Tech Death Thursday: Pile o’ EP’s

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Look at them all! Today, we’ve got some bite-sized offerings from Slave OneBlameThe Last of Lucy, and Protosequence.

First, some news:

  • I can finally shut up about ObscuraAkróasis is streaming now in full over at Guitar World, and you can hear an interview with frontman Steffen Kummerer over at Heavy Blog Is Heavy. I promise not to talk about them again (at least until Rafael Trujillo inevitably gets fired for wanting to try something different with the music).
  • Missouri Quiet sounds like something that should be either a bottom-shelf brand of whiskey or the lead single of short-lived country act “Jeb Hartman’s Heartland Harpers” (they never made the Top 40 due to not being real), but it’s actually a pretty gnarly tech/deathcore group. Check out “Falling Sickness” and look for Through the Milleniums sometime in the near future.
  • London quintet Unfathomable Ruination have a new album coming this summer, but you can hear a riff sampler right now. It’s just one guitar and drums, but it sounds like it’s going to be awesome when it all comes together.
  • Monotheist, featuring current and former members of 7 Horns 7 Eyes and Gigan, have posted a demo of a track from their upcoming debut this spring. Check it out here and tremble at its approach.
  • More prog death? More prog death. Fledgling act Lamentations have a super proggy, kinda chill, kinda atmospheric sound on their new song “Fortress” that I’m really digging. Look for Echoes in the Wind on February 13th.
  • “That’s all well and good, Spear,” you say, “but I was hoping for something more aggressive.” Fear not! Spheron have you covered. Take a listen to “Gargantua” for something similarly progressive but noticeably angrier. The full album, A Clockwork Universe, comes out on the 26th.
  • BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL

With tech death being as dense as it is, it’s oftentimes best digested in EP form. It’s advantageous to both the listener and the artist; they don’t get burned out writing it, and you don’t get burned out listening to it. The flipside of this is that they tend not to be touted as much as their full-length brethren, often passing completely under peoples’ radars. With that in mind, I’ve gathered four EP’s- all of which are debuts, and most of which are over a year old- for your enjoyment. Let’s get started:

First up is Slave One with Cold Obscurantist Light. This album gives me the impression of a prototypical Alustrium (for reference, in case you’ve forgotten); it’s very focused on hard-hitting riffs and coherency of the songs, but it’s a lot rougher. The Nevermore comparison works well for both bands, too; they are melodically similar in some parts and, if Alustrium is Enemies of Reality, Slave One is Nevermore.  The production is a little off and it’s not a hundred percent tight, but for the most part, this is a solid album.

In fact, the only real hiccup is the first song, “Ash Covered Creator.” There are some cool bass fills on this track, but that’s really the only thing that makes it stand out. If Cold Obscurantist Light were to start on the second song, “Shiva Whispered the Universe,” it would have been stronger. I feel like they were trying too hard to be progressive on the first track, focusing more on being “non-traditional” than just writing a song. That said, the rest of the album goes off without a hitch, with furious shredding and some mighty riffing. Don’t let that first song deter you; skip it if you have to.


I owe the find for this next one to former techlord Jack Bauer. Blame are, in his words, “some of the most menacing tech death I’ve heard.” He’s not wrong, either; Dark Eyes is relentless in its savagery. It is the predator and you are the prey, and you will be mauled to death if you’re not careful. There are no moments of downtime, no reprieve from the aural assault. Everything has teeth, from the guitar tone to the vocal attack to the almost uninterrupted cascade of blastbeats and double bass.

In terms of production, Dark Eyes is almost the polar opposite of Cold Obscurantist Light. There is a pleasant chunkiness to everything on the album; the vocals occupy a lot of space (though that’s largely due to the strength of the performance), the guitars feel both thick and sharp, and even the bass has a monstrous presence. This would have been a good album regardless of the production, but it makes it that much sweeter. I’d say if you were to listen to just one of these four EP’s, make it Dark Eyes.


The third EP, Exalted Compositions, is probably also the weirdest. The Last of Lucy mix in a little mathcore influence with their sound, but they don’t make it their defining characteristic. That element of calculated chaos is certainly prevalent, but it’s done in a more Ron Jarzombek style than, say, a Psyopus style. There are very few melodic moments on this album outside of the electronic introductions to each track and album closer “The Seed;” diminished and discordant riffs dominate each song, with bizarre slide fills and tremolo dives mixed in to great effect. “Creationist,” the third track, is the best representative of the album as a whole. It has an even mix of both the chaotic and melodic parts and should serve as a primer for the rest of the tunes.


