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Albums of 4/12/24

The most interesting releases of the week!

Replicant – Infinite Mortality

Transcending Obscurity gives us Replicant‘s second straight excellent technical death metal release. Infinite Mortality contains Ulcerate-style dissonance with some big bass sounds. I enjoyed Malignant Reality, the band’s last album, but I didn’t enjoy it enough for it to be on constant rotation the way other dissonant tech death bands have been. Infinite Mortality absolutely eclipses Malignant Reality. The performances on Infinite Mortality are marvelous. The vocals are of a style that I don’t usually enjoy, but they fit right in here. However, Infinite Mortality really shines when you start looking at the songwriting.

Replicant‘s manner of slickly shifting between tempos, rhythms, and styles just feels so good. You won’t find a full kaleidoscope of variety on Infinite Mortality, but the band does a very thorough job of fully exploring their play space. Passages will slide into other passages just getting a little weird and off-base, only for the song to slam back into gear and revealing how far the band has traveled. And this never sounds like meandering nothingness. Replicant‘s instrumental passages fulfill what I’m looking for in the realm of dissonant death metal. Just a satisfying album.

Benighted – Ekbom

Benighted have been a consistent presence in the death/grind world, and Season of Mist are giving us their tenth full-length Ekbom. After the obligitory minute-long intro, Ekbom starts right where Obscene Repressed left us. Benighted sound desperate to be faster, stronger, and more enflamed than anyone else. The result is some brief yet memorable songs that still manage to jam in a full journey of slam squeals, blast beats, drum-lead passages, and an atmospheric sense of something lurking just beyond the corner.

The drums sometimes seem unbelievable. I’m not sure if Ekbom contains all real playing or some programming, but either way my brain stutters around some of the drum flairs that Benighted give us. The rest of the band does any excellent job as well, but the drums help Ekbom stand out. In terms of songwriting, the riffs sound second to the rhythms and speed. Benighted have made an album more about feel than prowess, and despite the wildfire-like sound here the feel is divine.

Martikor – Acedia

Martikor play kitchen sink post-black with a passion similar to Amenra. The album is bleak, crushing, and feels satisfying when you’re done. Opening track “Soothing Rattle” starts with some eerie electronic noises leading to a gradual crescendo to some sad, dissonant wreckful moments. The songs throughout Acedia keep on with this soundscape.

This style of music doesn’t lend itself to typical metal album structures. Acedia works better as a full album than as a collection of songs. The downside is that Martikor made a fifty-minute album that’s all or nothing for me. The upside is that Acedia is a huge, immersive experience with emotional payoffs as good as anything I’ve heard this year, with big climaxes and quiet introspection trading off to form something exhausting but worth it.

Mother Of All – Global Parasitic Leviathan

Independently released, Mother Of All‘s second album Global Parasitic Leviathan is an interesting one. The promo materials call it melodeath, but it’s closer to The Gallery or early In Flames than anything by a band like Insomnium. Yes, saying that a melodeath album sounds like foundational melodeath albums isn’t earthshaking. But the shifting meaning behind genre tags remains fascinating to me. The bigger problem with the melodeath genre designation here is that the melodies on this release serve the song structures rather than the other way around.

If you liked Age Of The Solipsist, Global Parasitic Leviathan is more of same. Frantic, borderline techy, borderline proggy, always energetic. There’s a hardcore tinge through the release, but not enough to offend any focused death metal fan. Fans of Xoth will find have a great time here. The songs do seem to blend into one another, but that only matters so much when you find yourself dancing to all of them.