Inanimate Existence – Underneath a Melting Sky (Technical Death Metal)

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I never really went on board the hype train for Inanimate Existence when Calling From a Dream came out last year. I understand why people were loving their stuff as it was a bit different than most techdeath and they are great musicians but it just wasn’t for me (especially the clean vocals I couldn’t get passed). Due to that I wasn’t really expecting too much from Underneath a Melting Sky.

Oh boy was I wrong (again, see Archspire review) though! Inanimate Existence have once again made lineup changes, this time I think it really made them hit the spot for me though. Gone are the clean vocals, it’s heavier than their last album and in general just appeals to me way more than Calling From a Dream ever did. Sure they might not stick out as much as they did before and are now closer to bands like Hideous Divinity, Rivers of Nihil or Beyond Creation but to me that’s nothing wrong because that’s the type of techdeath I enjoy listening to. Forever to Burn and the title track Underneath a Melting Sky instantly makes me change my views on the band and are miles better than any song I’ve heard from them before in all honesty. The whole album melts (pun intended) together well as the songs transition flawlessly.

I am really happy to hear a band that I once didn’t enjoy listening to have now released an album I spin regularly. All within a year! 2017 has turned out to be an insane year for techdeath, I feel like I need to review and change how I grade this genre as there has been so many high quality albums the top scores just keeps pouring in compared to last year. That probably tell more about how lucky we are as fans of the genre than my grading though. Inanimate Existence offers us another album to add for our collection of technical death metal.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheInanimateExistence
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Inanimatetweets
Label: The Artisan Era
For fans of: Rivers of Nihil and Beyond Creation
Favorite song: Underneath a Melting Sky
Score: 4/5

Origin – Unparalleled Universe (Technical Brutal Death Metal)

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From the crazy White Ward jazz-post-black metal experience I go to something I feel right at home with. It’s time to review one of the technical brutal death metal greats, Origin. A band which has given us mortals some of the best brutal techdeath that’s ever existed since their formation in 1997. Since then the band has released one EP and Unparalleled Universe will be the seventh full-length release, something very few techdeath bands have even done actually. With heavy hitting albums like Antithesis and Omnipresent fresh in mind how does Unparalleled Universe stand next to them?

Have to be said Origin still got it, even seven albums and 20 years into their career. However I lack that Wrath of Vishnu, The Aftermath and All Things Dead feel to it. It’s a good album but next to a discography like Origins they almost slay themself. I always hate reviewing albums like this in all honesty. When a band has a really good discography should they get punished for releasing something not on the very very top? I mean if this was a debut or even a sophomore album I would say something along the lines of “omg this is one of the best bands that will tear the future apart!!!”. I don’t know, this is a freaking great album but knowing what Origin has done in the past I know I can expect more. A great album doesn’t cut it this year within brutal death metal, not with Dying Fetus, Broken Hope, Decrepit Birth and Suffocation getting releases out. Mithridatic, Dajjal, Burden of Prescience and Origins longest track as of yet Unequivocal are the highlights of this album and especially Unequivocal makes me go all headbang mode and presents Origin in top form. It’s a good album and any Origin fan should get it. As I said they still got the touch. However I know there is more brutality to be unleashed from them, some songs are just too soft for my liking to make this a real heavy hitter as an Origin album should be.

Unparalleled Universe is out now through Agonia Records in EU and Nuclear Blast in the US. With this review I am also bringing back the score scale, this time instead of a 1-10 scale it will be a 1-5 one. 5 being the highest grade and 1 the lowest.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Origin
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/OriginBand
Label: Agonia Records (EU) and Nuclear Blast (US)
For fans of: Nile and Decrepit Birth
Favorite song: Unequivocal
Score: 3.5/5

Somnium Nox – Terra Inanis (Atmospheric Black Metal)

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It’s been a long time I got to listen to some new atmospheric black metal! Finally the time has come when I can be taken into the vast darkness that atmospheric black metal usually offers. Hailing from Australia the band was formed last year and features the drummer from Norse, which was a big reason I wanted to check them out. Distorted guitars, harsh atmospheric background music with screeching from the depths of hell, tempo-changes and use of various instruments. You know what I am talking about, it’s the backbone of any good atmospheric black metal album and Somnium Nox does it better than most. This is a very deep album that stirs up emotions throughout the three songs, songs that could in all honesty be seen as one as they transition into each other really well.

