Tag Archives: technical death metal

Nafrat

Review: Nafrat – Abnegation

Technical death metal perfection. That’s pretty much all that need be said about Nafrat’s brilliant new release “Abnegation.” From the moment that you lay eyes on the terrific album art until the final notes of album closer “The Axis of Perdition” leave you jaw agape, this album takes you on a journey through ethereal beauty and Earth-shaking brutality.

The musicianship is astounding and inventive. Even in the moments of calm in the eye of this storm, Nafrat never let you forget that this record is HEAVY in nearly every conceivable sense of the word. Stream below the full album while you’re reading through the review.

Nafrat - Abnegation

Nafrat is a Singapore-based band and “Abnegation” is their second full-length offering. Their previous releases, “Invoking the Masses” EP (2005) and “Through Imminent Visions” (2008), were nothing short of a masterful display of technical death metal musicianship. “Abnegation” ups the ante to dizzying heights. This record edges other death metal releases from 2018 due to it’s sheer inventiveness. Furthermore, I believe that it has actually accomplished the task of ranking right up there with the best overall metal album of the year.

This is where I usually list the highlights of the record. In this case, the entire record is the highlight. DO NOT miss this album if you are a fan of technical death metal and insanely great musicianship.

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Blame - Almanac

Review: Blame – Almanac

Although much extreme metal being released nowadays seems to be content with emulating the works of past giants, there will always be those bands out there that try to turn the concept of a given genre on its side and redefine what it can do. Although this can sometimes lead to peril for the band, when done well, it leads to a fair deal of excitement, as is the case with Kiev, Ukraine’s Blame and their latest EP, entitled ‘Almanac’. While it is made clear from the highly distorted riffs, technical drumming courtesy of Nile’s George Kollias and deep growls that this is indeed a death metal record, Blame crosses the boundaries more than once, creating a work that has many of the characteristics of the prescribed genre, but still manages to skim the edge of something different altogether.

When listening to ‘Almanac’, the biggest thing I notice are the guitars. For much death metal, I find that the main purpose of the riffs is to add to heaviness and — in many cases — the technical aspect of the music. Although it would be foolish to say that there aren’t some looming moments to offer here, the guitars instead offer sounds that rely more on dissonant chord structures, complex timbres and eerie use of feedback. From my personal musical background, the closest thing Blame’s guitar work here sounds like is the latter period of Deathspell Omega; experimental, atonal, creepy and sometimes downright disconcerting in nature. All of this works in Blame’s favour. When first going into this record that seemed to have people so excited, I was not expecting something other than a typical (albeit good) death metal record, and the band proved me wrong.

Blame’s ‘Almanac’ is a fairly interesting creature for death metal. With equal parts death metal and something else altogether, the band has crafted twenty minutes worth of dissonant music that certainly grinds against the nerves at times, but for the time being, the EP has given me back some faith into what I perceived was a dying genre.

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