Tech-Death Tuesday: WOUNDS Quickly Rise Through The Ranks With Their Outstanding EP, Light Eater
Hey there tech fiends, it's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual reminder that if you're looking for more sick music, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
In a crowded field, the current tech-death sphere as far as newer bands go seems quite self-aware of the state of things within the genre. While I’m all for the all-out shred wars focused approach as a lifelong Origin and Necrophagist fan, the general consensus now seems to be that to stick out, a different path must be taken. Although Chicago-based bruisers Wounds aren’t new per se, their recent offering, Light Eater, is their first under their shorter name and certainly a promising statement of intent regarding their capabilities and ambitions as a group musically.
Like last year’s release from Québéc natives Hatalom I covered here, Wounds takes a similar approach to tech-death as that group has. Which is to say, they sort of draw and thread the needle between all the varied facets the best within the genre have carved out over the decades. So, Light Eater composites the groove-oriented tech-death, with the brutal oriented varieties, stirs in the super shredding OG tech death angle, and adds a solid dollop of progressive tech-death leanings to all of that. Again, the overall end result very much reminds me of Hatalom, it is not unique when broken down within the influences worn on it’s sleeve per facet of their sound. But, it is absolutely unique when it comes to how they unite all these ideas and sub-styles of tech-death together.
At the end of the day, impressive eclectic compositions and a sound built on interesting blends of varied elements can be just as interesting as a group solely devoted to one realm tech-death wise. Furthermore, this feels like the beginning of something more, and, learning that they’ve been active since 2006 under a prior longer name shows me it’s quite possible they can truly outdo themselves next time given their experience already. Which, is not to say Light Eater isn’t impressive, it is, and every musician performing on it delivers a killer performance worthy of adulation and recognition.
The band lists Dying Fetus, Death, Psycroptic, Soreption, Aborted, Cattle Decapitation, and Rivers of Nihil as influences and that does fill you in quite a bit as to what Light Eater offers. The group’s ability to really mix and match from all over yet retain some sense of fluidity to their songwriting is already a sign of even greater things to come. Put simply, this is a fun release by a band with nowhere to go but up.
That of course, depends on the acumen and ambitions of the music behind it, because, material like this in lesser hands often feels scattershot and unfocused. It does take a lot of skill to weave all these different forms of tech-death together in a way that’s both cohesive, memorable, and fun to listen to. Wounds hit all those points expertly, which is what makes Light Eater such a fun release to jam. A strong quality cover art only aides their quest to rise through the ranks, so, employing the expert talents of Sam Nelson (First Fragment, Virvum, Aethereus, Warforged, etc.) is simply a cherry on top of an already delectable release.
As usual, what’s particularly interesting to me about the tech-death sphere at it’s best, is that it’s a very passionate fanbase just like it’s underground focused death metal friends in slam and brutal death metal. Which is to say, it may not always capture reviewers hearts the way other metal genres do, but, the fans of it do know quality when they hear it and that helps what’s best within it to gain attention on the merits more often than not. I say that because Everlasting Spew Records recently snatched up Wounds and signed them on the strength of the attention Light Eater got predominately from tech-death fans alone. To me, that’s how it should be, and part of why I love this community that surrounds tech-death. As usual, you be the judge after clicking play below on the Bandcamp embed of Light Eater for those who haven't heard this release yet. If you’re enjoying what you hear, the release can be purchased through the Wounds Bandcamp Page. You can follow the group over on the Wounds Facebook Page.