Speaking of using various instruments, the use of a didgeridoo is present on this album but Somnium Nox definitely don’t overuse it. It’s just there to create some background atmosphere, just like their samples are and I think finding the balance on using these things is what differs a good and a great atmospheric black metal band. There are a lot of good atmospheric black metal bands out there but only a few that can really get all these components to really jell together. Fen, Saor, Panopticon, Winterfylleth and Agalloch being some of these bands that comes to mind but Somnium Nox debut album is one of the best atmospheric black metal albums I’ve heard this year, if not the best, I am interested to see if they can be consistent enough to play with the big boys in a few years.

Terra Inanis is a great example on how to make a atmospheric black metal debut. The future is very bright for Somnium Nox and I wouldn’t be surprised if people name them when talking about the atmospheric black metal greats in the future. Terra Inanis is out now through Transcending Obscurity Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SomniumNox
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
For fans of: Panopticon and Fen
Favorite song: The Alnwick Apotheosis

Enfold Darkness – Adversary Omnipotent (Technical Black/Death Metal)

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It’s been eight years since Enfold Darkness released their debut Our Cursed Rapture. A debut which was quite well received by the metal community. The wait has been long but now they are finally releasing their sophomore album Adversary Omnipotent. So who are Enfold Darkness? Hailing from Nashville, United States, the band was formed in 2005 and plays a technical black/death hybrid. To my ears this isn’t something I usually come across so I’ve been quite interested in hearing what Adversary Omnipotent has to offer.

What’s also interesting is that Adversary Omnipotent is a concept album, made of a story the band themselves have written. Having this in mind while listening to the album makes you see it in a different light. Or darkness as it would be because this is a tale filled with magic, death and destruction. As a fan of music and fantasy it is no secret I dwell in stories being told through metal music. Just as I enjoyed Amon Amarth’s Jomsviking and Siegelord’s Ascent of the Fallen last year I am a fan of what Enfold Darkness is all about. The music in itself differs quite a bit from those bands though. These guys have more in common with Inferi, The Black Dahlia Murder and even Dissection. A hybrid not often seen, a Chimera.

Like technical crushing riffs, mixture of various genres and wrapped up in a dark story? Then Enfold Darkness sophomore release Adversary Omnipotent is for you! Adversary Omnipotent comes out July 14th through The Artisan Era.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EnfoldDarkness
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/enfolddarkness
Label: The Artisan Era
For fans of: The Black Dahlia Murder and Inferi
Favorite song: Banishment

Deity – Deity (Technical Death Metal)

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Deity were formed by the duo and long time friends Danny Alessandro and John Massey about 15 years ago (!). They have since then worked on material, letting it grow until they felt it was good enough to be released to the world. Personally I am glad they did as they seem to have unleashed the Deity in a pure form of metal.

The intro is a sweet symphony that doesn’t make you think about death metal at all, since it’s simply beautiful, and I was wondering if I really did listen to death metal act Deity. Beginning of Extinction brings the chaos right to my ears though on song number two and now I feel right at home. Take a bit of Suffocation, smidge of Gorguts and top it off with Death then you got the main influences in the sound of Deity. Lovers of technical riffs, no clean singing and shredding beware as this is an album made for you, the way Deity themselves would like it to sound. The album is filled with great solos and riffs that you can’t stand still on and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this Canadian (again a great techdeath band from Canada) duo live on stage as a supporting act to the likes of Gorguts, Cryptopsy or Archspire. Or why not even do it with other up and coming bands like Samskaras and Fractal Generator. Would be sweet lineups!

I think this album rocks. Anything from the instrumental songs From Which We Came, We Now Return, the acoustic In Time to the shredding tunes of Rituals is a joy for my ears. Favorite tracks on the album being Beginning of Extinction, Rituals and Illuminate the Unwilling.

Deity’s self-titled debut is out June 2nd as a independent release.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DeityMetalCA
For fans of: Suffocation and Gorguts
Favorite song: Beginning of Extinction

Fractal Generator – Apotheosynthesis (Atmospheric Death Metal)

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The Canadian trio (040118180514, 040114090512 and 102119200914) Fractal Generator calls their music Atmospheric Death Metal so I instantly jumped on yet another band that names themselves after a genre I haven’t really heard of. I personally would call it technical death metal but whatever really that’s not what I want to talk about. I am here to talk about how awesome Fractal Generator are!

This is sci-fi metal in the same kind of spacecraft Wormed makes their music. It’s brutal, got great riffs in it and a lyrical theme on space and time. This sci-fi journey is one you do not want to miss. From the very start Fractal Generator tell us how life, death, space and time is and my favorite track Human how cruel our race is. And I love every second of it. According to metal archives this album was originally an independent digital release in 2015 but I am very happy Everlasting Spew Records are releasing it this year as both a digital and physical release so people like me can get to know these hard hitting metalheads.

