Sunday, August 27, 2017

Bandcamp Picks - Inanimate Existence, Beneath, Pyrrhon, NYN

Three albums into their career, Inanimate Existence have delivered their most definitive statement. Whereas previous albums were somewhat fragmented due to an overeagerness to integrate female vocals and jazz parts with the band's djenty origins, Underneath A Melting Sky is their most cohesive and consistent album; the band has refined their style of slow, thoughtful death metal to create songs that improve with every listen. This may be the album that puts their name with Atheist and Cynic; not as disciples, but as equals. [$8]

After their last album, Reykjavík's Beneath seemed poised to be the next big thing in tech death. But Ephemeris takes a step back from the band's fret-burning past, employing more slow grooves and psychedelic interludes to reel the listener in before the blastbeats start falling like hammers. Iceland's flagship death metal act is maturing like fine hákarl. [$9]

NY's Pyrrhon have returned with more compositions of confustication. Despite their mathy reputation, What Passes For Survival isn't lacking for nastiness, built as it is on a foundation of blastbeats and discordance. A messy stew that owes at least as much to Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan as it does to Gorguts and Brutal Truth. [$7.99]

The brainchild of Virginia-based Noyan Tokgozoglu, NYN's ambitious debut is a discombobulating affair. The aptly (if confusingly) named Entropy: Of Chaos and Salt intersperses frenetic tech death with seaboards and theremins, as well as Eastern melodies and percussion. Noyan is similarly eclectic in his vocal performance, ranging from growls to power metal histrionics with Mike Patton-esque abandon. The approach doesn't always work - in particular, the last track "Taken Away By The Tides" feels like being locked in a room with a particularly obnoxious Nintendo fan - but the talent on display is undeniable. [$7]