The final album on our journey is also the newest, having just come out this past January. Despite the intense opening blast of arpeggios, Schizophrene is a largely mid-tempo affair that’s more headbobbing than headbanging. That’s by no means a bad thing, either; of the four EP’s here, this one is the most musically diverse. That medium tempo lends itself equally well to finger-breaking flurries of notes, quiet contemplation, and the occasional djent riff.

That last bit is one of the things I find most interesting about Protosequence. Musically speaking, they share as much in common with Periphery as they do with Lost Soul. While there will be some who are turned off by the noise gates and the disparity of the chunky lows and the sharp highs, I think it’s one of the band’s biggest strengths. It represents the merging of two very technical subgenres and presents each of them in the context of the other. It’s kind of a hard thing to explain without listening; check out “Guardian” and follow it up with “Darkness Weeps” for the best illustration of this dichotomy.


That’s all for this week, tech heads. Be sure to check out Slave One, Blame, The Last of Lucy, and Protosequence on Facebook, and tell them the Toilet sent you. Until next time,

Stay Tech

(Image VIA)

  • Dubs

    Shouldn’t Through the Milleniums be Through the Millenia?

    • LVL 11 BLACKBEARD

      Thats why its not called Technical Grammar Metal

  • My bro/guitarist saw Atheist last weekend. Said it was rad.

    • Dubs

      I dig.

      • He went to that Florida metal fest you guys posted about. It was right next door to him.

        • Dubs

          Oh right on. Did he party with the gator?

          • Good question. I’ll have to ask him.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Lucky.

  • LVL 11 BLACKBEARD

    There isnt enuff purple here

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™
      • LVL 11 BLACKBEARD

        Mmmmmmm

      • COAL ROLL

        opioids? No thanks

        • DXM, the choice of cool teens

          • COAL ROLL

            and future heroin junkies coming soon to a suburb near you

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I know enough people with substance problems, be it alcohol, heroin or other drugs.

          • COAL GROHL

            It’s a DISEASE tho

          • more beer

            Or it’s just fun. Depending who you ask.

          • COAL GROHL

            was totally being facetious. I have that “you make your own bed” attitude when it comes to addiction

          • more beer

            As do I. What ever drugs you decide to do are a conscious decision on your part. I tend to stay away from opiates because I know I like them. By liking them I know this can cause me huge problems. So I just stay away fro them.

          • COAL GROHL

            I’ve been trying to not eat a bag of cheetos at 10 at night after 5 beers and a solid dank nug

          • more beer

            That is a hard task.

          • 4 lite beers and hummus here.
            /libtard

          • while you watch Downton Abbey

          • Dubs

            I believe it’s pronounced Downttown

          • YourLogicIsFlushed

            Downtown Abbey is a skank.

          • Dubs

            Stop slut shaming!

          • COAL GROHL

            she’ll make you feel really good in exchange for your scrip

          • COAL GROHL

            Pita chips and Pino

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            Hummus >

          • I’ll pop a perc or 3 here and there but seriously, I have no interest in anything else.

          • more beer

            There is nothing wrong with that. As long as it isn’t daily. Getting stung out is fucked up.

          • Tolerance goes up anyway. After a couple of days it takes more than just a couple to do the job.

          • more beer

            This s the problem with opiates. You always need more and more for the effect you desire.

          • more beer

            They are already in every suburb.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          I don’t think lean is technically an opioid.

          • COAL ROLL

            codiene certainly is

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Haha, yeah color me embarrassed.

          • COAL GROHL

            it’s all good bro, I’m guilty of ooopsies too!

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            I certainly have my fair share of whoopsies.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I don’t get the point of codeine. Why use it?

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            TO GET FUCKED UP BRO!

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Its a dangerous way to get fucked up though.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            DANGER’S MY MIDDLE NAME BRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Dubs

            HEY LET’S GO DO WHIPPITS OUT BEHIND DENNY’S!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            FUCKIN’ A!

          • Dubs

            Most ways are.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Right on JJD, stick with meth.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Edward plz! I dont do drugs!

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Well that’s better for you.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            MAYBE YOU SHOULD!

          • more beer

            Just say yes!

          • more beer

            He would be better off being a heroin addict. I have seen a lot of old heroin addicts in my life. Not so many old tweekers though.

          • William S Burroughs.

          • Dubs

            That was one wild, depraved dude.

          • more beer

            I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. It is just rare.

