Author's Choices

Shortcuts to the Underground – Episode 3

I’m back with a new episode of Shortcuts to the Underground and this time I focused on my favourite subgenre, technical death metal. I love this direction of extreme metal for many different reasons but mainly because of its diversity and variety. Being impressed by what these guys are capable to pull off on their instruments really won’t make it less interesting for me. Lets get into these 3…

Unaligned – Inner Dimensions

Unaligned came out of nowhere with this amazing EP. At least thats how I felt after the release of Inner Dimensions. I must admit, for me it didnt click right away as I was pretty much overwhelmed with my personal life at the time of its release but I knew I will have to come back to it with a clear mind and give it a dedicated listen. So I did. Of course, we are talking about technical death metal here, so its death metal, played on a technically high level, sure, but that’s really not all there is. These guys effortlessly play their tech but also manage to implement a good dose of blackened stuff, some shorter parts of the songs like “Of Chaos, Kenopsia” and “Void Wraith” really sound like symphonic black metal, played by really skilled musicians. Overall this EP is absolutely worth of your time if you enjoy modern technical death metal with some twists and turns. Badass stuff!

FFO: Burial in the Sky, Carrion Vael and Inanimate Existence

No Living Witness – Cosmic Simulacra

As I often do, I’ll start with what I see first, that’s just how I “consume” my music and I’m sure it’s how most people do it. The artwork and the logo. First impressions, you know… I saw No Living Witness float around everywhere I’m online at the time of the release of Cosmic Simulacra but I didn’t care immediately because the art and logo simply didn’t speak to me. I didn’t think it could be the music that it actually is. Yeah, boy oh boy was I wrong… After my first listen I was totally blown away! This is basically everything I like in extreme metal. It’s fast, it’s technical as heck and it’s filled with melodies and harmonies I always enjoy in my music the most. The atmospheric stuff going on really adds a lot to every song, I love that. Besides the fact that all instuments are being played at the highest level, I also have to aplaud to the vocalist who is mainly using his highs. And those highs are absolutely incredible… dude sounds like a demon on steroids and I fucking love it! So yeah, if you’re looking for technical death metal that is atmospheric as fuck AND could actually go through as technical black metal at parts, look no further, these guys are here for you.

FFO: Enfold Darkness, Fallujah, Virvum, Inferi

Sun of the Suns – TIIT
[Scarlet Records]

Yeah, this one also has absolutely everything I like in my music: a display of technical ability, melodies that aren’t overwhelming but definitely there, just the right amount of brutality, speed and the most important in this case, groove and harmony! I really enjoy the combination of the fierce, deep sounding vocals, the subtle melodies and the groove that is mostly dictated by the drums. It has some real power behind it. There are some sort of breakdows (really just sort of…) that give off a feel of djent (really just a feel of…) here and there which I welcome and is in my opinion pretty unique in this subgenre of music. Once again I have to point out the overall atmosphere on the record… that is probably the best thing about it for me. As a huge fan of everything atmospheric, it sure is! So, if you’re looking for technical death metal that isn’t over the top wankery, but also delivers high end tech as well as melodies, harmony and groove covered in a pleasant atmosphere, please go listen to TIIT by Sun of the Suns, a hidden gem of modern tech death.

FFO: Rivers of Nihil (Monarchy era), Decrepit Birth and Hatalom

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