Technical death metal was in very rude health in 2017 and these modern classics of the genre are already turning 5 years old….
Archspire – Relentless Mutation [Canada]
Canada’s Archspire relentlessly hammered away with mind-blowing proficiency and technical audacity on Relentless Mutation, their 3rd album in 7 years.
This kind of technical death metal has long since needed to conform to generic death metal rules – technical death metal is meant to challenge and bewilder – but, fortunately, there was much more to Archspire than just dazzling complexity.
With Relentless Mutation, Archspire consistently impressed while still delivering that most important aspect….actual songs! That’s right, this wasn’t no showboat that looked pretty while hiding its hollow core. Oh no, this meaty fucker actually set sail and its destination was tech death heaven!
Decrepit Birth – Axis Mundi [USA]
Making us wait a ridiculous seven years for Decrepit Birth‘s new album marks these Santa Cruza’s out as very naughty boys but damn, did they deliver the goods on Axis Mundi!
Decrepit Birth needn’t apologise for their lethargy though, they’ve been an integral part of the tech death scene for so long now that they’ve nothing inherently to prove. Fortunately then, Axis Mundi proved to be a masterclass, home to the kind of masterful compositions and mind-blowing performances that makes tech death so thrilling when delivered with this much passion, fury and forthright conviction.
2017 was a year in which fans found themselves drowning in tech death releases but with Axis Mundi, Decrepit Birth still managed to burst through to the surface….and we expected nothing less!
Hideous Divinity – Adveniens [Italy]
Somehow, with Adveniens, Hideous Divinity managed to improve on 2014’s Cobra Verde and served up an album that even the most trepidatious tech death fan could fall in love with!
These Italians delivered big on an album that was 3 years in the making, and their supreme talent and obsessive attention to detail resulted in 50 mins of aural violence that promised much….yet bestowed so much more than was expected.
With flawless performances throughout, Hideous Divinity solidified their place at the forefront of the brutal/tech death scene amidst a whirlwind of ultra-harsh vocals, insane drumming and no end of innovative riffing.
Devastating brutality finessed to the nth degree!
Inanimate Existence – Underneath A Melting Sky [USA]
Prog metal/tech death, you name it and Inanimate Existence threw it into the mix on their 4th full length, Underneath A Melting Sky!
In turns, both brutal and yet mesmerisingly melodic, this full on proggy experience and masterclass in story-telling and world-building, shook the foundations of tech death with its sheer scope and ambition.
Challenging, bewildering and technically audacious, Underneath A Melting Sky may not appease those tech death fans who require a little less prog and a little more bludgeoning, but those who delve into this concept quagmire will experience an album that stood head and shoulders over much of the tech death pack!
Origin – Unparalleled Universe [USA]
A supreme return to form after 2014’s relatively disappointing Omnipresent, Unparalleled Universe – the seventh studio album from tech death giants Origin – restored faith with an up-the-ante explosion of hyper-technicality.
Clinically efficient to the point of absurdity, this unequivocal highpoint in Origin’s career may feel sterile and soulless to some but we remain blown away by its perfected sense of controlled chaos.
Forever pushing boundaries, Origin excelled this time around by further pushing beyond the realms of plausibility to reach new highs. Not only did this make Unparalleled Universe infinitely more interesting than much of 2017’s tech death output, it has arguably provided Origin with a springboard to challenge themselves ever further in the future.
Where they go next is anyone’s guess!