          • Nah. Look at Lil Wayne. He’s hopelessly addicted to the stuff and he seems totally fine.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Such a talented man, too.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Riff Raff is too and look how shitty their music is.

          • Dubs

            I think Riff Raff is just one guy.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            #We’reallriffraff

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            I think he meant Riff and Lil Wayne.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I know that. I must have phrased it wrong.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            “How To Be The Man” was a tight track.

          • COAL GROHL

            “seems”

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Exactly. He’s probably not.

          • Seizures are a completely natural thing, right?

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            If you have epilepsy they are. Not if you’re drinking codeine.

          • COAL GROHL

            along with dental implants

          • Going out your front door is dangerous. An angry toon might drop a piano on your head.

            Do it. Drink the sizzurp.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            KJM plz! I dont want to drink sizzurp!

          • more beer

            Live a little!

          • COAL GROHL

            an alternative would be to snort some oxy’s

          • Well, that’s going from the frying pan into the fire, isn’t it?

          • more beer

            Or he could just go warrior style and shoot heroin into his neck.

          • COAL GROHL

            if you’re not first you’re last bro

          • well, the dangerous ones are always the easiest to obtain!

          • They are? : (

          • i thought about several things to say to our dear JJD; and for a while i was pretty sold on “do you not understand how drugs work?” but others kind of said the same thing. so i thought to myself, which drugs could i find easily where i live? meth, heroin. which ones are difficult to get my mits on? DMT, ayahuasca

          • more beer

            DMT is pretty hard to get everywhere.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            The DMT-supply is extremely scarce. Over here we do have some drug that has somewhat the same effect DMT has. I tried it a few times, but didn’t like it one bit.

          • more beer

            People constantly get rushed to the hospital doing that shit. Stick to smoking herb and hash.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Yeah I was with a couple of friends when I did that. A friend of mine bought it from an official herb shop the first time, but those leaves didn’t work at all. So some time later we bought some of that shit from a Dutch trailer park guy we knew very well. At my friend’s place I had to take two hits from the pipe. There was one Moroccan and one Turkish guy with us. And especially the Turkish guy had extremely hairy arms. I’m not bullshitting, but I really saw those guys’ arms morph into fully covered gorilla arms. A lot of other weird shit was happening the first time I did salvia and I was sweating like a pig. Even though it only lasted for about 6-7 minutes, it felt as if I had been going through a trip the whole night.

          • i’m hanging with you next time

          • more beer

            That is some crazy shit. I with the tried and tested shit I have always done. But I have done some crazy shit. I have a buddy who sends me research chemicals from time to time. Like 2cb and 25ci. Holy shit these things are not for amateurs to say the least. But you trip balls for like 8 hours then feel fine the next day.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Damn…
            In general I’m not too fond of tripping. Outside of salvia, I did shrooms once but never got into LSD and stuff like that. I did some of the hard stuff like amphetamines and cocaine once, but I didn’t feel the need to do it again. Last year there was a guy in our area who died after a night of using both ecstasy and cocaine. He was big into the rave scene. Pure shit music they play at those rave fests, but narcotics are consumed over there as if they’re candy bars.

          • more beer

            They are the same here. A lot of what they call candy flipping. Taking a bunch of E and acid together plus other combinations of drugs. I have certainly done more than my fair share of tripping. I do it a lot less as I have gotten older. But I still do every once in a while.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I always shied away from acid, because when I was younger a 50 year old guy (who’s an extremely tall, long bearded biker) told me people once had to free him out of his closet after he tripped on acid all night long.

          • more beer

            I have also heard a few horror stories. I think more than anything it depends where you are mentally.

          • Kidding of course. Heroin is ridiculously easy to get around here, probably easier to get than just a couple Vicodin. : (

          • more beer

            It is like that everywhere now.

          • During the 80s Somerville was much more of a Cocaine city. Among other things, the decline of the Winter Hill gang opened up the area to more “diverse” interests.

          • more beer

            I think most places were coke places i the 80’s. The resurgence in heroin over the last decade has been huge. It is a massive problem now. That is only going to get worse. We can thank big pharma for that.

          • COAL GROHL

            I blame Obama

          • more beer

            I blame him for everything.

          • COAL GROHL

            I can’t wait to be able to blame Hilary, only for you know why.

          • more beer

            I hope it doesn’t come to that. Her being in charge is just as scary as any republican.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Winter Hill gang…I recently saw that movie with Johnny Depp, Black Mass.

