In Death… – The Devil Speaks
Location: Brisbane Australia
As both a metal fan and a musician (albeit not a very good one), I’m always on the lookout for a band that can deliver some technical flashes, while still keeping a heavy groove. Leave it to Australia, home of all things heavy (like The Berserker and Portal, not to mention as well as a large number of creatures that can kill you) to deliver the goods, this time in the form of In Death…
Formed in 2008, In Death… have released a demo, a pair of EPs, and are now set to release their first full-length, entitled The Devil Speaks. The first thing you’ll notice is the mechanical precision with which the band switches between ultra-heavy grooves and jaw-dropping technical prowess. “Bow To Your Master,” for instance, has some pretty wild time signature changes, flashy lead guitar work, and yet it also has a pulsating groove somewhat reminiscent of Bolt Thrower. Opening track, “Malignancy Eradicated,” starts off with a groovy, almost industrial vibe, but the time changes again spice things up, taking the music in several directions at once, while somehow maintaining a uniformity in sound. While purists might find that the groovy bits could be a little too close to metalcore-styled breakdowns, particularly towards the end of “Godzilla,” and the beginning of “Fuck Your Kind, ” I feel that the crushing grooves are a perfect counterbalance to the more technical aspects of the band’s music.
All-around, I am pretty impressed with The Devil Speaks, particularly with the fact that In Death… are not only capable musicians, but are excellent songwriters. Nothing irks me more than bands that can outplay everyone else, but can’t write anything memorable; thankfully this is a pitfall that these Aussies have deftly managed to avoid. If you like some technicality in your groove, The Devil Speaks might just be what the doctor ordered.
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Iraconji – Global Genocide
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Named after the Irukandji jellyfish (the world’s smallest and most venomous box jellyfish), Nashville’s Iraconji play a style of death metal that is heavily influenced by the genre’s early thrash roots. Taking cues from bands like Sodom, Death, and Obituary, their latest release, Global Genocide, mixes classic thrashy death metal with modern production.
The opening/title track, “Global Genocide,” showcases everything you can expect from this record: Slayer-meets-Death style riffs, vocals that go from Carcass-esque high pitched shrieks to deeper, more guttural growls, and plenty of solos. While the song structures are pretty faithful to the style Iraconji are paying homage to, the production is as crisp and clean as you can expect from a modern metal release. The riffs are pretty catchy, though the execution can come off a little jumbled at times and, overall, isn’t always as solid as the the songs themselves. Where Iraconji really excel is when they go on their speedier runs, as can be heard on the punky “Swamp Donkey.”
The classic sounding riffs and solid production will turn quite a few heads, and make for a pretty enjoyable release. Iraconji have a lot going for them on Global Genocide, though the timing in a few spots could have been a little better, and the musicianship could use just a little tightening. Still, there’s a lot to like here, and Iraconji are well ahead of many of their other contemporaries.