EXPAIN – Just The Tip – Self-Release

Technical what?

Expain is a band from Vancouver that they say practice a kind of technical death and thrash metal, you name it. But for me they are just another concealed “-core” band.

Okay, okay, the instrumental is very good! They really dominate the whole thing and the production is on spot, very well done indeed although I don’t see any extraterrestrial technical skills in them to justify the name…

Songs like Don’t Worry, The Worst Is Yet to Come has its moments with great solos and all the brouhaha or the craziness of old Meshuggah-like Allegiance To Pain with a good middle session…

But the real problem here is the goddamned vocals!!! The guy – Daniel Brand – happens to scream over and over again, indefinitely and (as it seems) infinitely! There isn’t any technical skill in his voice and he’s happy to keep things in monotone mode. Imagine Danny Filth but worst! Yes dude it’s that bad…

More so, it’s clear that he draws his influences from the metalcore scene and he pollutes the whole band, they decided to repackage it and sell as if it was the ultimate technical band around: think about GREAT technical acts of the past like (OLD) Cynic, Atheist, Death or Pestilence or more recent bands like the greatest Neuraxis… they resemble none of that! They, at their best, copy and paste bands like Carnifex… bleaaargh.

It’s not the first time it happens but here goes my advice again for those who are ABLE to hear it: slightly change the style of vocals to something more “real”, and the band will follow suit, then you’ll have a technical band because competence it’s a thing that’s in Expain DNA. Come back here and show me a goddamn tech album for fuck sake!

Just The Tip is out now and it is Self-Released

(Daniel Death)

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ARCHSPIRE – The Lucid Collective (Season of Mist)

The technical of technical. The brutal of brutal!

Archspire is an entity that was born in Vancouver and dude these boys are sure the most over the top technical thing after Cryptopsy.

You know, as of late I’m totally into sounds like Cytotoxin, Deeds of Flesh, Aborted and the likes, but this band killed everything I’ve heard before and worst of all: this CD is pure addiction, one wants to hear it like one thousand times to be sure about all destruction and all the jive.

The album opens with Lucid Collective Somnambulation which leaves listeners confused as fuck, I showed it to some of my friends they were like: how the fuck do these guys play so skillfully? The sound has like one thousand tempos and changes of phrases… I mean my perception of “phrase” is when the phrase per se repeats itself and rarely they repeat something in this CD. It’s like a free jazz band in light velocity. ACE!

Scream Feeding and Plague of AM follow suit always with the drums changing in the fastest velocity and riffs are purely insane with no time to breath or think… The vocals follow the same sample, always changing and seldom put in on a chorus or some words repeated. Just perfect to the bone.

But the best song of The Lucid Collective is Fathom Infinite Depth. If Frank Zappa was a Brutal Death Metal fan he would be so proud of these boys!!!! Every single part, being a beat on the snare or a UHHHH, counts as a phrase, it’s like the most confused puzzle ever, but it’s very well produced, so even if you’re somewhat lost, the songs sounds appealing to ears avid for brutal music. It can’t be counted how many parts this song is dismembered to, but that’s the point: try to guess the next movement by hearing it consecutive times.

The penultimate track Kairos Chamber is quieter, as to say… A melodic lead guitar makes the music smoother but don’t be fooled by it. Soon the last track Spontaneous Generation returns everything to chaos and destruction.

The Lucid Collective is something totally new in the history of music. Achespire do join complexity inside their demented music: the result is something unpredictable. This is an impeccable album that is going to be reminded in my list of best of 2014. Good job boys!

The Lucid Collective is out now on Season of Mist.

(Daniel Death)

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Psychotic Gardening – Hymnosis – Self-Released

Strange Death/Thrash from Winnipeg.

Okay, Canada is really a country where people know how to make music, but there’s always a exception to the rule, and Psychotic Gardening is exactly that!

The CD Hymnosis has a good production and good intentions but as you may know hell is paved with them.

If I have to classify the sound it’s like a strange hybrid of death and doom that was wrongly made.

The music is lackluster, the compositions are short of creativity and the CD is boring as hell.

Songs like Defile, Garden Raiding and Searing Cital are endless and it’s really hard to sit through the whole opus because the band just keep on playing their strange compositions with riffs stolen from other bands but although it seems that they’re not trying to ape anyone, they are going from nothing to nowhere.

Open Casket tries to be more eh, progressive as to say. It has its moments but as the penultimate song it’s not enough to save the whole album. It has a strange solo and that’s that… no wait, it’s a DEATH cover totally unrecognizable. How could they DESTROY one song of my favorite bands EVER? Now it’s personal. Ugh!

 Psychotic Gardening is a band that has the money and technology at their side but still they miss the whole point of making heavy metal music. Their vocalist filled the spot of vocalist of Broken Hope in an European incursion, so what? It sounds more like people kidding with their instruments and in a “metal band” than a serious and relevant work. I pass.


Hymnosis is going to be released on May 13th and it is going to be Self-Released.

(Daniel Death)

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