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Bone Tomahawk OST - 83%

iamntbatman, June 26th, 2016

It was difficult for me not to get excited for a band called Troglodyte. The name alone (not to mention song titles, lyrical themes and the great cover art) brings to mind exactly the kind of death metal that scratches a certain itch: dumb as rocks, violent, percussive, filthy, old school and filled to the brim with crushing riffs. So, with my expectations through the roof, I have to admit I was somewhat let down by the band's previous outings. The band sported an unexpectedly modern sound that called to mind Dying Fetus more than anything else, with far too much going on in terms of technical fireworks to really sell the rest of the band's aesthetics to me. This was less 70's horror schlock murderous bigfoot and more mid 2000's big budget gore.

So how have the band fared since then, what with their lengthy "dumb bigfoot version of a Nile album title" schtick this time around? Well, they're still definitely brutal, and there's still a good deal of Dying Fetus, Suffocation, Deicide and Cannibal Corpse in the band's sound, there's still some flashy technicality, and it still sounds a bit too modern on the whole for my tastes. However, this time, there seems to be a larger emphasis on mid-paced groove sections and somewhat thrashier riffs that call to mind Obituary or even Vader. There's still that essential touch of hardcore that comes through mostly in the crushing breakdown sections (the pounding stomps that fill "Dome Splitter" are a great example) which adds a lot to the boneheaded brutality of the music. There's even a straight up speed/thrash metal song ("You're Gonna Sweat") that pushes things a bit into Ghoul territory, which makes a lot of sense given the sort of similar schlock horror imagery both bands sport.

Other improvements are vital as well; the vocal performance this time around is more focused and dare I say one-dimensionally old school, which is actually a big step up from the more modern mixed vocal styles utilized in past material which I wasn't really a huge fan of. The guitars have a huge, satisfying crunch that effectively conveys the weight of the chugs equally as well as the limb-shredding piercing pinch harmonics peppered throughout their riffs. The rhythm section has tons of breathing room, too, showcasing the drumming, which has been improved by adding extra nuance to the standard toolkit of death metal drum techniques. The songwriting has also improved, showcasing the band's signature variety from track to track as before but also much increased catchiness in the riffing, much likely the result of a change in lineup that saw both previous guitarists exit the band. While Langer hasn't fundamentally changed the band's approach in earth-shattering ways, his ear for fun, catchy riffs is a big step up as far as I'm concerned.

Still, would I like it if a band called Troglodyte sounded a bit more like a mashup of Jungle Rot and Coffins than kinda like an Americanized Krisiun? Yeah, yeah I would. But as far as short bursts of boneheaded, catchy, pit-wrecking death metal goes, Troglodyte are seriously overlooked as these guys are at least as good songwriters as many of the big names and have the riffs and production it takes to make waves in the modern death metal scene. I reckon they're probably a ludicrously fun in a live setting, too.