One thing I really liked on the album as a side note is that Reflections even uses Darth Vaders famous breathing as samples in it. Freaking awesome if I do say so myself. Apotheosynthesis is an album technical death metal fans would be wise to get, Canada has yet another great techdeath band coming for mankind.

Fractal Generator – Apotheosynthesis is out now from Everlasting Spew Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fractalgeneratorofficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/fractalgen
For fans of: Zyklon and Wormed
Favorite song: Human

Rapheumets Well – Enders Door (Progressive Death/Black Metal)

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Are you ready for a sci-fi concept album? Follow the rogue travler Eryos and how he discovered an artifact that would change his place in cosmos forever. This one hour long journey will leave you wanting more of Eryos and his adventures. Rapheumets Well were formed in 2008, North Carolina USA, after changing name from Blue Man’s God (created 2002). Having had a very wide range of influences on their albums, experimenting in classical, ambience and metal music this band stands out. Enders Door is the bands third release after having told other stories within this multi-verse on Dimensions and The Exile.

One thing is certain when you listen to Rapheumets Well, it’s epic. Much like you find Dimmu Borgir’s symphonic black metal massive and sometimes overwhelms you with their orchestral music Rapheumets Well does the same. Differences are many though. The progressive elements and clean vocals (both female and male) makes you think about The Faceless more than Dimmu Borgir. There is also a lot of death metal influences in the music, still very symphonic, which bands such as Fleshgod Apocalypse are known for. The whole sci-fi take on all this is awesome and at times I think on movies such as Tron or Ghost in the Shell while listening to Enders Door. The different directions the songs take is also what makes Enders Door sick out from the rest. It feels like a movie in musical form, and it’s freaking epic!

I can recommend Rapheumets Well to anyone who is out for something a little bit different. It’s a great concept album with various of influences covering a wide range of genres. I would also love to see this band live, from what I’ve read they seem to make it like a play when performing their music. I can imagine it being a great experience in the veins of what Fleshgod Apocalypse or Carach Angren does.

Rapheumets Well – Enders Door is out May 26th through Test Your Metal Records.

Also with this review I will leave you guys for two weeks. Traveling to Tokyo tomorrow and I will not be reviewing any new albums while there. Hopefully I will get the chance to catch a concert on some of the local bands there though!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Rapheumetswell
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rapheumetswell
For fans of: Dimmu Borgir and The Faceless
Favorite song: Lechery Brought the Darkness

Hideous Divinity – Adveniens (Technical/Brutal Death Metal)

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Guess what? There is a third good album that came out April 28th! Hideous Divinity is a band I am sure many of you are familiar with. Being formed in 2007 (in Norway actually) and featuring two ex-Hour of Penance back then they took the brutal technical death metal scene by storm. Since then quite a few lineup changes have happened, one were Mauro Mercurio (ex-Hour of Penance) left forcing Enrico Schettino to rebuild. That didn’t stop him nor the band though as the debut album and sophomore received much praise from the metal community. Adveniens has been on many peoples minds when thinking what album can be a contender for best techdeath album this year.

What strikes me straight away is the punishing drums that keeps on hammering your skull. Enrico hasn’t lost his touch on the guitar either as he has yet another really strong performance. Stefano Franceschini on bass (Aborted) adds a lot of heavyness with his bass play, as expected from a man with his caliber and he already showed it on Cobra Verde, this time he is even better though. There is a lot here that you can hear have the roots from Hour of Penance, which isn’t a bad thing since it’s one of my favorite bands when it comes to techdeath. Ages Die starts off violent with some of the best work Hideous Divinity has done. Hard to top that you would think right? Be sure as hell they do though! Passages starts off slow (one of the few times you get to breath on the album) and it features several different “passages” throughout the song, showcasing a lot of different aspect to their music. The song got a bit of a Nile touch to it that way (I’ve always loved how they change tempos) and it sticks out for me.

All in all this is a great album. Hideous Divinity is definitely one of the best technical death metal bands going, having released three solid albums now. Getting slightly better with each one. Italy might just have Europe’s best techdeath scene right now with Septycal Gorge, Deceptionist (featuring two ex-Hideous Divinity members), Hour of Penance and Hideous Divinity all released top albums these past three years. And they don’t look like they are slowing down either!

