The year is on its deathbed, and I’ll be taking a break soon for the holidays. With that in mind, I’ve got a handful of albums here for you today to tide you over until I’m back. Check out the newest releases from Dreamfall in Vain, Brought By Pain, and Symbolik!
- ARCHSPIRE (ARCHSPIREARCHPSIREARCHSPIRE etc.) have sent the masters of album number three off to Season of Mist, and I’m only just now realizing how much I’ve missed those ridiculously fast gravity blasts. I think we can reasonably expect the album to come out early next year.
- Speaking of which, Virulent Depravity have sent their tracks to The Artisan Era for mixing and all that jazz. Once again, we can probably expect to see it early next year.
- Alterbeast’s announcement of a tour for next February is the best thing to happen all year. You can catch them on the road with Depths of Hatred, Ænimus, and Aethere if you’re in the Western half of the US.
- Helion, a newish band from Bergamo, Italy, have a new promo available here. Check this one out for something a bit different than what you might expect from Italian death metal.
- If you’re looking for something a little nastier, check out the demos from Befouled Existence. Despite being new on the scene, they already sound monstrous, and I look forward to seeing where they go.
Having just had Trevor Strnad on the podcast and discussing The Black Dahlia Murder in the TovH Facebook group, now seems like a great time to talk about Dreamfall in Vain. While they’re far from being a clone of the former, their style of music is fairly similar. You can expect plenty of melodic hooks and bouncy neo-Gothenburg harmonized riffs punctuated by meaty low-end chugs and strings of tremolo picking. The vocalist is similarly dynamic as well, refusing to stagnate at one end of his range. Dreamfall differentiate themselves by exploring more technical, neoclassical territory with a greater emphasis on leads.
While Resurrection might sound familiar to most listeners’ ears, it’s remarkably consistent. Good musicians, particularly guitarists, have a tendency to overindulge in their abilities. While that can be fun for some of us, it generally seems to get old for the average listener fairly quickly. Dreamfall in Vain never stray from good taste, keeping their leads subdued and melodic and only breaking into full shred when necessary. They have just the right amount of showmanship, and it makes Resurrection a worthy addition to this year’s brilliant lineup of neoclassical tech death albums.
Next up is Brought By Pain, a project largely comprised of current and former members of Equipoise and Beyond Creation. Unsurprisingly, they sound like a halfway point between the two; a bit weirder than the former and a bit more urgent than the latter. Crafted by Society is also one of the best damn things I’ve heard all year, and it kills me that it’s so short. I need more! But alas, these three tracks will have to do for now.
Short as it may be, it’s packed with incredible musicianship. Its 16-minute run time is bursting with creativity, from the album’s tapped opening to the jaunty solo backing riff on the title track. The band’s use of non-standard chords and intervals gives everything a unique flavor that’s present in every aspect; one might expect it to only really be present in the riffs, particularly the chorded ones, but it shows up in the solos as well. The closing leads on “Broadcast” are captivating, naturally emerging from and falling back into the backing riff while layering over the top of each other at the other guitarist’s endpoints. Each musician is in top form as well, and the fretless bass is much more aggressive than what you usually hear from the instrument. I cannot recommend this album enough.
Few things in life are more satisfying to me than hearing two seconds of a song and knowing immediately that you’re going to be into everything the band does. Such is the case with Symbolik, a melodic tech death act out of Stockton, California. The opening assault on Patheogenesis immediately reminded me of Alterbeast with its ferocity and speed, but also in the way its melodies are structured. The songs don’t sit in one place for very long, but it doesn’t feel like the band is shoving idea after idea down your throat. Each segment is a natural progression of the one that precedes it, making the songs feel like a thorough expression of a singular theme.
Besides just being really good at what they do, I wanted to highlight Symbolik for their upcoming music as well. Last week, I mistakenly listed Patheogenesis as being new, when it’s in fact five years old (close enough, right?). However, you can check out a demo of one of their new songs, “Coalescing the Void,” at Metal Underground. It’s a pretty big departure from Patheogenesis, adding in symphonic elements and taking a more methodical approach to song progression. It’s still very good though, and I’m hoping to see the full album next year.
Dreamfall in Vain, Brought By Pain, and Symbolik can all be found on Facebook; go follow them and invite them to play in the Toilet. Then go buy their stuff at the Bandcamp links above. I hope I have adequately fulfilled your tech death needs this year, and I look forward to doing it even better next year. That’s all for now, and until next time,
Do you have a band you would like to see featured? A new release we should keep an eye on? Or maybe you want to do some writing yourself? Then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and make your voice heard!