Leave the Hall presents, Real Men of Genius.
Real Meeeen of Geeeeeenius! Mr Technical Death Metal Creaaaaatooor!
You’ve given us music that pushes the boundaries of human ability and musical notation, stringing together sweep arpeggios longer than the Chinese phone book.
You know that on the internet some geek will say you’re a guitar noob no matter what you do, but still you persist on proving him wrong.
Yooouuuutuuubbbee Trollin’ Baaaaabbbyyy…
So we salute you Mr Technical Death Metal Creator…
Anyway, the world needs more men like Malcolm Pugh. Men who have no concept of social lives or even sleep, instead sitting in a room with guitar in hand, practicing and practicing until after many years and tens of thousands of hours of dedicated work it is time to release their technical death metal album. So, peeping out into the light comes A Loathing Requiem, looking to follow in the hallowed footsteps of Jim Malone and Muhammed Suicmez in the world of one man bandsmanship, a concept that has developed somewhat since Dick Van Dyke’s epochal one man band performance in Mary Poppins. As seen in this rare original draft of Fermented Offal Discharge.
Albums created by one person appeal to me, they have a single-minded purpose to them, an undiluted and pure vision of what they want to achieve, utterly unchanged by the committee thinking and compromises that bands have to deal with. It is clear that A Loathing Requiem has clear goals – Psalms of Misanthropy is bowel-worryingly heavy, a technical showcase that will pick you up in a whirlwind of notes and shit you out the other side looking like you’ve done 10 rounds with a polar bear. We are presented with texture and depth but never at the cost of sacrificing that essential murderous intensity.
The songs are of the frantic, fretboard-dancing blueprint so beloved of tech-death aficionados, but with some mind-bending time signatures (the dissonant intro to And Darkness Was Cast) and some atmospheric instrumental interludes that segue between raining blows of brutality and warp speed blasting. Just when I was starting to fear that Death Metal had been helplessly overrun by ‘core stylings and ghastly excrement like Annotations Of An Autopsy, we are given some sweet musical salvation. Surgically precise and tighter than a ducks arsehole, songs like The Carnage of Infinite Black and False Gods Render Death provide all the death metal you could need without ever outstaying their welcome – the whole album rips by in a shade over half an hour. Even the programmed drums sound natural, avoiding the temptation to create patterns and speeds that would have Flo weeping into his Kraft Dinner, which is a real credit to the programming skills of Mr Pugh (and possibly Drumkit From Hell).
It goes without saying that the solos are incredible, and with Christian Muenzner doing a guest spot on Architect or Arsonist (he gets around) the Necrophagist comparisons are obviously going to be drawn. As I said when reviewing Cosmogenesis by Obscura, Necrophagist are in danger of some major Chinese Democracy syndrome should their new album not come out soon and be something truly mind-blowing.
It is a testament to the quality of Psalms of Misanthropy that even the big daddies of the genre will need to be at their very best to top it.