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#81 - A breath of neon. Neurotech

Slowly crawling along. But this time with something definitely good in my backpack. And that which I have in there is also touching on a little blind spot of mine, so I guess it is about time I mention this project.

I’m talking about Neurotech. A one man project from Slovenia. I wanted to wait until he releases his new album next month (which he currently has a pledge campaign running for). But this here

convinced me I should probably throw the mention on this blog right about now. As the first samples for upcoming “Infra Versus Ultra”, it sounds very much like the natural culmination point of his works until now. It carries forth the aggression of his blackened Industrial beginnings on albums like “Antagonist”, the grand lush ambiance of his recent “The Elysian Symphony” and the new found catchiness from his trilogy “The Decipher Volumes” (all of which you can find on his bandcamp account). What comes out of it is such a brilliant amalgamation of Metal and various sorts of Electronica that it actually seems more appropriate to put it under Sybreeds “Death Wave” banner than anything else.

But listening to this also pulls something back into my mind: When painting my picture of Modern Metal, I often tend to forget about a rather small but influential and important line of development- Cyber Metal. Something like a genre situated between Industrial Metal, Black Metal, Avant Garde and Progressive Metal (maybe), usually combining harsh Metal and pompous Electronica roughly equal parts. Starting out around the notorious The Kovenant it always stayed niche but if you look at Sybreed, Violent Work of Art or, clearly, Neurotech, you get a glimpse at just how much inspiration might have flown from Cyber Metal into Modern Metal. Sadly, I don’t actually know that much about this line of development and never really did the research on it. A blind spot I should definitely address.  

#80 - Another host of potential. Pejora

Been a bit long again. And I also don’t come back with a bang here. Sry. But I dare say it’s more than interesting.

Pejora are a German band I discovered by their debut album “Decreation” yesterday. And.. well… you may know that feeling when you listen to something that is clearly a product of less than optimal budget (soundwise) and shows a lot of little flaws but, still, you can’t help but be drawn to what you hear because there is a certain flair glowing through that you really like?

Pejoras album is such a case for me. It’s a bit generic in riffing, it sounds a bit muddled, the clean vocals tend to be a bit weak in intonation… but: the way it all comes together shows a lot of really good ideas and some of them are by far well enough realized to enable me to state: This band could become seriously great going further. The melodies they offer, and that includes the vocal melodies, have a moody dark catchiness that you don’t hear that often in this genre. Plus, the way the instrumentation maneuvers through slightly Blackened Melodic Death Metal and Industrial Metal is also an interesting, and not too common, approach.  

Have a listen:

#79 - Let’s stay with Death Metal for a sec. Godsire

Why not continue where I left off with Lykathea Aflame and steer it back into Modern Metal territory. The more Death Metal-oriented part of Modern Metal sure does share quite some characteristics with ‘symphonicaly enhanced’ Death Metal and Blackened Death Metal. It can become a bit tricky to determine if that stuff can even be called “Modern Metal” or if it already has a sufficient umbrella term with Death Metal or maybe Industrial Death Metal.

But anyway, Industrial Death Metal has its part in how Modern Metal sounds, so bands from this direction should at least be relevant for this blog. Why you have to endure my rambling before I come to the point? Well, because Godsire definitely is one of those bands that probably don’t need the Modern Metal label to understand what they do stylisticaly, but they have so many elements from SYL and Fear Factory, especially in riffing and the distinctly Industrial-ish synths, that I can’t help but see them as connected to it.

But be it as it may, this debut EP showcases some amazing straight forward, raw, no jokes Industrial Death Metal that you should probably listen to. You can do so below: 

[Off Topic - Lykathea Aflame

I’m beginning to like this format. Allows me to go about this blog a bit more freely and deliver a bit more interestingly varied content.

This is something I kinda wanted to write about somewhere, anyway and I guess this is a good place as any. If you’re into Tech or Progressive Death Metal you have probably heard of Fallujah. They are a very promising Progressive Death outfit from the USA and released an album recently, named “The Flesh Prevails”. It stirred up a lot of debate, it seems. It’s inclusion of shoegaze-y laid back melodies into what is at its core Technical Death Metal is a bit polarizing, I guess. But, well, what is not in the realms of the Net. I myself found the album really really good, which maybe says something as I didn’t really get into Fallujah with their last few releases.

But there’s something about the debate that I find… sad, I guess is the right word. Many of the more positive reviews for it praised how new and even game changing it is, basicaly bringing a whole new idea to Tech Death with those broad ambient plains of melody and soothing clean passages. And, well, the things is: it isn’t. When I listened to “The Flesh Prevails” one band name shot into my head right away: “Lykathea Aflame”. 

They are a criminaly unknown Czech Tech/Prog Death Metal band that released exactly one album in 2000, “Elvenfris”. This album basicaly did a very similar thing to “The Flesh Prevails”, just with a more oriental flavour and much more expansive Progressive song structures. And, not to forget, it is a mind blowing masterpiece. It never really got well known, though, which is a shame and certainly why it is never referenced when people talk about the approach of Fallujah. 

Give it a listen:

#78 - Maybe there’s more Katatonia in Sybreed than I thought. Edge Of Haze

Well, obvious question: What am I babbling there? To be honest, I never really got around to delve deep into Katatonias discography and so I was never really able to asses how meaningful Sybreeds mentioning them as a big influence was. One of the many blind spots I might have to fill out, it seems.

What bought me to this “epiphany”? The culprit is the band Edge Of Haze, a band that has given me a bit of a “is that Modern Metal in my definition or is it not”-headache over the last week. Edge Of Haze are mostly playing Doom Metal at their core, I guess, in the vein of newer Katatonia. But beneath the gloom and the dark misty atmospheres, there lie some properly machine-like riffs, some use of electronica that reminds me a whole lot of Sybreed and also some vocal styling and melodies that also remind me of Nominets vocal work a whole lot. So either Sybreed had a lot more influence from that direction than I realised or Edge Of Haze took a lot of influence somewhere from the direction of Sybreed or Modern Metal in general. Or both.

Either way: I think their new album “Illumine” should be interesting for anyone who likes Sybreed and could see himself enjoying something like a more Doom-y variant of their sound. Plus, they are probably an interesting band anyway, related to Modern Metal or not. Have a listen:

[Off Topic - Mytra

So, I’ve been thinking for a while now if I should open this blog up a bit and include some music that is only losely related to Modern Metal or even not at all. I try to do this blog with a strong focus on its titular theme but sometimes it just feels wrong. Sometimes you just want to tell people about some music you’ve discovered no matter what its genre is, right?

So, I’ll do this for Mytra as a first and maybe I’ll do this more or less regularly. I’ll keep it out of the numbered posts for now, though, so potential future posts like this don’t clutter the “table of contents”-section.

Mytra definitely bring up a strong urge in me to share their music. I’ve pretty literaly stumbled upon their music video for “Monolith” just minutes ago on Youtube while searching for something else and it may have been one of my most face soothing stumbling experiences in a long time. Actually, I have been listening to songs from their seemingly almost released album “Beta” since then. It’s pretty damn amazing. Kinda like Being with a female vocalist and maybe a bit less heavy guitars. If you like melodic Progressive Metal with a big dose of Electronica and a bit of a Modern feel to it, give it a listen:

late EDIT: I take back that thing with “a bit less heavy guitars”. There’s actually plenty of those.

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