          • I can’t vouch for the accuracy as I haven’t seen it yet, but I lived(and still do) in Somerville during that period. Even Tony Montana would’ve told them to cut down.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Yeah I’ve heard they were nothing to fuck with. The movie is fine, but I doubt it’s accurate.

            The 80’s were a wild time in terms of organized crime though. It seemed everyone was running wild, whacking each other left and right.

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            The movie is an adaptation of a book by the same title written by two Boston Globe reporters. I’ve read pretty much every book written about Winter Hill and from everything I’ve read the movie follows actual key events in Whitey’s timeline. (I’m a true crime fanatic.) Anyway, I’m sure the individual scenes and dialog are dramatic interpretations, of course. However, imo as far as the murders shown, the relationship with the FBI, the way the Italian Mob was infiltrated are accurate according to the many varied sources who’ve commented over the years. Especially based upon Flemmi, Martarano and Weeks direct testimony.

            Decent article:

            http://time.com/4043186/black-mass-true-story/

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            I forgot to mention: I really dug the movie too!

            PS: Whitey actually won and collected the state lottery prize, his bro was a political force in Boston, the gun IRA shipment and murder story were were told by many, Flemmi’s g friend’s murder, the FBI director was bribed with wine and trips, the Jai lai murder all show up as told in many other books and videos. They took over a husband and wife’s liquor store, the husband was killed just last year before testifying at Whitey’s trial. (Poisoned cappuccino, by an old business partner it turned out.)

            Wild stuff…

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Thanks for the link!
            I’m a true crime fanatic as well. Even bought encyclopedia’s such as the Encyclopedia of Organized Crime, Organized Crime: From Trafficking to Terrorism…books about organized crime in Canada, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (such as ‘Cocky’ about Curtis Warren from Liverpool, ‘Judas Pig’ about the Hunt crime family in East London…), the Russian mafia in the USA, the Turkish mafia, the Detroit True Crime Chronicles…and some true crime novels such as Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain’s ‘Murder Machine’ (about the Demeo Crew in NYC).

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            Haha KICK ASS! Its addictive right? Dude if you have Netflix I highly recommend the series I attached. I just binge watched it a few weekends ago. Not to worry its not the same old rehashed Gotti stories you already know. It takes you through the whole evolution of the american mob. Awesome stuff. I need to check our more Russian mob stuff. I recently saw a great doc on Russian prison tattoos and what they mean. Very interesting stuff!

            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3168804/

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I think I may have already seen some parts of Inside the American Mob. I think the episode about Anthony Spero and the Bath Avenue Crew was from that series.
            I don’t know if you ever watched Gangland? It’s 100% sensationalist but the episodes where they cover some of the bigger, more organized street and outlaw motorcycle gangs such as Black Gangster Disciples, Mexican Mafia, Latin Kings and Netas from Puerto Rico, Bloods, Crips, Dominican Trinitarios, Haitian Zoe Pound, Chinatown gangs, Aryan Brotherhood, Hells Angels, Outlaws, Salvadoran MS-13, the Asian gangs (such as the Vietnamese, Cambodian and Hmong gangs)…are really fun to watch.
            It’s addictive as fuck indeed.

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            Yes good call on the Spero crew! And Ive seen the Outlaws video, I grew up in the Chicago area. I lived behind a bar in the 90s and a house at the end of
            my alley always had a Harley on the sidewalk with the Outlaws gastank. This was back when the bombings were happening with the Angels feud. I always gave the bike a wide berth and moved fast, lol. I started the MS 13 Gangaland last week, havent finished yet.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Yeah back in the 90s the Outlaws were under Bowman. They were outta control back then!

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            O and the Demeo crew was off the hook! The Gemini lounge was a meat locker man…yeeeeeech!

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Yeah hahaha! Those guys were batshit crazy. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this found footage of them. It’s really short though.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LArer9kOtk

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            Wow! Unbelievable! Eerie! Great find, Ive never seen thaes…wow! O and yes Gangland is a great show, vsry dramatic but accurate I believe.

          • more beer

            And the most fun!

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Unless we’re talking about the ‘Krokodil’ drug they use in Russia. Some serious fucked up shit.

          • more beer

            Can’t be fucking with that. I like my flesh attached to my bones.

          • ^^^Also this.

          • Dubs

            IT NUMBS THE PAIN OF BEING ALIVE XD NIHILISM RULES

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            I lol’d

          • ^^^This.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Oh. It must be good for the purpose of getting wrecked.

