Tech-Death Tuesday: Enjoy Even More 2016 Gems From UNFLESH And AZOOMA
Hey there tech-fiends! I hope some of you all enjoyed last weeks early Malignancy stream. I've got plenty of killer early album stream editions of Tech-Death Tuesday lined up to air before the year ends. Before we dive into today's two music picks, here's the usual reminder that all prior editions of this series can be perused here. Now let's get down to jam town.
Unflesh – Transcendence To Eternal Obscurity
Today's first topic of discussion is Unflesh, a solo project started by a talented musician named Ryan Beevers in 2014 who is based out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Just a few months ago, the first release from Unflesh dropped in the form of an earthshaking introductory EP called, Transcendence To Eternal Obscurity. Beyond the talented musicianship of Ryan Beevers who performs all the vocals, guitar, and bass work along with all the songwriting, the album features the phenomenal drum talents of none other than Hannes Grossman. This alone should give you a solid hint that the caliber of the music on display here is superb! Having heard quite a bit of praise about this release from some of my fellow music writers and some hardcore tech-death junkies, I knew I'd need to cover it eventually.
After giving Transcendence To Eternal Obscurity a multitude of spins, I've come away from hearing it with the conviction that Unflesh have a very promising future ahead of them. Like some of their recent tech-death peers, Unflesh seem to deliver a somewhat melodic death metal on steroids new-ish type take on the genre. In a way comparable to recent newcomers I've covered in this space such as Atlas Entity and others such as Kossuth. Although, the much bandied about by my friends when discussing Unflesh in terms of them being sonic comparable to Arsis does seem quite apropos as well.
Threaded into this technical melodic death metal framework is a hefty influence from black metal in the vein of groups that Unflesh mention enjoying such as Dissection, Angel Corpse, Dark Fortress, and others. This element within the Unflesh sound alone greatly helps Transcendence To Eternal Obscurity have an identity all its own. It could just be the fact that Hannes Grossman is drumming on this, but I also detect a subtle influence from Obscura and Necrophagist at times as well. All in all, this is a release you'll want to pick up, and keep an eye on what the project does in the future. If you dig what you're hearing you can purchase it through the Unflesh Bandcamp page here. Be sure to follow Unflesh over on their Facebook Page too.
Azooma – The Act of Eye
Azooma are not a new group per se, but for the sake of most of our readers out there, they will be. The band made a splash in the tech-death world back in 2014 when they released their initial EP, A Hymn of the Vicious Monster. Clocking in at just over 34 minutes, it truly feels more like an album than an introductory EP statement. For those new to the group, they hail from Iran, proving that even a authoritarian regime such as theirs can't stop the quality metal from flowing out. Now that 2016 is winding down, Azooma has returned with their debut full-length called Act of Eye that just dropped yesterday through Xtreem Music. Take a moment to look at the art, it's pretty damn cool!
Azooma play a somewhat old school inspired take on tech-death that leans towards progressive death metal overall than sheer face melting shred at all times. While at the same time, Azooma give off an almost Gorod meets old school Gorguts type vibe as well to paraphrase how my editor Islander at NoCleanSinging has expertly described them as before. The Act of Eye kicks into high-gear from the very start of track 1, "Act 1: Plague Of Predator", which has this fantastic murky rumble of an intro before laying down an impressive onslaught of slashing riffs, buoyant bass work, deathly howls, and swarming drum beats that should instantly make a believer out of you if you've never heard Azooma's music before.
From there the quality never dips, although track two "Act 2: Umbra Of Mith" that follows is probably my favorite song from the album overall. There's been a lot of great tech-death this year, but few of them can touch the jaw-dropping brilliance displayed on every song on The Act of Eye. Another thing that makes The Act of Eye great is its production, which was mixed and mastered by Gorod guitarist Mathieu Pascal, who also performs a guest solo on "Act 6: Flare of Flames". If you dig what you're hearing you can purchase The Act of Eye through the Xtreem Music Bandcamp page here. Be sure to follow Azooma over on their Facebook Page too.