Hey there tech-fiends, I hope some of you enjoyed last week's stream of the somewhat unorthodox release from Italy's Axioma. The early stream train will continue in due time, but for now, we're back to review mode for sick releases you need to hear. Before we get to today's picks, here's the usual reminder that all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
Hannes Grossmann – The Crypts Of Sleep
At this point in his career, drummer and visionary music composer Hannes Grossmann needs no lengthy introduction. He's more than proven himself as one of the best players around in metal. But there's always been one thing about his output after Necrophagist – Epitaph that's bothered me. And that would be the general public's frequent unawareness as to how much of what Obscura sounds like was written and crafted by Hannes Grossmann. As such, it's hard for me to view his solo material as "aping" Obscura, since so much of that sound came from him to begin with. People forget that Obscura did not sound nearly as revolutionary until Hannes and Christian Muenzer joined the group, which had existed for years prior to them joining.
But I digress, the man is busy as ever and is back with his second solo album called The Crypts Of Sleep. Naturally, new Hannes Grossmann music is near always a given that it'll be good, so the question then is how does this compare to his first solo record, The Radial Covenant? Overall, it keeps the same solid balance between tech-death aggression and ambitious proggy heights that The Radial Covenant adventurously explored. Although this time the proggier side of his other outlet, Alkaloid, seems to have crept further into the songwriting and style of the music this time around.
It definitely works though, and adds more variety to the album between his incredibly gifted tech-death writing skills. Also similar to last time, Hannes Grossmann has assembled a jaw-dropping line-up of musicians that are expertly employed throughout the record to great effect.
In the end, The Crypts Of Sleep succeeds by not only building upon the foundation Hannes Grossmann laid down on his first solo album, The Radial Covenant, but by taking things in a new direction throughout many of the albums best cuts. It can be hard to comprehend how one guy can keep churning out such phenomenal music year after year, but while he is, let's appreciate it in all its glory. You can order the album through the Hannes Grossman Bandcamp Page here. Be sure to follow his solo musician page over on Facebook as well!
Crator – The Ones Who Create: The Ones Who Destroy
If memory serves me correct, it was our sites own Greg Kennelty who excitedly alerted me to these dudes back in November when he posted here at MI about their first song to air at the time. Ever since, I've been anxiously awaiting their album and now its finally been freshly released! Given the groups cumulative talents, I had a feeling this record would be something very eclectic and special, which has definitely proven true now that I've heard all of it. Crator's line-up includes: Famed drummer John Longstreth (Origin, Unmerciful, ex-Gorguts) alongside vocalist Jason Keyser (Origin, ex-Skinless, Mucopus), who is joined by phenomenal session bass playing by the legendary Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, Krallice), and rounded out by guitarist
Jeff Leifer (Foaming At The Mouth, Tentacles).
There's a massive diversity in both sound and song structure from track to track throughout all of The Ones Who Create : The Ones Who Destroy, yet it never feels like a sloppy mish-mash which has been poorly conceived. Overall, Crator's music sounds like a four way tie between Artifical Brain, Gigan, Krallice, and Origin. I can honestly say this record is absolutely bonkers and I fucking love it intensely. Each members performance is memorable, so its hard to only gush about one or two of them without making this review too lengthy. So to highlight something unique about it, I will say that Colin Marston lays down an incredible bass performance here that is given a lot of room to shine frequently in the mix, and really adds a massive secondary attack to the groups assault in a way similar to how Origin utilize their bass guitar attack in their music.
I fully expect this to be a big sleeper hit for a lot of death metal heads, its not just good, its fucking incredible music from start to finish.There's also some old school death metal influence to some of the riffs at times, along with an almost Spawn Of Possession feeling at times. Consider me floored by The Ones Who Create : The Ones Who Destroy. Snag a copy now if you know what's good for you, they can be purchased through the Crator Bandcamp Page here. Be sure to follow Crator on their Facebook Page as well. We can only hope this isn't a one-off experiment, and that a follow up release happens at the bare minimum.