Tech Death Thursday: The Ritual Aura


It’s Tech Death Thursday: music by robots, for robots. The Ritual Aura are here in all their face-flaying glory.

But first we’ve got news from other, lesser bands:

  • Gorod (wait, did I say lesser?) have released the second track from A Maze of Recycled Creeds, reminding us once again that they music way harder than most musicians music. Check out “Temple to the Art God” right here.
  • The title track from Contrarian’s upcoming debut, Polemic, is streaming at NCS. The cover art, featuring what appears to be a giant space-wizard marlin locked in mortal combat with a fleet of superfluously pointy starships, is not terribly representative of the music. Expect more prog than tech.
  • Lost Soul are making a mad dash for my tech death AotY with Atlantis: The New Beginning. I might be jumping the gun a bit, but if the rest of the album is as tight as “Aqueous Ammonia,” then they might just take it. Look for the full album October 30th.
  • If you don’t mind a little core with your death, Eradikal Insane have a new album you’ll want to check out ASAP. Stream Mithra in full at their Bandcamp.
  • Roses are red, violets are blue, tech death is purple, and djent is, uh, green. Fuck. If you’re feeling some groovy, djenty death metal, then give a listen to Grofból’s newest, Human Impermanence.
  • Brutal tech death outfit Serial Butcher bring both the chugs and the shreds on their latest album, Brute Force Lobotomy. Stream it here ahead of its Friday release.
  • Shattered, whom I have been waiting to write about forever, have apparently stealthily released their debut album, New Atlantis. It can apparently be purchased directly from them by contacting them on Facebook. I don’t know why they’ve opted to do this, but at least it’s out. Check out “Ignite the Dawnshard,” “Despise the Living,” and “Bipolar Disorder” for some solid Christian Münzner worship.
  • Ouroboros have finally announced a release date for their newest album. Emanations is coming on October 6th. Take a listen to their now almost year-old lead single right here and get re-hyped.

I’m going to say this straight up: some of you are going to hate this. You’re going to hit play on that stream, make it about ten seconds in, and smash your speakers. The production on Laniakea is extremely clean; very triggered, very quantized, heavily noise gated. From a tonal standpoint, it’s not unlike what you’d hear from Archspire or Rings of Saturn. I know about half of you rage-puked on your screens just from reading that, but hey: this is tech death. It comes with the territory.

Of course, the flip side to this is that every note is crisp and clear amidst what might have otherwise been a mess. The guitars are clearly the focal point and driving force of each song, but they don’t bury anything else in the mix. Even the bass cuts through like a razor.

Now, for the five or six of you who are still with me, The Ritual Aura have a hell of an album for us. Laniakea hits that sweet spot between melody and shred, striking a perfect balance between the two. Nothing on the album sounds like it was done just because they could do it; even when the guitars are pouring forth a flurry of harmonized tapping licks, it’s done in such a way that those notes still feel like they mean something. The songs exude a sense of danger and discovery, and as a whole, the album feels like a grand expedition into the depths of space. The only personal complaint I would level against this album is that the vocalist doesn’t sing enough. The moments where he uses clean vocals always stand out, but they pass far too quickly. That’s just a minor nitpick, though, and it doesn’t bring down the experience at all.

Laniakea surely isn’t going to be for everyone, but I don’t imagine any tech heads would want to pass this one up. Fans of Decrepit Birth and, to a lesser extent, Fallujah should find a lot to like here. The full stream is available at either The Ritual Aura or Lacerated Enemy‘s Bandcamp pages.

Until next time,

Stay Tech

(Image VIA)


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  • Witch-Ripped KJM

    I lasted 47 seconds…

    • Óðinn

      Yeah. That’s about where I stopped it too. Technical Death Metal has become such a boring, sterile, and generic genre over the past few years. Bands like Archspire and Rings of Saturn have ruined it.

      • Major Zim

        I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’ve never been able to get into RoS and seeing as they’re a local band god knows I’ve tried. I will say however that Archspire has won me over absolutely.

        I should preface this by saying that I am not a huge fan of Tech Death. As a percussionist myself I love technicality, but only where it fits the song. I love unexpected grooves and subtlety much more than flashy technicality in almost every case. Black Metal (of everything from Krallice to Walknut) has my heart.

        I went to a show they were playing to support my friend’s band who were the local opener. Honestly I was much more excited for Fallujah but the second the drummer sat down and ran through a fill to sound check I knew it was going to be a fucking crazy show. I’ve played drums for about ten years, I was at Ulcerate’s first show in California and have seen Intronaut so many times I’ve forgotten where I end and where Joe Lester’s stumpy legs begin. What I’m saying is it takes quite a lot to impress me behind a kit.

        The dudes all came out and were incredibly nice, funny guys. About three seconds into the first song everyone in the crowd had lost the ability to control basic body functions. They were so completely on point that I was unable to process what was happening in front of me. Luckily my incredibly jaded friend was there with me, who was making the same stupid face of, “Holy shit what the fuck is happening to us?”

        It was then that I realized that Archspire isn’t overproduced, quantized and soulless, they just sound that exact, even live. For the entirety of the show they were hilarious, friendly and more synchronized than any group of human beings I have ever seen. When their set ended they went from full speed to thanking everyone for coming out and were half way off the stage before anyone could process that they had finished.

        I would absolutely recommend seeing them live if you get the chance, even if you don’t like the music, they are impossible not to like as people.

        • Major Zim

          That… ended up being very long.

        • P4T4R

          I completely agree. Their live performances are so epic. The vocalist is hilarious in between songs. The guitarists’ playing is so incredibly clear. It’s obvious they are devoid of RoS level studio tricks. And the drummer is incredible. Those blast beats, fuck.

  • Cool that those aussies of Ouroboros finally setted up the release. Will check it out!

