Alluvial – The Deep Longing for Annihilation (Technical Death Metal)


Formed in 2016 by the mastermind Wes Hauch (Black Crown Initiate, ex-The Faceless) and Keith Merrow (Conquering Dystopia and Demisery) Alluvial had a lot of metal fans eager to see what the duo could come up with on their first release. The time is finally here and Alluvial gives us a late Christmas gift to kick off 2017 in style.

You will notice very fast that Alluvial is a different kind of band as it features no vocalist. This is purely instrumental (which some of you might guess seeing it involves Keith Merrow). It’s hard to pull off an album entirely instrumental due to many reasons. Will the listener be interested in the album for the whole 52 minutes? Will the duo be able to express themselves well enough with only instruments? Questions like these needs to be answered on everyone single one listening. A reason my girlfriend isn’t a big fan of, as an example, Moonsorrow is due to them having too long songs and she ends up changing to track five minutes in.

I have to say I am quite surprised how well this album is executed. Even without vocals The Deep Longing for Annihilation is emotional and gets to you. The album is not for everyone but any fans of atmospheric and technical metal can certainly enjoy their time with it. An interesting project to say the least that turned out better than I expected with this being the first fully instrumental album I’ve reviewed. I recommend you to listen to a song or two first before making your mind up on this album. Just don’t give this album a miss simply because it’s an instrumental one, since with Wes and Keith on guitars they know how to express themselves even without vocals!

For fans of: Black Crown Initiate and Conquering Dystopia
Favorite song: Mirelands


Swine Overlord – Entheogenesis (Progressive Brutal Death Metal)


What’s this, progressive brutal death metal? Does that even exist? Apparently it does and it’s the American duo Will Peplinski and Anthony Viscusi who’s made something rather unique and named it, as awesome as it is, Swine Overlord. Entheogenesis is the bands second full-length actually as the band released Parables of Umbral Transcendence in 2014. Since then the band has taken the song-writing even further and Entheogenesis is a concept album “which offers a unique look at the development of the human psyche through the lens of western religion and eastern spirituality” as stated on their store. The album cover is stunning and is created by Chinese artist Yang Guang (Equilibrium, Putridity, Inanimate Existence) who’s made one of his best works as of yet.

I was unsure what to expect from this album as I’d never heard of this cross-over of genres before. After listening to Entheogenesis though I just want more of this. Think Beyond Creation molded with Black Crown Initiate on speed and you’re halfway there. This is great. The song-writing and religious horror-story filled with gore is crazy epic and Swine Overlord are great at changing the tempo throughout the whole album. The instrumental intermissions, as you can call it, in the album works great to add extra prog to the party (I: The Creator and Riverchrist for example). Meld it all together and you have yourself an album that stands out and is beautiful yet sick and brutal. Now excuse me while I dig into all of Swine Overlord’s discography while I keep on telling you how great they are.

For fans of: Decimated Humans and Beyond Creation
Favorite song: Procreating the Offspring of Gods and Men

Inanimate Existence – Calling from a Dream (Progressive/Technical Death Metal)


Calling from a Dream is Inanimate Existences third full-length since their formation in 2010. Meaning they’ve been quite productive since their debut Liberation Through Hearing came out in 2012. During their six years they’ve had quite a few lineup changes but the core of the drummer Ron Casey and vocalist Cameron Porras have always remained, keeping the quality high even with those changes. Has to be said this is the first album featuring Taylor Wientjes, who has performed with the band live for some time though, can say he passed his trial so congratulations! Oh and in case you didn’t already know Inanimate Existence are under the Unique Leader Records label. Which we all know means high quality death metal incoming.

What hits me first is the female clean singing vocals, which I know has been Inanimate Existence thing but it always hits me as I don’t really expect it. I guess that’s also something that’s been bugging me with Inanimate Existence and made me not fully get on the hype train surrounding the band. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Calling from a Dream is a good album but I guess I don’t like the changes of tempo the way they do it like many other tech death fans. That’s more of a personal liking that I want it to be more brutal, less progressive though and that definitely shouldn’t stop you from grabbing this album. There are some tracks on the album I really do dig and get back to though, like Pulse of the Mountain’s Heart. There the vocals fit into perfect symphony, together with the use of a flute (!) I can imagine it being the mountain in the woods calling.

So to sum it up. Is Calling from a Dream by Inanimate Existence a good album worth recommending? Yes, these Americans are great musicians that have their unique touch of tech death that will leave many in awe. Is the album a personal favorite of mine? No, I sadly can’t get passed how the clean vocals sounds and too much prog for my taste. Who knows though, music taste changes and in a few years I might get back to this album and absolutely love it.

