Hey there tech fiends, it's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual weekly reminder that if you're looking for even more sick bands, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
Inevitably, there are always some releases that drop in November and December I wind up not having time to cover before the year ends. As I’ve done in years past, I still have a few more truly sick 2018 gems from the year that passed to spread the word about here. Recently, I did so when finally getting to covering Inertia – Teratoma, and today, it’s time to shine the spotlight on Death Lab – EP 2. Don’t let the simple no-nonsense title fool you, Bordeaux, France natives Death Lab are monsters of their craft on every front and though I feel bad to only get around to covering their latest November 2nd, 2018 release now, it will become evident when you hit play below they’re being featured for a reason.
I can’t remember when it was I first heard 2013’s initial Death Lab release, the also plainly titled EP 1. I think it was around 2015, at any rate, the six-song effort showed a lot of promise and left many in the scene hungry for more with how talented and sick the music was. Without much advance notice, EP 2 dropped on November 2nd last year, and it’s every bit as good and probably stronger really then their initial 2013 six-song release.
If you’re new to the band, their take on tech-death draws from the strong French tech-death tradition of delivering it divided between pure shred, progressive death overload, and skull-crushing brutality. Gorod, Carcariass, older-Anata, a smidge of Spawn of Possession, and a bit of Obscura definitely feels like a good cluster of sonic comparisons to cite. The music often reminds me of the massive technical melodic death meets groove-death tech-death sound of Allegaeon and last year’s The Beast of Nod release as well just as frequently. Additionally, there's an undercurrent of Opeth at their most deathly riffing in a vein similar to how Monotheist and others have done in recent times present in flourishes through EP 2.
For EP 2, Death Lab nabbed powerhouse drummer Kevin Paradis who has played on killer tech-death releases by Sutrah, Virulent Depravity, and Serocs beyond his larger non-tech death groups he drums for. His presence adds a lot to the already incredibly diverse and impressive playing of core member Slyvera on guitar and vocals. While it looks like the bassist on this release is gone now in terms of being an active member, the bass work here by who I assume is Yannick Bizeaud as listed on Metal-Archives, and he delivers an equally impressive performance that greatly enhances each of the six songs on here.
This is a fun release from its opening overload on “Enter the Lab” all the way to track six’s mind-boggling labyrinth builder of a song, “Freed from the Real”. In just under 30 minutes, EP 2 from Death Lab deliver one of my favorite releases for this style of “catchy” proggy tech-death in some time. Here’s to hoping we get another release from the group sooner than the over 5-year wait from the first one to the recent release of EP 2. If you like what you’re hearing below, EP 2 can be ordered through the Death Lab Bandcamp Page. You can follow the band over on the Death Lab Facebook Page.