Tech-Death Tuesday: Journey Down The Apocalyptic Road Less Traveled With A NOVELIST And SLAUGHTERBOX
Hey there tech fiends! It's time once again to deliver some technical nuggets of joy to your ears with Tech-Death Tuesday. I'm pretty excited about the two bands I've chosen to cover today. But I suppose that's par for the course when you geek out about music as much as I do! Last weeks column was a slight deviation from the typical format of pairing something more progressive with something batshit crazy. But this week we are back to normal in that sense. If you like what you hear below, feel free to peruse prior editions of Tech-Death Tuesday here.
A Novelist- Portraits
Today we begun our musical trek with Louisiana newcomers A Novelist. At the very end of last year on December 8th, the band released their debut full-length, Portraits. While I've continued to listen to it since it came out, I unfortunately lacked the time to cover it before years end. So here I am attempting to remedy that most egregious of errors on my part! Portraits is a very interesting album by tech-death standards, and not only for its pronounced progressive influence that never feels forced or cheap. A big part of its draw is in its chameleon-like shifts between a myriad of different tech-death styles and influences. When combined with their proggy and ambitious songwriting, you end up with a record that somehow finds a way to escape the trappings and limitations of the sometimes clear set of musical influences on display. While the record wasn't recorded by Jamie King,(Between The Buried And Me/Wretched/a trillion other bands) he did have a large hand in the sound of this record in a producer, mixing, and mastering capacity. All of which breathes warm life into the music that plays out on Portraits. Which, given the often mechanical sounding production of tech-death, is a welcome and pleasant surprise! A Novelist have staked out a pretty solid debut with Portraits that hints at future greatness to come.
Slaughterbox- The Ubiquity Of Subjugation
A big part of why I wanted to do this column in the first place was to fulfill a personal desire to highlight what I felt were underground releases from the past that never got the acclaimed they deserved. In keeping with that part of the Tech-Death Tuesday mission, I bring you California Technical Deathgrind freaks Slaughterbox. At the time that The Ubiquity Of Subjugation was released, it hardly received the praise it deserves. And now it seems the band has lost several members since it came out. Here's to hoping they get fresh blood in their ranks and the reign of Slaughterbox continues. For now, we can at least celebrate their maddening 2011 full-length, The Ubiquity Of Subjugation.
It's a visceral mindfuck of a record, the kind whose harshness and over-the-top sweeps will certainly not be up everyone's alley. Yet there is a raw hatred and shocking intensity to the music here that keeps me coming back after several years of spinning it. The cover art no doubt, brings to mind something that Cattle Decapitation would use, and at times the in-your-face approach on display here brings to mind the sonic annihilation of Cattle Decapitation. But overall, this release has far more in common with Origin and the more frenzied technical bursts you'd find on a Cephalic Carnage record. Albeit, crossbred together and reduced into a swift grind influenced format of skull frying power aided by wretched and demented vocals. This is truly a underground classic in my eyes, and if you've never heard it, you should probably give it a shot. Now.