Breaking the funk of multiple weeks of non-stop Black Metal releases being reviewed, today we have an excellent Progressive/Melodic Death Metal outfit from Sweden named: Descend. Combining elements of bands like Opeth, Cynic, In Mourning, and Persefone, “The Deviant” is one hell of a cinematic experience filled with technical intricacies and superbly catchy songwriting.
Warming up the listener with the melodic instrumental opener “Avalin”, the band nicely builds up to the proggy melodies of “Blood Moon” and its crafty tempo changes. The mixture of clean and harsh vocals is nicely balanced, and the addition of female vocals on tracks like “The Purest One” add an extra layer to the band’s excellent sound. For those looking into more experimental/free-style songs, “Lily” has a nice mixture of fast-paced sections and highly crafty instrumental interludes.
Progressive Death Metal
Unleashing a truly unique release, today we have Austria’s Vinsta and their full-length release “Drei Deita”. Perfectly blending Folk elements into and engaging Progressive/Melodic Death Metal core, this band delivers a very interesting and harmonious sound. With nearly 50 minutes of music, we are treated to brilliant melodic passages, catchy riffs, and dreamy parts. Imagine a mixture of Insomnium with Opeth and the Folky edge of early Kauan.
After the traditional instrumental intro, “Weisse Deckn” creates a very lively and ethereal atmosphere with the contrast of dreamy vocals and powerful guitars. This track also introduces the band’s folkier side with lush violins in a very dramatic melodic passage. Weaving back and forth between their two main styles, tracks like “Oafocha Loda” nicely build up the atmosphere and reach its crescendo with crushing guitars and harsh vocals.
It is not everyday that you receive a release from a band hailing from Iran. With our curiosity peaked, Eternal Candle’s debut full-length “The Carved Karma”, is one hell of a Progressive Death/Doom Metal release. Combining elements from old-school Death Metal, Doom Metal all perfectly paired with a Progressive edge, this release delivers almost one full hour of masterful music. For fans of old Opeth, Katatonia, My Dying Bride, this release will certainly resonate with you.
Immediately after the dreamy instrumental opener, the band gets down to business with the sheer power of “The Ripped Soul”. Reminding us of Amorphis on their “Privilege of Evil” days, this track is heavy and pummeling, thanks to its powerful riffs and old-school vibe. Things quickly move into more Progressive / Katatonia-esque territories with the intricate “Sick Romance”, and even further into old-school Death/Doom influences with “A Path to Infinity”.
Hailing from Canada, today we have Progressive/Technical Death Metal outfit Beyond Creation and their refreshing third full-length release “Algorythm”. While some bands focus on playing faster and more complex just for the sake of it, this band focuses on crafting unique songs which perfectly blend in the technical aspect with the brutality and melody of their sound. Clocking in at over 50 minutes in this, this is one album that fans of outfits like Obscura, Hour of Penance, etc., cannot miss.
After setting a very futuristic mood with the opener “Disenthrall”, the band jumps head first with the blistering speed of “Entre suffrage et mirage”. Featuring a playful bass guitar line and killer guitar leads, this song quickly reminds us of Obscura, but with a slighter more progressive and melodic edge. With a dreamy tone, “Surface's Echoes”, showcases the band’s versatility and focus on crafting interesting melodies rather than just pummeling through notes. Do not get us wrong, this track does feature some killer musical acrobatics and tempo changes, but they feel a lot more organic than with other bands.
With big name bands like Obscura and Beyond Creation unleashing Progressive/Technical Death Metal masterpieces this year, it is quite refreshing to hear more underground bands like The Odious Construct take inspiration from them and release a killer EP of their own. With “Shrine of the Obscene” this band from Sacramento, California delivers five expertly crafted tracks that are quite atmospheric and technically proficient. For a band formed in 2015, they are certainly firing on all cylinders in this brilliant release.
Opening with a dreamy passage on “Vortex of Self”, the band quickly sets up a hectic mood filled with subtle technical details and trippy atmospheric keyboards. As the album’s introduction to the band, this song could not be more awesome and expertly crafted. Going into “Descension”, the keyboards nicely frame the massive drumming and the cool tempo changes in this track. Keeping the intensity going thanks to crushing vocals and very well crafted guitar passages, this track certainly shows that the opener was no fluke.
