crap, though, so give “Calling From A Dream” a listen and decide for yourself.
- This new song from Invoking the Abstract helped cleanse my palate of that last mess. It’s fun, it’s frantic, and it actually sounds like its own thing. Look for Aural Kaleidoscopes on September 30th.
- Ever wish your tech was more black? Fear not; Singularity has your back. Check out the surprisingly not terrible lyric video for “The Refusal” from Void Walker, due out September 2nd.
- Circle Spectre Haunting has released three(!) new songs from their new full length. Take a listen to “Witchfinder” for something fast and thrashy, “Beneath a Steel Sky” for slow brutality with some slams, and “Bruiser” for the ever-elusive tech death party song. Sin is out now on Amazon Music and iTunes.
- It’s been awhile since I’d heard anything from Cortexiphan, and here it turns out their album is coming out tomorrow! You can stream it in full over at Heavy Blog Is Heavy, and I urge you to do so.
- Allegaeon has released a new song from their upcoming fourth full-length, entitled “Proponent for Sentience III – The Extermination.” They’ve also given us a date for the album- September 23rd- meaning that if what they’ve said previously is true, we should be seeing them on a decent tour shortly afterwards.
I’ve been running into a lot of weird music on my tech hunt lately, it seems. It’s always nice to see people pushing boundaries and trying to do something new, making sounds and styles that have never been heard before. Even if the end result isn’t the greatest, it’s hard to fault somebody for experimenting. That said, sometimes it becomes too much. It’s nice to sit back and sink your teeth into something familiar, something that gives you a bit of a mental break before jumping back in. This week, I turn to Onomasy for relief.
Right from the start, Onomasy plant themselves firmly alongside bands like Soreption and Psycroptic in the more aggressive school of tech death. There’s a ton of heavily palm-muted tremolo picking in the low- to mid-range and long stretches of sixteenth note double bass pounding, supplemented by a vocalist with a nasty low growl and a strong bass presence. You’ll notice they like to jump around a lot more than the aforementioned bands; whereas they tend to build their riffs methodically, ascending and descending in very deliberate motions, Onomasy likes to throw in high guitar fills and leads at a moment’s notice. It keeps things interesting and ensures that the pace never drops too quickly.
If this is all sounding very familiar to you, well, that’s the point. When it comes down to it, there’s not really much new to point at on Ashes and Dust. So why bother with it? What keeps Onomasy from being just another generic tech death band? It all comes down to the songwriting. As previously mentioned, the band has a great sense of pacing, amply exploring each idea without letting them outstay their welcome. Their sense of melody is very strong, using hooks and complex counterpoint in equal measure. They also make great use of space in their music; rests are too often overlooked in tech death, but when used properly, they give the riffs both extra heft and some breathing room. Top that off with some added creative flourishes, such as unexpected intervals and chord progressions or harmonics incorporated into a riff, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for something great.
Ashes and Dust is tech death in its purest form; nothing more, nothing less. It revels in that, fully embracing its identity with fervor and passion. It’s all the better for it; I must have listened to this six times over the course of writing this article, and I never started to get bored with it. If you liked what you heard, you can get it at the Bandcamp link above and follow the band on Facebook. That’s all for now; until we meet again,
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