    Good job, Mighty Spear.

  • Scrimm

    That Serial Butcher aint bad.

  • Vote for Jeb

    Contrarian is dope. Expect more Atheist and Nocturnus than anything tech.

    • Vote for Jeb

      Edit: Nocturnus, not Nocternity.

    • JJD Misses Witch Ripper

      I shall give Contrarian a listen as I love Atheist.

    • That artwork is so over the place, jajaja.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      Atheist is/was pretty tech, was it not?

      • Vote for Jeb

        Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I’d say they’re more proggy OSDM than tech, buuuuuut we’re kinda splitting hairs, I guess.

        • Guppusmaximus

          When I bought ‘Unquestionable’ back in ’91, I’d never heard anything like that…ever. Yea, that album fucked a lot of Metal Head minds back then. I’d say it was as Tech as Death Metal could get for its time.

          • Vote for Jeb

            I think this raises the broader question of what exactly delineates prog from tech.

          • Guppusmaximus

            True…IMHO, Tech Death seems to focus on the complex measures while Prog Death incorporate different genres or moods with complex undertones. Obviously, to get to Tech, speeding up complex riffs from genres like Jazz ( which is what Atheist did) was necessary but then as Tech Death progressed (no pun) you now have people experimenting with the measures alone not necessarily needing to incorporate influences.. kind of like Math Metal. I mean, that’s my take on it. Opeth is a great example of Progressive Blackened Death Metal. Akerfeldt’s idolizing of the Prog greats was introduced to Death Metal especially having a drummer like Martin who was raised on Latin Jazz. In this instance he didn’t need to speed up the riffs as they were trying to broaden the genre.

          • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

            Wasn’t Cynic’s ‘Focus’ around that time? And Death?

        • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

          Yeah, I suppose it’s hair-splitting, but oth bands like Opeth, Paean (and Ne Obliviscaris – I guess) did give us a slightly different view into prog-death.

      • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

        And funky to boot.

      • Lacertilian

        Spjazzy DM

    • i was really digging the Contrarian song too, i found an earlier EP of theirs:

  • I misread that as Latakia and thought we had our first pipe tobacco based tech death band

  • Guacamole Jim

    Production is buttz, but Spear anticipated me, and by letting me know allowed me to prepare. So I forged ahead.

    What I found was the songs are actually quite well written. Good sense of melody, like the handsome Spear said, and the Fallujah comparison is pretty accurate. All in all, I actually like this quite a bit more than I expected to.

    Spear >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • JJD Misses Witch Ripper

    That Contrarian is so good.

  • Guppusmaximus

    “music by robots, for robots.”

    So much this^^ I’m surprised that these bands just don’t drop the act – replace the “human” vocals with modem sounds, dot-matrix printers & binaural beats…

    • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

      Cynic’s ‘Focus’ 2.0?

  • Stanley

    Metal is a funny thing. Tastes are even funnier. I’ve been playing this album incessantly. It’s the absolute polar opposite of Laniakea. It’s great that we can all find something to enjoy. Unite in the Toilet!

    • RJA

      Taste is absolutely subjective – once I understood that I stopped worrying about what people like. I absolutely can’t stand the above – made it about 30 seconds. But I enjoy listening to Vlad Tepes so I understand it’s not my place to judge!

      • I don’t know what vlad of Tepes is , but I agree that once you stop giving a shit about what other people think about your music or vice versa it becomes that much more enjoyable.

        • RJA

          I listened to the Contrarian track because you made the aoty comment. It is pretty damn good, despite what my prejudices about the cover told me.

        • unless one likes Periphery. then it’s a lifetime of dodging insults.

          • Pingu

            Yeah, but who would be foolish enough to like Periphery! Am I right or am I right? (Spoiler alert: I am right)

      • Stanley

        When you say, ” I absolutely can’t stand the above”, I assume that you are referring to Laniakea. lol.

        • RJA

          that wasn’t clear enough was it! yes, the tech death stuff. Meggido rules

          • Stanley

            I actually thought you were referring to Megiddo and so I was trying to be wise. Nice one!

  • ME GORAK B.C.™
    • JJD Misses Witch Ripper

      It’s very sad. He was only 38.

      • Witch-Ripped KJM

        That’s a genuine tragedy.

    • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

      Damn, that sucks! And way too young to pass away.

  • If the rest of that contrarian album is anything like this single, it is gonna be in my aoty list. So fucking good.

  • Mother Shabubu 8

    Holy mother of wankery.

    More wank than in my bedroom after a long day of work.

  • mmm, new Lost Soul makes my bathing suit area tingle. been long enough since Immerse in Infinity!!

    • Pingu

      Have you had unprotected sex?

  • tertius_decimus

    Worthless 2 cent comment right here. Yep.

    Nothing to say about Gorod, really. Their style is easy to recognize (that’s a good thing), however compared to previous works, nothing has changed.

    Cool bass tone in Contrarian song. It’s also easy to listen to, in the mix it sits on the front and is audible. Rare case these days, you know.

    Lost Soul strikes back! Old but pretty much unknown band that is still going strong. If any of you didn’t listen to their music, don’t hesitate to take a look.

    Ouroboros reminds somehow about “Communion” by Septic Flesh.

    The lead guitar from The Ritual Aura starts growing on me with strange feeling: it sounds cheesy yet great. o_O

  • Waynecro

    Goddamn, this is some good shit. I love Tech-Death Thursday! The Ritual Aura pummels with a bit of finesse–it crushes dicks with calculated hammer strikes rather than with, say, falling rubble from a series of industrial explosions.

  • Sgt. Poopypanty’s Fartin Teeth

    Definitely checking out the new Ourboros when it comes out. Their last one was a fucking masterpiece.