I thought last weeks edition would be the last one I did for 2015, but here I am doing one more to cap the year off with. Christmas music got you down? Tired of Jingle Bells? Time to swap out the holiday induced bullshit pumping out of all the stores for some blastbeats and swarming deathly riffs. Here's to the end of 2015, you awful bastard of a beautiful year that taught me a lot. I'll be back on January 5th to resume a whole new year of Tech-Death Tuesday posts. Until next time, Happy Holidays and a drunken New Year. And if you missed any prior editions of this series but want to catch up, go here.
Fields Of Elysium- Capax Universi
Some of you may recall me mentioning recently in an intro to a prior weeks edition that I plan to cover some older tech-death releases from time to time that slipped under peoples radar entirely. So I've chosen New Mexico based act Fields Of Elysium as the first of these blast from the past groups to cover with their 2012 EP, Capax Universi. But I'm not covering it today merely because I think its an underground classic, but also to bring the group to your attention since they plan to release new music in 2016. Capax Universi is a strange release, its delivery is over-the-top and frenetic, yet the ideas at hand speak to a love of both prog and jazz beyond their primary warp speed delivery. This is everything tech-death fans love, taken to an unyielding extreme that fries your skull at every turn. It'd be easy to dismiss this as chaotic noise, but that would be a shameful generalization of the skill, creativity, and next-level intensity on display in every track. Capax Universi is the perfect holiday pick me up for those food and alcohol induced hangovers over the next week.
I'm glad I get to do one final column for you readers out there, since I really wanted to cover Fractum before years end and give praise to this fine German groups dazzling 2015 release called Gravitous. I haven't really seen it covered at any media outlets, so I'm here to bring it to your attention! As most of you have noticed, I try to make sure that the groups I'm covering for the week sound different enough from each other to appeal to different tech-death tastes. Since Fields Of Elysium was today's balls-to-the-walls pick, Fractum is today's cerebral pick. Gravitous is the groups first release, and offers a lot more than your typical flashy lead guitar driven tech-death sound. There is a hard-to-place but evident old-school feeling to the rhythm heavy riff focus to the songs here that helps this really stick out. Fractum do an excellent job at not only writing catchy memorable riffs that jump out at you, they also make sure to subtly return to those riffs a few times each song. While never writing songs that revolve around verse/chorus/verse type structures. This lends Gravitous a catchy feel due to the chorus type nature of the riffs, yet pairs it with a more non-linear and proggy approach to songwriting. The end result is a best of both worlds situation that offers a satisfying experience for tech-death fans, yet does so in a way that's surprisingly fresh and all their own.