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.
As the old adage goes, time flies, and often it’s incredible to see what develops in between releases for bands I’ve covered here. Back in early January of 2017, I wrote about a promising new group from Berlin called Peripheral Cortex and their two-song EP called Rupture. Rupture was quite an impressive and eclectic introductory statement that left me wanting more.
Fast forward to the current year and the band has recently released their debut album, God Kaiser Hell, on February 2nd. The strange cover art reminiscent of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work is an instant clue that this is not your typical tech-death release.
God Kaiser Hell somehow manages to shoehorn in an even wider number of extreme metal and non-metal influences into their sound. With how dense the material on Rupture was, that’s a killer feat in and of itself. I’ll list the influences the band cites on Facebook and then explain what else is going on here musically that’s new for them. Peripheral Cortex cites influence from Psycroptic, Necrophagist, Arsis, The Faceless, Beneath the Massacre, Carcass, Gorguts, Pestilence, Morbid Angel, Fantômas, Ultrageist.
The citing of Fantômas and Ultrageist are maybe the most important when it comes to new additions to the group’s sound. From Fantômas much of the albums unhinged, quirky, and experimental moments arise. From Ultrageist, a self-described “experimental deathcore band” the group infuses their take on tech-death this time with a stronger emphasis on groove and heaviness. Speaking of groove, you’ll also find some elements of djent and mathcore/math metal throughout the release. Add to all of that an impressive fretless bass performance, oddball yet never totally terrible clean singing bits, interesting use of saxophone which one of the member's plays, and some killer guest spots and you wind up with a baffling everything-and-the-kitchen-sink tech-death album.
While I’m of the opinion not every section or idea is gold with so many parts in each song, the band’s chaotic and insanely dense approach to songwriting is the real winner here. The experimental and quirky ideas also add a big sense of fun and joy to an otherwise merciless onslaught of ever-shifting technical death metal.
While Peripheral Cortex may not entirely be bringing anything new to the table with God Kaiser Hell, the sheer absurdity and over-the-top nature of it all is fucking beautiful and helps this stand out from most tech-death bands. I’d suggest giving this a few spins as there is a lot to digest and it all comes at you with a million twists and turns per song. If you like what you’re hearing, you can purchase the album through the Peripheral Cortex Bandcamp Page. You can follow the group over on the Peripheral Cortex Facebook Page.