A pompous part of me likes to think I’m Heavy Blog’s resident tech death expert (I’m probably not). Whether or not that’s actually, objectively true, and/or even remotely a defensible opinion for me to have of myself, I do like to think I have a decent barometer of what’s well made and what isn’t in the realm of shred heroics and hyperspeed blastbeats that make up this beloved subgenre. Or at least I did have one, until the Cortexiphan debut — which we have the immense honour of premiering for you tonight — wandered over into my ears and more or less overloaded it completely. Check out the goods below!
The album begins with some deceptive calm, before the acoustic segment that kicks it off gracefully leads into pummeling tech death in a transition worthy of Obscura‘s “Septuagint”. And from then on out, it shows no signs of slowing down: indeed, the wickedly precise guitar work of Mr. Steven Rose — who handles all guitars on the album himself, no less — evokes all ends of the modern tech death spectrum as he rips through the twelve tracks on Iniquitous, with solos reminiscent of Necrophagist peppered in between riffs and widdles that would make Archspire proud.
That’s not to say the remaining two thirds of Cortexiphan are any less worthy of praise, with bassist Niccolo Paracchini matching Rose’s brilliant guitar work throughout with mind-blowingly technical lines of his own, while vocalist Andrew Patterson’s inhuman bellows consistently wreak havoc across the record’s twelve tracks, evoking greats such as Guy Kozowyk from The Red Chord and Derek Rydquist from The Faceless in his masterful delivery. How a three-piece tech death band can make (and self-produce) an album this ambitious, technical, and beautifully executed on their very debut is beyond me, but it leaves us with one of the best releases of the year, hands down.
Iniquitous sees its official release on August 12th, and can be purchased from Cortexiphan’s Bandcamp page. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an blown-out tech death barometer to try and recalibrate.