Adveniens is out now through Unique Leader Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hideousdivinity
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HideousDivinity
For fans of: Hour of Penance and Nile
Favorite song: Passages

Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer (Deathcore)

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Released the same day as Firespawn’s The Reprobate I had to make a tough choice which to review first. Since I’d review deathcore albums for half the week I thought it was time for some death metal then. That said it doesn’t necessarily mean I like this any less! It’s actually only been a year since Shadow of Intent dropped their debut album Primordial, the Halo (video game) themed melodic deathcore sound was perfect for me to have as one of the first review on The Metal Gamer. I didn’t have it in my top 20 of the year but that was honestly a miss, Primordial mainly missed out simply due to me forgetting how great it was and took in some albums on my list that I reviewed closer in time to when I was making the list. Oh well I guess that happens to a lot of people. So does Reclaimer live up to one of last years best releases?

They got the epic entry down with We Descend… orchestral setting joined with Ben Duerr’s growls from hell (or space in this case), sweet guitar plays and roaring drums. The orchestral elements are a lot more present on Reclaimer than on Primordial, which is great in my opinion as it adds more depth to the music. It also feels closer to the Halo series due to it, more of an epic battle kind of feeling. The use of clean vocals I was a bit scared how it would turn out but already when the single The Horror Within came out I knew there was nothing to worry about. He nails it! What else is new on Reclaimer? Oh Shadow of Intent managed to get some really class acts to feature on Reclaimer. Or how about Jason Evans (Ingested) and Dickie Allen (Infant Annihilator) joining their evil vile forces on The Catacombs? Aleksandr Shikolai (aka Alex Terrible from Slaughter to Prevail) continues to remain an active presence having featured in quite a few albums so far. He does a great job just as well here on The Gathering of All. Then we also have a vocalist from a band I recently started getting into Tom Barber from Lorna Shore on The Prophet’s Beckoning.

While I see those three songs as highlights on Reclaimer, Shadow of Intent pushes their sound even further even if those songs wouldn’t be on the album. Songs such as The Horror Within, The Forsaken Effigy and The Great Schism (instrumental song with sweet guitar, piano solos) are more than great examples of that. Primordial was a great debut, Reclaimer is, only one year later, even better and really shows the talent Shadow of Intent got. To be able to develop so much as a band in such a short amount of time is nothing short but greatness in the making. Who knows how far these guys can go? Maybe it’s time to bring Shadow of Intent into the discussion who can be crowned as the new deathcore kings soon? All hail the king Shadow of Intent. The best deathcore band to have spawned these past years.

April 28th was a wicked day for music, one of the best death metal and deathcore releases of the year out on the same day. Shadow of Intent’s sophomore album Reclaimer is out now as an independent release. A must have for any deathcore fan.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ShadowofIntentCT
For fans of: Angelmaker and Aversions Crown
Favorite song: The Catacombs

So This Is Suffering – Palace of the Pessimist (Deathcore)

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As I did the Enterprise Earth review yesterday I realized I’d totally forgotten some deathcore releases I’d even looked forward to review. One of those is So This Is Suffering’s Palace of the Pessimist. Being formed back in 2006 they are one of the oldest deathcore bands going (yes I know the scene isn’t that old), having released their first EP Harlot in 2009 and eventually their full-length debut A Deathscene on Delay in 2012. Despite being formed 11 years ago Palace of the Pessimist is the bands sophomore album, having had to wait five years for this record. So the question is, is this worth the wait? Will So This Is Suffering stand their ground in this ever so growing scene?

Sleeper Hold builds up the album, starting slow and groovy but that changes less than one minute in as it unleashes chaos. To follow it up Lecherous got the most wicked technical riffs quickly turning it into my favorite song on the album. After that great start you might wonder what’s next in line. My answer is it doesn’t get any better than that, does that mean the rest of the album is bad? No it means Lecherous is simply too good of a song in my opinion. Other high points for me are Columbine and Dreameater, both tracks that’s become music videos and are probably the two tracks that’s drawn you into listening to Palace of the Pessimist. Rest of the album is solid too and if this release came out almost any other year I would place it as a contender for deathcore album of the year. The competition is simply too fierce this year though, a good or great album won’t win this year. A freaking amazing album that blows you away will. Who knows though, some albums grows on you more with time and some you like less with time. I might change my opinion giving this album more spins the coming eight months. Time will tell.

What I do know is that So This Is Suffering is a band some people might take too lightly. Even with them being veterans within the genre I sometimes think they are overlooked. Don’t be that guy. So This Is Suffering is a band among the greats of deathcore and Palace of the Pessimist will make any headbanger happy.

So This Is Is Suffering’s sophomore album Palace of the Pessimist is out now through your favorite brutal label Unique Leader Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sothisissuffering
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sothisistweetin
For fans of: Boris the Blade and Fit For An Autopsy
Favorite song: Lecherous