4. Blood Incantation – Starspawn
As otherworldly as your piss-weak earth mind can handle, Blood Incantation’s Starspawn took elements from death metal’s entire history and contorted it into new shapes. While defiantly old-school at its very core, Starspawn still sounded fresh, new and unique….an incredible achievement in itself!
Believe the hype, these guys are the real fuckin’ deal and with an atmosphere that conjured both Lucio Fulci-esque horror and Kubrickian sci-fi while delivering outstanding songs, Starspawn proved to be a true highlight of 2016.
If Voivod played death metal they’d want to sound like Blood Incantation.
3. Banisher – Oniric Delusions
Clocking in at just over thirty minutes and a scant seven tracks, Oniric Delusions was short, massively brutal and indebted to fellow countrymen, Decapitated. However, only a fool wrote these boys off as mere imitators!
An exercise in utmost speed and incredible tightness, marked by super-dextrous palm-muting and occasional acid bath dischord – all perfectly balanced and controlled, of course – Banisher proved to be an astonishing death metal force to be reckoned with.
With strong and memorable songwriting at its core, Oniric Delusions delivered an incredibly focussed pummelling that reverberated to your very core.
2. Gorguts – Pleiades Dust (EP)
Pleiades Dust was a tour de force – spoken in a virtually unrecognisable musical dialect known only to mastermind Luc Lemay himself – and one that was unencumbered by tradition and completely transcendent in it’s chaotically dissonant complexity.
Toying with death metal’s building blocks, Pleiades Dust ultimately reshaped them amidst discordant guitar leads and harmonic wails while other, equally foreign, atonal noises pushed and shoved against changing tempos and whiplash-inducing time signatures.
As expected, there was no groove to get behind and no simple riff to get that head-banging. This technical madness was bound by no logical means of ‘normal’ musical expression and was bewilderingly brilliant because of it. In fact, the only reliable element on Pleiades Dust was Luc Lemay’s now trademarked anguished roar.
Gorguts in 2016….there’s still no one that sounds quite like them