Given that newer metal musicians are quickly realizing that current trends within the genre are artistically bankrupt, many new bands are reaching backwards into previous sounds forged during the splintering of the death metal genre in the mid-90s. Superficially these bands may succeed in gaining metal cred through filtering their outsider millennial approach through the lens of those who had created the sounds they are aping, but we at DMU know better. Onward to the gallows!
Tomb Mold – Manor of Infinite Forms (2018)
Attempting to reach the apex of the Incantaclone genre, Tomb Mold manages to set itself apart by composing their songs around riff tropes popularized by bands within the “progressive” hardcore genre like mid-period Baroness, Coalesce and Breather Resist. While inexperienced listeners will be duped by the attempt at a suffocating atmosphere through the old-school production value and cave-bellowed vocals, death metal fans will discover that the bouncy rhythms and often silly melodies betray a menacing vibe and the few riffs that do recall Incantation are uninspired at best.
Replace with: Iniquity – The Hidden Lore (1998)
Solar Demise – Archaic War (2018)
While Gruesome is seemingly going about ripping off each Death album with every record they release, Solar Demise has gotten to the Individual Thought Patterns record first, and choosing the record where Death really came off the rails to build your sound upon makes this release an uphill battle. What sets it apart is how amateurish the band is in all facets, from arrangement to melodic choices to performance. Marketed as a technical death metal band, the amount of sloppiness here is almost endearing, and given the quantization of all other current metal releases this just may be a marvel of modern recording. If there is vacancy on whatever planet this drummer recorded his takes on, I’ll pack my bags, as my perception of reality is no longer suitable.
Replace with: Strangulation – Between Nothing and Eternity (1995)
Triguna – The Mark of Sacrifice (2018)
Somehow combining the sounds of both bands covered here in that what we have here is a later-period Death-by-way-of-hardcore tropes, Triguna somehow manages to offend every rehashed genre throughout this record’s duration, as the most piecemeal gimmicky songwriting imaginable both levels and later becomes expectation. Marketed as progressive death metal although there is no part of either of those three words represented, Triguna’s entire persona is derived from a serious of gotcha moments that range from carnival meanderings to deliberately annoying guitar lines and effects under narration by some drunken asshole who doesn’t care for pitch or meter. The album is punishingly long, contains nothing memorable, and in its attempt at smashing metal tropes becomes the biggest modern metal stereotype possible. Utterly reprehensible and demanding of apology.
Replace with: Unexpect – In a Flesh Aquarium (2006) (only if you need a fix of kitchen sink metal with actual virtuosity)
While each release here does showcase a somewhat unique sound (for mostly bad reasons), these bands have proven that looking backward rather than inward is the antithesis of progression. Should Tomb Mold realize that crafting a fully-realized personal aura requires adherence to a defined set of characteristics and Solar Demise fully develop their voice and (less importantly) techniques before attempting a release, potentially something less offensive could surface from either act. As for Triguna, nothing could salvage them as players and their efforts should be erased from existence.