School me on technical death metal: Atheist, Origin, etc

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I grew up on death metal but tuned out in the early nineties when I discovered...well, everything else. These days I'm out of the loop, but I've recently become interested in what the kids are calling "tech death" (we never referred to things like Heartwork and stuff like that by such names back in the day iirc, but I guess that's ground zero for what I'm talking about). I love Atheist's Unquestionable Presence (which I understand is a sort of high point of the subgenre) and Origin's Antithesis. Where to from here? Is Cynic any good? What else do I need?

Wimmels, Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:37 (three years ago) link

let's see....

Death - Human, Individual Thought Patterns, Symbolic, Sound of Perseverance
Sarcofago - The Laws of Scourge
Cynic - Focus (yes, it is very good!)
Desecravity - Orphic Signs
Necrophagist - Epitaph
Deeds of Flesh - Inbreeding the Anthropophagi

some to cut your teeth on to start. admittedl

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:44 (three years ago) link

whoops - started another sentence that I meant to delete.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:44 (three years ago) link

Thanks! I bought every Death album up to and including Human, which I liked, but I guess I should hear those final few? I've heard of (not heard) Sarcofago and Necrophagist, the other names are new to me.

Wimmels, Monday, 24 August 2015 00:00 (three years ago) link

My favorite Death album was always the least popular one (Spiritual Healing) though I guess that one also isn't very tech-y. I might like Human a lot more now. I probably wasn't ready for it when it was released.

Wimmels, Monday, 24 August 2015 00:01 (three years ago) link

yeah I think Human is the best thing they did, Symbolic isn't really as 'tech'-y but the songwriting is beautiful, Individual Thought Patterns is tech-y (and heavy) as fuck. and Sound of Perseverance wasn't quite up to the albums before it but shows they went out at the top of their game (RIP Chuck)

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Monday, 24 August 2015 00:03 (three years ago) link

Human was the first death metal album I bought and it fucking blew my mind

I love a tech band called Illogicist fwiw, just love em to pieces

tremendous crime wave and killing wave (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Monday, 24 August 2015 01:06 (three years ago) link

one of my favorite tech death bands is anata and i basically recommend any of their albums, though i think my favorite is the first, the infernal depths of hatred

oh man yeah co-sign Anata. I'm fond of Under A Stone With No Inscription. Also a plug for the Unholy Ghost album, more brutal than tech but pretty intricate and a lot of fun to me

tremendous crime wave and killing wave (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Monday, 24 August 2015 03:07 (three years ago) link

Anata is insane!! Thanks for that recommendation. I think the drum fill near the beginning of "Shackled To Guilt" is one of the longest I've ever heard. Definitely need to investigate further.

Disappointed that the other Cynic albums don't have the vocoder vocals from Focus. Focus is a mind-blower. I picked up a used copy of a later album, and it hasn't left an impression yet; still need to give it the whole 'weed and headphones' test, I guess.

Also on that note, weed really enhances death metal in a way I'd never have previously imagined.

Wimmels, Monday, 31 August 2015 22:56 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

aight being the lifer metalhead I am I feel utterly embarrassed for saying this but...

I just heard Atheist's Piece of Time for the first time today.

idk why I always decided not to listen to it prior to now. I owned Elements at one point but I knew that wasn't what they sounded like. kept saying "hmm tech-death jazz-influenced metal isn't what I'm jonesing for right now".

I get this today and I'm like.....god my ears have a boner.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 22:16 (three years ago) link

Atheist is a really cool band -- I like Piece of Time best of all their records, because it's closest to the death/thrash that was going on when they came out, and has that great, crunchy late-80s production. They seemed to get progressively more, er, progressive, and maybe lost a little of that ferocity -- actually, I think they must be the primary influence for a band like Stargazer.

Dominique, Wednesday, 16 September 2015 20:28 (three years ago) link

Yeah, each Atheist album is a little more noodly and low-impact than the one before. Piece of Time is fantastic, Unquestionable Presence is also great but the jazz fusion influence is starting to creep in, and Elements goes too far in the wrong direction. And the less said about their reunion album, Jupiter, the better.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Wednesday, 16 September 2015 20:47 (three years ago) link

If you like the sound of mid-period Death, older Gorguts, Atheist, Pestilence etc, the French band Mercyless had one called Coloured Funeral that fits right in. I assume Anata listened to them.
https://youtu.be/h6gYzPlXYew

When I think "tech death" though I think more of the skinny noodly stuff like Spawn of Possession, Decrepit Birth, Beyond Creation, Obscura, the aforementioned Necrophagist. Kinda dazzling when first heard then quickly spirals into diminishing returns.

I do like Gorod though; they're more in the old school vein of "technical" or "progressive":
https://youtu.be/BVtzh4v9A0Q

OP has heard Gorguts, I hope? Erosion of Sanity, Obscura, From Wisdom to Hate, and Colored Sands are all mandatory.

I also really like Neuraxis; they have a good sense of groove underneath the sci fi stuff:
https://youtu.be/g8sNOZLxjwU

Also Sickening Horror, whom I can't really categorize: https://sfcrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-dead-end-experiment They kinda remind me of Demilich -- so also listen to Demilich.

And then there's Timeghoul, off in their own universe:
https://timeghoul.bandcamp.com/album/1992-1994-discography-digital-download

Devilock, Thursday, 17 September 2015 21:50 (three years ago) link

I tend to be more into the mid-90s Death school. I will admit to liking Necrophagist's second album, but the first time I heard em on their first album, it sounded like Guy Mann-Dude's guitar student playing scales over drum machines.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Thursday, 17 September 2015 22:01 (three years ago) link

Here's a lot of it:

https://open.spotify.com/user/thesoundsofspotify/playlist/2fFD2vCjvzLlNegSiITgXf

and if you go through all that and want to work outwards to other related things, start at the top of this list:

http://everynoise.com/everynoise1d.cgi?scope=all&root=technical%20death%20metal

glenn mcdonald, Thursday, 17 September 2015 23:56 (three years ago) link

I've tried and tried to enjoy or even give a fuck about Gorguts, but they've never done shit for me.

Neuraxis were really good for a while.

Decrepit Birth started out super-crisp, but headed into a heavy jazz-metal Atheist zone on their most recent album. So did Job For A Cowboy, believe it or not.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 18 September 2015 00:49 (three years ago) link

Gorguts arguably only became tech-death on Obscura

I did the latest JFAC, but it's the only one I've heard.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Friday, 18 September 2015 00:54 (three years ago) link

I feel like Colored Sands is probably gonna end up as the only tech death album I'll ever need, it floors me every time

the naive cockney chorus (Simon H.), Friday, 18 September 2015 01:15 (three years ago) link

I don't even know how to classify Gorguts, which is probably for the best. Obscura and Colored Sands sound nothing alike and nothing like anything else. I'm sure this has something to do with Luc Lemay's compositional approach -- usually when a band says they're classically influenced they mean "Night on Bald Mountain" or "Ride of the Valkyries." Gorguts sounds more like metal versions of Shostakovich string quartets.

Also, from what I recall Steeve Hurdle's fascination with producing unconventional guitar sounds through unconventional playing techniques had a lot to do with that crazy Obscura sound. I love watching those few live vids from that era.

Devilock, Friday, 18 September 2015 02:46 (three years ago) link


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