Miazma – North (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Miazma

Album: North (2016)

Genre: Brutal/Progressive Death Metal

Label: The Black Wreath

 

 

Hailing from the charred and lifeless heart of my homeland, Miazma would have to be the first band from Alice Springs that I’ve come across. Not exactly a picture of grim beauty, the closest thing to windswept mountains Australia has is nearby Ayer’s Rock (Ularu). The band bill themselves as progressive brutal death metal, and the term “eco-metal” was dropped once or twice on their bandcamp, and their comparisons to Gojira are not entirely unwarranted, but probably overstated. Continue reading

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Carnac – The Frail Sight (2015)

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Author: Crono

Artist: Carnac

Album: The Frail Sight

Label: Independent

 

The Frail Sight is the debut EP from Carnac, a death metal band from Turkey. Consisting of four short cuts, the band demonstrates a good ability to write moments where you cannot resist banging your head. The EP is concise and varied, demonstrating that Carnac doesn’t want to stick to one distinct sound within the death metal genre. Continue reading

Gorod – A Maze of Recycled Creeds (2015)

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Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Gorod

Album: A Maze of Recycled Creeds

Label: Listenable Records

 

I’ve never bought into the notion that technicality is necessarily a trade off with expressiveness, or that the majority or even a substantial number of technical metal bands are guilty of focusing on showing off their chops rather than on writing good music. On the contrary, I find technical death metal to be one of the more emotionally engaging death metal subgenres. Gorod’s prior albums are an excellent example of what I’m talking about: virtuoso musicianship used to access a spectacular and entirely expressive approach to melody that draws from classical and jazz music. The reason that A Maze of Recycled Creeds falls flat is not because they’ve spent too much time practicing their sweep picking and not enough time on their songwriting, because the level of musicianship hasn’t changed from prior albums. It’s still top notch, and I don’t think this would be a better album if they had backed off on the technicality. More likely, it would be a worse one, because many of this album’s really enjoyable moments are also jaw-dropping displays of technical ability. For whatever reason, the songwriting just isn’t there on this one. Continue reading

Sadist – Hyaena (2015)

Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Sadist

Album: Hyaena

Label: Scarlet Records

 

Progressive death metal is kind of my thing. But it’s a difficult style to specify. Some bands play progressive metal with enough distortion and harsh vocals to earn themselves the ‘death’ label, without actually playing music of the death metal genre. And I like it. Some bands play ostensibly technical death metal, simply with enough clean or ambient passages to be considered ‘progressive’. And I like it. But my heart will always belong to that subset of death metal that diversified in the early 90s playing OSDM with weird time signatures, proggy or fusion elements, but never losing that core death metal template. Continue reading