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Tech Death Done Differently - 95%

optimuszgrime, May 4th, 2008

I always mention how I like albums that do this, release older material again, or perhaps release several things that were available for purchase a while ago on one compact and neat album. These things are friggin sweet, and I think more bands should do this, because a lot of the times, with obscure bands or with bands form countries like my own that are not very well known in the metal scene, it is very hard to get a lot of the stuff you would like to lay your hands on.

After getting absolutely hooked on their album ‘Pseudo-Verminal Cadaverium’, I downloaded both of these albums from a file-sharing program. Their unique brand of pretty technical, but fairly slow (in comparison to other tech death bands, of course, these guys blast like hell) death metal had me mesmerized. So when I saw that they re-released all of their old stuff, both of the old albums on a CD, I just had to get it. The layout is very sweet, it has both of the covers on there, but also a shot of the inside of an operating room, the Zombie from the cover of Lucio Fulci’s movie ‘Zombie’ wearing a doctors hair net and mask, and all sorts of pathological yet humorous stuff in it, accompanied by a few pictures form the band. But the point is the music; so let us get right down to it.

Their music is as I have mentioned tech death, but not your usual run of the mill stuff. They have a very different approach, both sonically, both song structure wise then your average death metal band. Sonically the band strives for a bass guitar heavy sound on these early albums, with the vocals being also pretty loud. The bass drums are louder than the snare and the snare is also a bit low especially for all of the piccolo slamming Colombians and other bands out there today (no disrespect intended, those guys also rule!), so the whole sound is very bassy. Seeing as this was not done with triggers as far as I can hear, the whole thing sounds very much alive and pulsing, and the undistorted bass lines stick out like a sore thumb, but with the screechy guitars in the background its like a nice melody poking its head through some dismembered carnage, like some sort of monstrous birth. This is more the case with the ‘Voluptously Minced’ album, although the same atmosphere prevails on their other one as well, but there they already are slowly starting to give in to the modern day tech death sound, which in my opinion did not do them any good. The haunting bass lines are fewer, and by the time ‘Reincarnation in Gorextasy’ came out, they sound as dead and sterile as any other American slamming clone on the block. Their music is still written differently, but their sound, if not compromised, but changed in its due course of time, probably as the band members saw fit.

The music is structured differently, in that you cannot guess where one riff is going to lead to next. This of course makes for a quiet a few listens of these albums in order to ‘get’ them, but in the end it is very well worth it. The switches from riff to riff are almost always seamless, except when they want to emphasize the beginning notes of a riff, which they do rarely. It is much more like them to take a riff and have a bridge section where they introduce some of the first notes of the next riff, and then in the end, bring in the new riff. I always like approaches like that much more than your average stop and go, loud and clear introduction of riffs type stuff. Of course you can please crowds better with the latter, but you can please musicians with the former. The point is to know when to do which, because doing only one of those things gets tedious, and these guys figured this out, and use just enough of both, with more of the former and less of the later. Of course they sometimes do the whole stop and go thing, but not so often.

The vocals are love ‘em or hate ‘em, this guy has always sung like this, and I like it, it is a deep disgusting gurgle, but it is not in your typical cadence. There is a hoarse sort of undertone form the guys throat, and when he and the bass do their thing together it sounds just plain repulsive.

So it is good to see these two albums together because they are twins, and because they are the last two before ‘Pseudo….’. That album is a departure and a new beginning for this band, where they start to experiment with the more standard tech death metal sound, and indeed doing that their own way as well, which I enjoyed. But these two albums on this disc are a world of their own, and can never be recreated, it is one of those moments of glory that you try to make the most of while they last, and this band did, releasing two full albums carrying on their glorious vein. The fact that they re-released says something, and the digital re-mastering did not harm the uniqueness or take away form the atmosphere, because it is tech death, and they were very subtle with the re-mastering. So if you would like to listen to tech death done differently, get this. If you know only their newer stuff, get this, see their roots, understand their music.