Tech Death Thursday: Raster Density – Mother ov Mankind
Raster Density put out a sweet album a couple years ago, and their newest is even better. Let’s dive in!
- Dying Fetus released another song from Wrong One To Fuck With, an album title which at least three middle-aged men looked at and agreed, “Yes, this is a good idea.”
- There’s a new Pyrrhon album on the way for all you skronk fiends. Spoiler alert: it’s weird. Look for that on August 11th, out via Willowtip Records.
- Another new song from Dark Matter Secret for your parched ear-throats. Come, quench your thirst on the sweet life-giving weedlies.
- I don’t know who or what Ezerath is, but this track is siiiiiick. Look for Overture: The Heir Apparent on June 23rd if you like your tech with big fantasy storylines.
- Essence of Datum have a new album on the way for June 20th. Give “Animal” a listen if you’re into the likes of Angel Vivaldi and other such virtuosos.
- I liked Dawn of Dementia’s debut full-length quite a bit, and now it’s getting a physical release on Inherited Suffering Records. If you haven’t listened to it already, stop what you’re doing now and go fix that. Actually, listen to today’s band first. THEN go listen to it.
Those of you who’ve been around here for awhile may remember Raster Density earning some kind words from Jack Bauer back in the early days of the blog. They deserved it, too; Ov Hands and Bestial Pleasure, the group’s 2014 album, was savage and brutal, but not as straightforward as one might expect. On top of some surprisingly complex guitar work, there were bursts of progressive riffing that brought a more cerebral angle to their music. They tended to pop up out of nowhere, and while they were a little jarring, they kept the music interesting and unpredictable. The band took a well-established style and made it their own.
The followup, Mother ov Mankind, isn’t a change in sound so much as a refinement of what they had built on their previous work. All the same elements are still in play- the dynamic vocals, the deceptively tricky instrumentation, the prog flourishes- but the songwriting has been tightened up significantly. The two formerly disparate aspects of their sound are now woven seamlessly together, making for a much smoother listening experience. The quieter moments have been fleshed out and brought closer to the forefront as well; they’re less like breaks now, serving to push the songs ahead rather than just providing a respite from the heavier parts.
That increased focus on songwriting has contributed not just to the flow of each individual song, but to the variety of the album as well. Ov Hands was, even with its quirks, pretty similar to bands such as Hideous Divinity and Hour of Penance with its constant aggression and raw speed. Mother, on the other hand, mixes things up quite a bit. “To Be Leered, Abused, and Shamed” is big, beefy low-mid tempo bruiser filled with diminished runs and filthy harmonics. “Blood Induced Mass Psychosis” goes the other direction, with a frenetic main riff that falls away to a chill groove and a smooth, tapped, clean guitar lead. It reminds me of the latest Replacire album in that way; despite the way it twists and turns, the album is super tight and refined, and it always feels natural.
Raster Density haven’t lost a step in the past three years. Mother ov Mankind is smart and fun, and it’s a step forward for the band. It won’t be for everyone- the production matches the music in cleanliness, and some people will certainly like one side of their sound over the other- but I feel like the majority of tech death fans will be on board with this. Be sure to check the band out on Facebook and pick up their music at their Bandcamp page. That’s all for this week, so until next time,
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