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Albums of 6/7/24

The most interesting releases of the week!

Fractal Generator – Convergence

Fractal Generator play atmsopheric, spacious blackened death. This fits their subject matter pretty well. Convergence followed 2021’s excellent Macrocosmos as the band’s third full-length, released on Everlasting Spew. While the band pays tribute to concepts such as “melody,” the main focus on Convergence remains using dissonance and songwriting to create an uneasy feeling. Convergence is not death metal for going to the gym, it’s death metal for sitting in a chair in a dark room drinking whiskey and doing nothing else.

On Convergence, Fractal Generator seem quite busy for how much space they reate. The album sounds like a barren landscape with darkened monotony all around. In spite of this feeling, some of the passages are actually quite dense, with fast, repeated riffs over steady blast beats. At its best, Convergence sounds like a more mosh-pit friendly version of The Work Which Transforms God combined with an early 90s New York death metal band and featuring modern production. Sections of this album lean a bit too far into the atmospheric eeriness and loses focus. The rest of the time the listener is left with some stellar music that succeeds in suspending disbelief.

Inconcessus Lux Lucis – Temples Colliding In Fire

Happy I, Voidhanger day. This month’s best release from the idiosyncratic label is the third full-length release from Inconcessus Lux Lucis. The promotional material takes this release absurdly seriously, saying that “the album stands as as an audacious testament to the band’s enduring vitality and glorious resurrection.” This blackened heavy metal release sounds more on the fun side of music than the glorious side. Either way, though, I found myself drawn in by this.

Swelling Repulsion – Fatally Misguided

Fatally Misguided is Swelling Repulsion‘s second full-length, and is brought to us by Transcending Obscurity Records. The promotional material tries to make this into something strange and alien, but you might be disappointed if you go into this album expecting wild and quirky music. What you’ll get on Fatally Misguided is catchy riffs that cascade over themselves while tripping over dense but varied blast beats, a bass that’s doing its own thing to the benefit of all, and deep, satisfying vocals. When listening to Fatally Misguided, you sometimes get the feeling that Swelling Repulsion were just incredibly satisfied with themselves for writing a breakdown that’s in an odd time signature, or for ending a section of a song with a nice unison after some chaotic busy moments. That satisfaction adds to the music.

Swelling Repulsion have made music that sounds like it’s complicated, but manages to stick in your ear with little difficulty. The band clearly has skills in writing and then conveying catchy melodies. Fatally Misguided helps itself tremendously by maintaining a focus on (usually) a single melodic line that connects to its future and past self regardless of whatever weird events unfurl around the time signatures, tone, or other songwriting choices. Swelling Repulsion are, above all else, catchy and fun.

Severe Torture – Torn From The Jaws Of Death

After a very long gap, Severe Torture‘s new releases is here. Released on Season Of Mist, Torn From The Jaws Of Death contains fast and aggressive death metal. Not brutal death metal, not technical death metal, just fun death metal. This will work well in gym playlists. Severe Torture sound like an old band, despite their aggression, because they know how to make small songwriting choices have massive effects.

Severe Torture play a very regimented, direct style of music. The riffs, the vocal tone, everything here just screams death metal sweet spot. Normally this approach of non-syncopated, death metal in four with blast beats frustrates me. On Torn From The Jaws Of Death, Severe Torture use death metal tropes to squeeze the most from their deviations. The blast beat under the standard riff just makes the stylish fills that much better. You really feel each syncopation as something going wildly off the beaten path. This all works due to Severe Torture‘s performance swagger and their ability to write a catchy riff.

Candy – It’s Inside You

I don’t know what to think of Candy. It’s Inside You consists of big, abrasive hardcore, but not mathy. The beats are solid and the music sounds quite danceable if you want to look like you’re having a slow-motion seizure. There’s some industrial influence, some electronic sounds, basically everything that will get people complaining in your direction if you talk about the band on a metal blog and don’t clarify that yes, they aren’t metal, and yes, they’re interesting anyways. It’s Inside You comes from Relapse Records.

Making the songs on It’s Inside You short and having the album only last for about 30 minutes was a good choice, because I’m not sure how much more of this I could have taken. The record is stylish and ambitious, but it takes a bit out of you to listen to. Candy seem to be attempting to always come at you from the wrong angle, and in doing so create a worthy experience. Candy uses dissonance in a manner different than it’s commonly used in death metal. The energy that emanates from It’s Inside You feels weird, but intriguing.

Ad Patres – Unbreakable

Non Serviam Records has sent the third full-length from French tech death band Ad Patres our way. Some will be put off by the production and riff style on Unbreakable. This release is prime material to be called “souless technical death metal.” While I do wish that Ad Patres spent more time on Unbreakable showing off, what we get a wild ride that will fit well into playlists featuring bands such as Gorod or Beyond Creation.

Unbreakable maintains a high intensity throughout. While this release doesn’t innovate beyond a well-tread, well-working formula, I still found myself smiling at the swirling riffs and steadily precise guitar-work. You can practically see the mosh-pit forming as the music marches on.