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Technical death metal is a sub-genre of death metal that could best be described as jazz on steroids with guttural vocals and blast beats. Many people will argue that TDM, in its attempt to display the amazing musical ability of the players,loses all the original grit and dirtiness of bands like autopsy and morbid angel. And instead replaces it with melodic solos full of sweep picked arpeggios and countless generic "technical" riffs.
With Atheist's jazzy style of play, Cynics progressive melodic style, and Death's use of top notch muscianship, Technical death metal started out as a serious offspring of DM. But then a band called Necrophagist comes along and releases "Epitaph", now all traces of good song writing and heart that the early TDM bands displayed have been thrown out and in its place an almost laughable display of over-the-top guitar heroics flaunted by muhammad suicmez. Now, i'm not going to deny that muhammad is an extraordinary guitar player and obviously has an immense amount of talent, which also is one necrophagists' main problems.
The overall weakness in this album, and the band as a whole is songwriting. All of the songs are technically ashtonishing, but its all just a cover up for this band's uncanny ability to avoid writing a coherrent enjoyable song. The ten songs that make up this album are interchangable and sound almost identical in structure, tempo, etc... It seems like all Muhammad wants to do is show off how good he is at guitar. Ok! we get it! you can play very fast and write complicated compositions, now how about showing some soul? There is no depth to any of the songs its all face value, it might sound cool at first but after two or three songs you might find yourself starting to get annoyed at the barrage of senseless notes. For those people who enjoy this type of flamboyant display of almost overpowering musicianship, necrophagist is a tdm fan's wet dream. Full of neo-classical malmsteen inspired solos and jazzy, head-spinning riffs, that are sure to satisfy the young kid who sits at guitar center all day practicing sweeps only to show off how good he is. This band is that kid personified.
Obviously, the main focus of the album is the guitar, but all the other components of the band are probably equally, if not, more annoying. Starting with the drums, which are nothing are more than a glorified metronome, so don't expect any jazz breaks or weird time signatures, because all they do blast without stopping for a breather. Next is the vocals, which are also done muhammad. Death metal vocals are supposed to be ferocious, scary, and unsettling, but what muhammad manages to acheive is more or less just a flat boring growl. They don't sound menacing, or mean, or even remotly aggressive, they sound just as cheesy as the rest of the band. Which isn't really a bad thing since vocals aren't really focused on much, they are more there to help remind us that this is a death metal band. Lyrically the band dabbles in nothing groundbreaking or thought provoking.Its mostly just bland uninspired pretentious bullshit. As a whole, the album would best be described as a big budget action movie, packed full of amazing special effects and explosions, but in terms of substance there is little to be found.