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 to hear, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
There are a lot of bands who show promise but don’t win me over enough to praise them at the time. I try to keep tabs on groups who fit those criteria because some of them always succeed in evolving considerably down the line, it’s just hard to tell who that will be in the end. Geoda, from Argentina, is one of those groups for me. I enjoyed their prior 2013 debut album, Firebreak, a lot actually, but, it still felt like a group in the process of shaping their identity and honing their ability to meld so many different styles together in a concrete way. Now, six years later, they’re back with their second full-length, Here and Now, and this is everything I hoped Geoda might be capable of releasing one day.
Here and Now is not an easily explained nor easily dissected album. For the sake of trying to give you something to go on, the music here sounds like a more tech-death Exist if you’re familiar with that group’s Meshuggah influenced take on Cynic, Death, Atheist, and Allen Holdsworth inspired progressive death metal. Outside of taking that sort of sound into more tech-death territory often, there’s a seemingly Strapping Young Lad-esque modern approach to thrashy and groovy death metal here that helps Geoda forge their own path as a group threading the needle between multiple past and present forms of progressive and technical death metal. Earlier Opeth influence seems clear as well at times, and the albums beautiful flamenco-style acoustic guitar adds yet another dimension to this gorgeous work of art.
Where some may only be able to emulate without innovating at all within their desire to pay homage, I’m glad to say this is not the case with Here and Now. Sure, that may limit the appeal within tech-death fans, especially with the dominate clean sung vocal approach, but, for every person it may not be for, I know plenty of people who already love or would love all this album has to offer. There’s nothing wrong with coloring within the lines, for those who have that rare mix of ambition and ability, you do get releases every so often that keep pushing things forwards by doing the opposite of norms and expectations like Here and Now does.
Between the 2013 debut and now, Geoda has stripped back down to vocalist, guitarist, and main writer Facundo López at the core, this time joined by legendary death metal bassist Steve DiGiorgio and equally worldwide revered drummer Dirk Verbeuren. Both of whom put their signature stamp and flair on the material here even though it seems Facundo López did indeed write the album himself if I'm understanding correctly. As mentioned above, there’s a lot of Death, Cynic, and Atheist at the heart of what Geoda does, yet, it’s upgraded to a modern aggressive framework that heartily embraces melodic death, groove-death, and tech-death from start to finish. Groove wise, the Exist comparison is the most concrete example I can point to, but, Soreption and Decapitated nods come to mind for me often when Geoda takes their groove focus into deathly realms throughout Here and Now. Combined with the bands focus on clean singing paired with their prog metal influenced take on tech-death, this reminds me of Spiral Architect in spots too.
Here and Now is a very special album, and, I can’t stress that enough. Few bands are capable of fusing, re-combining, and re-shaping the past and present worlds of progressive, jazzy, groovy, and technical minded death metal as brilliantly as Geoda does with seeming ease. So, I hope you’ll at least give Here and Now embedded below a full spin to take in all it encompasses. If you’re into it, you can purchase Here and Now through the Geoda Bandcamp Page. You can follow the group over on the Geoda Facebook Page.