Tech Death Thursday: Parius and Exocrine
This week’s Tech Death Thursday is brought to you by the occasional bout of ball-crushing stress that comes with working in the IT industry. Let’s unwind with some Parius and Exocrine.
- If you like your tech heavy, check out the title track from Do Not Deviate, Replacire’s forthcoming album. If that’s not enough, you can also listen to “Spider Song” for more neck-breaking riffs. Do Not Deviate is out on March 17th.
- Benighted has a new video for “Reptilian” from their upcoming album Necrobreed (skip to 1:01 for music). Unsurprisingly, it rules butts. Look for that on February 16th.
- Apotheon was responsible for a sorely underappreciated EP last year (partly due to the somewhat ameteurish artwork, I’m guessing), and now they have a new song out from another upcoming EP, Mechanically Consumed. No solid release date has been announced yet, but it should be in the near future.
- Last year saw quite a few atmospheric tech death bands competing with Fallujah for the sub-subgenre’s crown, and I think Virvum was the best of them. They’ve got a new playthrough video out for “The Cypher Supreme,” so you can see how they make all those majestic sounds. If you somehow still haven’t heard the full album, go check it out here.
The EP format tends to work well with tech death; it’s pretty easy to start feeling overwhelmed by the end of a 50+ minute solid block of guitar noodling, so a shorter offering lets the band cut loose while still remaining pointed. Other times, it can leave the listener craving more, as is the case with Let There Be Light. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard from Parius– they put out a full-length in 2015 (which was excellent)- and this new EP showcases a new, more fleshed-out sound for the band that already has me impatiently awaiting their next release.
Saturnine was a solid if straightforward piece of music, featuring concise, no-frills tech death that was comfortable in its familiarity. Let There Be Light retains a lot of the same ideas as presented on that album, but sees the band experimenting with some light symphonic elements and clean vocals. Those things have the potential to lead to some truly cringe-inducing moments, but Parius know what they’re doing; these parts are used sparingly and tastefully, and they make for some of the most exciting parts of their songs. They also seem to have pulled some influence from other realms of the tech sphere; the rapid-fire tremolo picking with the bass doubling the guitar on “A Shade Darker Than Black” gives off a heavy Soreption/Zenith Passage vibe, and the neoclassical passages channel the highest points of Inferi. It’s all brought together with more robust production and some added star power via Ryan Knight (ex-The Black Dahlia Murder, ex-Arsis) and Michael Keene (The Faceless) that makes for a short but very sweet package.
Let’s dispense with all that tastefulness and get into the weird shit. Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if every style of tech death were rolled into one band? Then look no further! Exocrine describe their music as being in the same vein as Gorod, Beyond Creation, Obscura, and Necrophagist, which is a pretty disparate set of bands. Normally I brush this sort of thing off as a ploy to get people to hit play, but in this instance, that description is surprisingly apt. If anything, it’s not broad enough; there’s a lot going on here, and miraculously, they make it work.
Opener “Terra” immediately gives the impression that Ascension will rely heavily on the hyper shred of the most obnoxious bands of the genre (the ones whose names can only be spoken in all caps), but the insanity is broken up by surprisingly pretty moments that echo the aforementioned Beyond Creation callout. One might then get the impression of a more reigned-in Teramobil, but the next few songs comprising Chapter I follow up with some Münzner/Suiçmez-style dueling guitars with early Gorod rhythmic inclinations. Chapter II dials things back a bit further with a greater reliance on atmospherics and more melodic leads, though it closes on a heavier note with “The Hive.” Chapter III meets the first two halfway, opening with a brief, haunting instrumental piece leading into the awesomely-titled “Garden of Flesh,” which is as pretty as it is heavy.
Though Exocrine draw on a wide variety of influences, they bring them together in a way that feels entirely unique. I don’t know if there’s another band out there that sounds quite like they do; it’s something that should sound like an absolute mess, but the band has written and executed their material with stunning proficiency. Even if you’re not a fan of tech death, I recommend giving this one a listen, as it’s quite the thing to witness. For tech heads, Ascension is a no-brainer.
Let There Be Light and Ascension are both out now and can be found at the Bandcamp links above. Parius and Exocrine are both on Facebook as well, so go give them our warmest, slimiest regards. That’s all for this week, so until next time,
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