Unleashing one of the most inventive and catchy Progressive/Technical Death Metal releases of 2018, today we have Burial in the Sky and their sophomore release “Creatio Et Hominus”. Filled with lush instrumental passages and highly crafty pummeling sections, this release perfectly balances the best of two worlds to deliver seven expertly crafted tracks that will keep you entertained for hours at a time.
Opening with the dreamy jazzy sax of “Nexus”, the band sets a mysterious tone while intoxicating the listener with their atmospheric intro. This peaceful mood quickly changes into growls and crushing drumming with “Tesla”. This track reminds us of a mixture of Cynic and Fallujah, as the moody bass guitar line perfectly contrasts the aggressive guitar riffs and blistering solos. Perfectly dancing between lush atmospheric passages into more technical brutality, the band tiptoes through tracks like “Nautilus’ Cage” and the playful “The Pivotal Flame”.
With a keen eye for unique and boundary pushing release, today we have the latest Hypnotic Dirge Records release with Odradek Room’s sophomore album “A Man of Silt”. Unleashing over 50 minutes of superbly crafted Progressive Death/Doom Metal, this band merges influences from bands like Anathema and Opeth with lush instrumentations and a very somber mood. If you like complex music with high replay value, this is certainly one of the best releases in 2017 for that.
The intro “Arising in the Void” provides a very dark and somber opening into the band’s unique musical voyage adorned with an Armenian duduk. The release continues to blossom with the transition into heavy guitars and growls in “Selfness”, a 7-minute piece that sets the experimental proggy tone for this album. Hailing from Ukraine, the band crafts very unique songs filled with highly atmospheric passages that are quite intricate and yet lush and filled with emotion, as delivered in “Texture of Reality”.
Four years in the making, today we have In Mourning and their killer “Afterglow” release. Featuring 56 minutes of music divided in seven tracks, the band continues to move into Progressive/Melodic Death Metal territory with this brilliant album. Showcasing influences of bands like Kalmah mixed in with elements of October Tide and other more experimental outfits, this release is definitely one of the band’s best.
Opening with the superb melodies of “Fire and Ocean”, the band starts the release with a heavy headbanging dose. Nicely bleeding into “The Grinning Mist”, the melodic atmosphere is very well crafted and oozes to the traditional In Mourning signature sound with a few progressive elements thrown into the mix, such as the intricate bass guitar line and killer tempo changes.
Continue their evolution into more Progressive and atmospheric territories, today we have Fallujah and their third full-length release “Dreamless”. While the band explores more melodic ideas, their Deathcore nucleus is still intact and will kick your ass in a minute. Searching for the perfect balance between sheer brutality and musical acrobatics, the band delivers twelve solid tracks that show how much they have matured since their 2011 debut release.
Opening with the brutal “Face of Death”, the band commands their attention with perfectly balanced Deathcore-esque growls and ethereal atmospheric elements. Bleeding into the more Progressive and melodic “Adrenaline”, the band nicely transition between styles while showcasing their musical creativity. Our personal favorite is the dreamy “The Void Alone”, which features a superb combination of clean female vocals, intricate drum patterns and pummeling guitar riffs.
Brilliantly returning with eight highly intricate tracks, today we have Obscura and their latest acrobatic effort “Akróasis”. Featuring completely new line-up since last release, Steffen Kummerer manages to again gather a stellar group of musicians and delivers another Obscura-quality release. If you like Technical/Progressive Death Metal, we highly doubt that there will be a better album in 2016.
Opening with the brilliant “Sermon of the Seven Suns”, we instantly notice that the band’s trademark sound is intact and yet it feels slightly evolved with cleaner and melodic passages. The playful back-and-forth between instruments is insanely well crafted making songs like the opener and the heavier “The Monoist” (among others) sound amazingly elaborate and tricky. The vocal effects of songs like “Ten Sepiroth” give the band a certain Cynic edge. Additionally this track features some killer bass guitar sections.