Tech Death Thursday: Virulent Depravity

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Virulent Depravity has an album due out soon, and you need to know about it. Spoiler: it’s really fast.

News:

  • Aethere has a new album on the way via Tragic Hero Records, due out on April 28th. Check out “Sleep” in the meantime; it might get a little breakdowny for some, but it’s hard to argue with those grooves.
  • Hideous Divinity has a devastating new tune out. Look for the full album on April 28th if you’re into archetypal Italian death metal.
  • The new Gorod EP is shaping up to be pretty sweet (and rather silly). Check out the lyric video for “Being A Jerk” and catch them on their European tour this April with HavokExmortus, and Warbringer.
  • I’m really hoping the new Inferi song is the standard for their new album, because it’s going to surpass Path of Apotheosis in every way if it is. Give it a listen right here.

As much as I try to find bands that break the confines of the genre for this column, it’s hard to pass up a more traditional band that just does everything really well. That was what initially drew me to Virulent Depravity; it was something I had heard before, but it was written and executed so well I couldn’t write it off. I had high expectations of this album; now that I’ve heard the full thing, it’s clear that I didn’t set them high enough. Fruit of the Poisoned Tree delivered everything I wanted, but with some twists that I didn’t see coming.

From a high-level standpoint, Fruit of the Poisoned Tree doesn’t really offer anything new. It follows the blueprints of bands like Spawn of Possession and The Faceless, built on a foundation of sinister harmonized riffing that blazes by at terminal velocity. Even when the music slows down (as per “Desecrating Eden” below), it progresses much the same path as the aforementioned bands, particularly the former’s Incurso. I could honestly spend the entire article drawing direct parallels between the two albums, but I think you get the picture.

It’s when you get down to the smaller details that the music really starts to come into its own. While Poisoned Tree is constructed around the same structure as its forebears, there are a lot of subtler stylistic differences that make it feel unique. For one, while the start and endpoints of a given riff might be obvious, the path it takes between those points is rarely predictable. The melodies and arpeggios wind their way around the scale rather than plowing straight through it, giving them an odd angular feeling. There’s a sort of perverted elegance to it, like looking at a familiar but twisted piece of architecture; it’s recognizable, but uncomfortable. Furthermore, the way these riffs are executed has some interesting quirks to it as well. Taps and sweeps aren’t limited to guitar solos, and their implementation into the meat of the song means that a single melody can span the breadth of the fretboard even within a single measure. It’s a small thing, but the simple uncertainty of whether the song is going to go high or low is enough to demand the listener’s constant attention.

Despite the overall intense speed of the album, the band does a good job of both pacing and setting some atmosphere. Short breaks are surprisingly frequent and often accompanied by a slow, harmonized lead that drives home the alien feeling. The few extended slow segments are used to set up massive headbanger riffs and complex rhythmic patterns (as well as a brilliant solo on “Only Human”). It’s easy for bands like this to let speed be their primary selling point, but Virulent Depravity keep it varied and interesting, never settling on a single formula.

Fruit of the Poisoned Tree might not be perfect, but it does far more things right than otherwise. Sure, the production is super inorganic, but it works in favor of the music here. The bass could stand to be a bit louder, but you can hear it doing a lot of cool stuff if you listen for it. Virulent Depravity wears their influences on their sleeves; the form and function of the music is familiar, but they fill a niche that has been largely left empty for the past few years (and even with those influences, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything quite like the main theme of “Beyond the Point of No Return”). With more and more hyper-tech bands playing strictly neoclassical music lately, Poisoned Tree instantly differentiates itself from the norm and is all the more memorable for it. Virulent Depravity have crafted a monster of an album that’s required listening for any fan of tech death.

Fruit of the Poisoned Tree is out on April 7th via The Artisan Era. You can follow Virulent Depravity on Facebook; stop by and tell them how much the Toilet loves them. They’ll know. That’s all for this week, and until next time,

Stay Tech

(Image VIA)


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 techdeathtovh@gmail.com and make your voice heard!

  • Howard Dean

    That Virulent Depravity guitarist:

    https://media.giphy.com/media/1HvSXlPisVtHG/giphy.gif

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    VISITING TOILET OV HELL TECH METAL THURSDAY MAY CAUSE
    headaches, drowsiness, spontaneous enema, confusion, seizures, and life-threatening complication; encephalopathy, nerve disease of the extremities (peripheral neuropathy), accidental decapitation, pericapillary hemorrhages within the white matter, and loss or deficiency of the fatty coverings (myelin) around these nerve fibers (demyelination); transverse white bands on the fingernails (mees’ lines) and excessive accumulation of fluid in the soft layers of tissue below the skin (edema). Gastrointestinal symptoms include a flu-like illness (gastroenteritis) that is characterized by vomiting; abdominal pain; fever; and diarrhea, which, in some cases, may be bloody, and self-defenestration. Other symptoms include breakdown of the hemoglobin of red blood cells, anemia, hypotension, and a garlic-like odor that may be detectable on the breath.

    • Howard Dean

      Confusion, life-threatening complications, and self-defenestration, you say?

      http://i.spanky.cloud/3lxMcpe.gif

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        I DONT CHEW MY CABBAGE TWICE MADAM

      • Sid Vicious Promos

        Bah gawd!

        • Depechemodeisgangsta

          Just saw News that JR wife passed away, that’s super sad.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            It’s very sad. The drummer for Boston also died.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Maybe no more suicide gifs plz

        • Howard Dean

          I’m guessing he lived.

          • Depechemodeisgangsta

            That has to be in Russia right?

          • Howard Dean

            In Russia, self-immolating self-defenestrators don’t die–they sip kompot and wodka with their babushkas.

    • RustyShackleford

      Don’t forget to call your doctor if you have an erection lasting longer than four hours.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      GVRLIC VDVR

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    I guess that if any tech band was to mix well with thrash on a tour, Gorod would work well

    • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2

      I think it would be awsome and it is my dream to see Slayer go on tour with Lincoln Park.

      -Dude Man Dec 6, 2005 @ 8:32 AM ET

      • CyberneticOrganism

        That’s exactly what a guy calling himself “Dude Man” would want

  • Joaquin Stick

    After a few weeks of tangentially tech-death stuff, it’s kinda nice to get some of that mainline tech-tacular goodness.

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    Shining Spear, bright in the night..

    With pinpoint precision you bring to the masses, technical death from many a stashes

    Of speed and efficiency the songs are wrought, your readers, in waiting, are never distraught

    • Joaquin Stick

      Is that a Manowar lyric?

      • Señor Jefe El Rossover

        Not enough STEEL

  • RustyShackleford

    Really digging this Virulent Depravity. You describe it really well Spear; it ain’t reinventing the wheel but damn is it executed well! The cover art is also pretty cool. The Gorod song is awesome and I’m super excited for the EP. Fun as hell! YEP!!

  • Colin Butler

    Thanks Spear. I got mad love for the Toilet.

  • Commander Shephard

    That inferi track is absolute fucking fire. Virulent Depravity need to tour with Archspire.

    • Waynecro

      Archspire was so good live, dude. So good. At the show, I bought a shirt I don’t even really like just because the band kicked so much ass.

      • Commander Shephard

        Yea I saw them live with Revocation last year, I was impressed by how well they pulled off their shit live.

  • Waynecro

    The new Hideous Divinity is going to rock my fucking socks, and the new Gorod is going to be awesome as hell despite its novelty. And sweet Buddha buttfucked upside down, I can’t even express how pumped I am for the new Inferi. Virulent Depravity is also totally great, and I can’t wait to blast the new album in the gym. Thanks, Spear!