Hey there tech-death fiends, it's that time of the week again. As usual, I try to keep the introduction each week to a brief minimum. So without further ado, here's the usual reminder that all prior editions of this series can be perused here if you want more cool music to check out. Now let's get on to today's picks!
Départe – Failure, Subside
As I've noticed in the comments to some of my more unconventional tech-death picks this year alone, you can't always please the nagging genre police in our midst. Truth be told, the sub-genre of technical death metal has gone through a number of revolutions in sound and style over the past decade. And more so now than ever, as the skronky more wholly dissonant focused sub-sect within the genre continues to deliver an unorthodox take on technical death metal that's quite refreshing to hear. Especially among fans like me always on the hunt for groups whose sound is outside of the norm.
Given that, I'm sure there might be some bitching about placing Départe here, but I stand by the assertion that they fit the bill of Ulcerate inspired technical death metal without being just another Ulcerate inspired clone overall. No flash, no fun, seems to be the ethos here. With only the grim pull of despair grabbing your heart and tearing it out over and over building up the morbid experience on Failure, Subside to a fever pitch of madness. And with that kind of approach, Départe utilize the template well to create a very emotional and gut-wrenching experience all their own. To me, they're what would happen if Ulcerate went down a black metal focused path and mixed that up with a songwriting style more abstract and in line with the vague term of post-metal. I can see the sparse bits of singing being a turn-off to some, but this is an experimental take on death metal, so it can't be intaken with the mindset that the experience it delivers will be anywhere close to the typical sound most people have in mind when the term technical death metal comes up.
To give a final assessment of Failure, Subside, Départe have greatly evolved from their initial 2014 two song demo sound to create an album that's quite memorable. A sleeper hit indeed, this is a record well worth checking out. If you dig what you're hearing, the album can be purchased in multiple formats through the Départe Bandcamp page here. Be sure to follow Départe’ on their Facebook Page as well.
Ulcerate – Shrine Of Paralysis
If you've been reading this column for a bit, you've probably noticed the content is mainly geared towards bands that are either unknown or new overall. But, today we're deviating from that trend with an early review of the new Ulcerate album. Simply because these guys are modern day legends who've been quite influential on the modern technical death metal scene. Which leaves only one question, how does Shrine Of Paralysis stack up to the groups rightly lauded prior body of work? The answer seems to be that it fits in quite well with their body of work, and stands as more of a small permutation on their sound than a large shift. But, given their well developed and unique sound, this is hardly a bad thing.
At this point in their career, most death metal fanatics know the group, so your opinion of Ulcerate probably won't change with this record. Which says little about the content here, and says a whole lot more about fans of technical death metal in general having a hard time accepting this new skronky plague of dissonant madness that's being embraced more and more by the scene as a whole. That said, this might be their best work in some time, so make sure to snag a copy of Shrine Of Paralysis once it drops on Friday, October 28th. Pre-order options for the record are available through their label here, as well as through the Ulcerate Bandcamp page here. Be sure to follow Ulcerate on their Facebook page if by some chance you aren't already doing so.