      • GIMME.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        That’s a lot of unnecessary laxative risks taken.

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    Dark Eyes is good.

    • I can’t get enough of it. They’re working on a full length right now!

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        I listened to it, as Spear did, because you posted it in the Facebook group. Five songs was a good length I thought.

        Jamming the brand new Seven Sisters of Sleep album now.

        • Oh I wishlisted that one, need to check it out if I can manage to stop playing Rise of the Tomb Raider long enough.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            You can do both!

          • True!

  • pïgchop™
    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      I heard about this. Wasn’t this guy a member of Scott Weiland’s last band?

      • pïgchop™

        You are probably thinking about the Wildabouts. Ginger Wildheart – check him out, man.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          I will

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          I like this a lot.

  • COAL ROLL

    lot of quality guitar pro here today

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      There’s no Rings Of Saturn here though.

  • There’s also another new Vipassi song
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HxspTeKTGg

    • Waynecro

      Sunyata is going to fucking kill.

  • I’m just going to say that the Blame logo is really bad.

    • LVL 11 BLACKBEARD

      (Giorgiotsoukalos.gif)

      • Dubs

        Perhaps they should have gone with a Piet Mondrian background.

        • LVL 11 BLACKBEARD

          I had to look it up, as im mot too familiar with modern art…

          That was very clever

          • Dubs

            Ha, thanks! I was hoping I’d catch someone with that. +1 for Blackbeard

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Try listening to it.

    • if they knew their music was gud, they would have kept all those colors off the album art

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Colors <<<<<<<<<<

        • Dubs

          The only color I recognize is chrome.

  • BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL

      • Gross.

        • That’s literally how I feel when I end up hearing brain drill for some reason. Cannot fucking stand that band.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            But you can stand every other shitty tech death band?

          • Actually I’m very picky with the genre lately. A lot of stuff I don’t like.

          • yeah but some of the bands can actually write songs
            even i don’t know if i’m being serious anymore

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Early contender for Joke of the Year

          • CyberneticOrganism

            TOILET OV HELL

            Even we don’t know if we’re being serious anymore

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Can we print a shirt of this @Joe Thrasnkill?

          • CyberneticOrganism
          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Needs to be in comic sans

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Total sales = 0

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Total sales if in comic sans = 99999999999999999999

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            WouldWearAtBDubs/7

  • Dubs

    I only hear the Nevermore comparison in a few places. There’s a band that’s oft imitated but never emulated.

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Great band. They need to come back.

      • Dubs

        Loomis’s solo stuff just never quite hits the mark for me. He needs Dane to complete him.

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          Yep. That was Nevermore’s biggest strength. The combination of Dane’s ancient, elderly white-haired wizard-like vocals with Loomis’ signature crushing 7-string riffage. It was an odd cocktail, but it worked.

    • COAL GROHL

      I got to lay my hands on one of the Jeff Loomis signature guitars last night at my local gear store and man was it sexy

      • Dubs

        That’s rad!

    • Spear

      I guess it’s more in the production than in the sound. Like an audio aesthetic? I’m not really sure how to put it, but my brain draws parallels between the two for whatever reason.

      • Dubs

        No, I picked it up in a few spots. I’m catching what you’re pitching.

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    Protosequence is pretty sweet. Perfect amount of techy & deathy -ness. That opening of Darkness Weeps straight up sounds like a Periphery interlude.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    A little noise gating can go a long way, just as long as you don’t make it sound this ridiculous. Asshattery starts at 0:53

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l64aDvWTvk

  • Waynecro

    I’m psyched about Monotheist, Lamentations, Spheron, and Brain Drill. And, goddamn, those are some strong EPs–especially Blame’s. Thanks, Spear. I was in dire need of Tech Thursday today.

    • Toasters Ate My Ghost Farts

      First time I’ve heard someone here say that they like Brain Drill. They were the butt of many jokes here not long ago.

      • Waynecro

        Yeah, I know. I’m a shameless Brain Drill fan. I even have a shirt.

        • Toasters Ate My Ghost Farts

          I like ’em.

          • Waynecro

            Hell yeah! I mean, I know they’re ridiculous, but I guess that’s what I like about them.

          • Toasters Ate My Ghost Farts

            I don’t like anything silly or ridiculous.

          • Waynecro

            Of course not.

          • Toasters Ate My Ghost Farts

            Hammer ham booger far plomp, toaster eating Jesus on a whole wheat bun.

          • Waynecro

            Indeed.