For fans of: Decrepit Birth and Arkaik
Favorite song: Pulse of the Mountain’s Heart

Wastewalker – Funeral Winds (Technical Death Metal)


Having one of the most brutal album covers I’ve seen this year (lets face it a great album cover means a lot) I instantly got the feeling that Wastewalker – Funeral Winds would be something special. How glad I was that I decided to make Funeral Winds one of my final reviews of the year! Starting of with Hazmat Birth, this is a great introduction on what is to come. The high and low growls, guitar solos, melodical teachnical death performs a sweet symphony of death and it’s not a surprise that I see the band featuring ex members of Conducting From The Grave and Alterbeast. You can tell Wastewalker consists of veterans within the metal community.

The way Wastewalker can switch from death, tech death to progressive in one song is a feat not many bands can pull off. Take Fleshwounds as an example, to me that song is near the complete package of showing different genres, without it feeling forced, in less than 5 minutes. Great stuff from the Americans.

This has been a truely great year for technical death metal. So many new bands making great debut albums and veterans releasing new material where they still showcase greatness. Wastewalker – Funeral Winds is a sick album and even though you might think you’ve had your fill of tech death for a year you would do good not to miss this one as it’s one the best albums coming out this year.

For fans of: The Ritual Aura and Alterbeast
Favorite song: Fleshwounds

Dischordia – Thanatopsis (Progressive Death Metal)


Some might debate if Dischordia is technical death metal or progressive. It is hard to tell at times however I do feel Dischordia is more towards the progressive side like The Faceless, or even djent masters Meshuggah than lets say Archspire. A bit slower, less brutal with more riff and djent based music for the most part. There are segments that leans more towards the faster brutal tech death sound though. Thanatopsis is my first contact with Dischordia and after hearing James Dorton (Black Crown Initiate) would feature on the album I knew that something special is going on at the Dischordia camp.

James does add some punch to the song The Ruin but I am glad to say that the band stands perfectly fine on their own feet, as it isn’t even the best song on the album. Thanatopsis II: The Ruin is a good song but songs like Thanatopsis II: The Road, The Curator and Bone Hive are masterpieces with djent, tech death and progressive elements to them. Hard to not groove to those bad boys.

Want a good mix of Meshuggah and The Faceless I would recommend giving Dischordia a try.

For fans of: The Faceless and Meshuggah
Favorite song: Thanatopsis II: The Road

Burial in the Sky – Persistence of Thought (Technical Death Metal)

Burial In The Sky album art.JPG

Burial in the Sky is a project made by the multi-instrumentalists duo, and longtime friends, Will Okronglis and James Tomedi in 2013. Since the formation the duo has released two EP’s with different drummers accompanying them and joining them on Persistence of Thought we have none other than world class drummer Samus Paulicelli (Decrepit Birth, ex-Abigail Wiliams). A very nice addition I have to say.

Persistence of Thought is what I would call Tech Metal done right as it’s intelligent, got both melodic sides to it but also raw and brutal segments that when you blend it together with great song-writing it becomes just something more than music. It becomes your transition into a whole other dimension and it’s just beautiful.

It is hard to pick just one song as my favorite song, since this is an experience meant to be experienced as a whole. I do find one thing easy though, to tell you to pick up this album. Today. Preferably yesterday.

For fans of: Fallujah and Rivers of Nihil
Favorite song: Dimensons Divide

Destroying the Devoid – Paramnesia (Progressive Death Metal)


Destroying the Devoid is one of the latest additions to the great roster at Unique Leader Records. Created as a solo project by Craig Peters to compose material beyond the traditional confines of technical death metal according to Unique Leader Records website. The opening track Chasm of Existence starts of as a normal tech death song but eventually becomes way more than that as it gets into the symphonic field and I even think some parts resemble old school gaming sound, really cool stuff. Carnivale Nocturno makes me instantly think of clowns, especially Pennywise. You just need to listen to the opening minute and you will get why. The song reeks of fear and gives me chills like from the old movie IT.

The whole album keeps changing tempo from tech death to progressive and symphonic, creating a rather unique mix that Peters was looking for. Beyond the Dark Veil part 1 to 3 are just beautiful. Starts off with an instrumental track that sets the mood on what is to come, which is just great progressive death metal. I think it’s good Unique Leader Records have added a new band like Destroying the Devoid to their roster as Peters got a really cool sound going and I hope he keeps this up.

For fans of: Black Crown Initiate and Ne Obliviscaris
Favorite song: Beyond the Dark Veil, Pt. II: Into the Darkness Beyond