FOREVER PLAYING CATCH-UP (PART 5): KLEXOS, THE CLOCKWORK DEITY, OBSIDIAN MANTRA
(We continue the rollout of Austin Weber’s ongoing series devoted to reviews of 2017 releases we haven’t previously covered. You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here.)
In spite of what the naysayers will tell you, I’m of the opinion that there’s an absolutely ridiculous amount of good metal releases coming out all the time, many of them coming from new groups or independent groups that we’re just now catching onto for the first time.
This lengthy round-up has been in the works for awhile, but I kept adding more and more to the list of what I wanted to cover. Hopefully you will find something new you enjoy in each installment.
KLEXOS – DEMO 2017
Now we return yet again to dark and eerie death metal with the 2017 demo from a new project based out of Lexington, Kentucky known as Klexos. The group plays within the murky and dissonant death metal style on their 2017 demo, but does so with more of a groove and doomy feeling to it that gives the two songs on this release their own vibe.
The second song, “Oneiroi”, also starts out in a light and airy manner that threw me for a loop initially, but the emotive feeling it gives off is quite splendid. But it quickly transitions into a more black metal focused nature throughout the remainder of the track, but with some of the spacey character of its opening arising again later in the track.
Keep an eye on Klexos, I have no doubt their forthcoming material will be excellent based on how good this demo is.
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THE CLOCKWORK DEITY – AN ANTHOLOGY OF HUMAN SICKNESS
While I’ve often made jokes here in the past about what new sub-genres of grind would come to pass in the future, the thought of symphonic grind had never occured to me as a possibility until I heard of a UK group called The Clockwork Deity doing just that this year.
An Anthology Of Human Sickness is rough around the edges, but the potential is there, as is the foundation for quite an interesting and fresh take on death-metal-addled grindcore by adding symphonic layers, some markedly more technical leads at times, and a bit of brutal death metal and slam influence as well. Get down with the glorious weirdness that is An Anthology Of Human Sickness.
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OBSIDIAN MANTRA – EXISTENTIAL GRAVITY
While there’s a lot of groups out there combining death metal and djent, the bulk of them are largely as bland and skippable as most djent is. However, exceptions to the rule always exist, and should be pointed to as examples of how to blend the two together in far more interesting ways than most are doing. Last year for me, that was Koronal, and this year it’s Obsidian Mantra.
Once again, I have my fellow underground metal music geek friends to thank for showing me Existential Gravity, the new album from this Kwilcz, Poland-based group. Also, it’s probably just sheer coincidence, but I find it intriguing that like Koronal, Obsidian Mantra is likewise based in Poland.
Where the two groups diverge, however, is in the larger scope of the music and the more atmospheric and progressive elements being a stronger part of what Existential Gravity has to offer than the more stripped-down and simplified take on death metal conjoined with djent that Koronal also do exceedingly well. If anything, I think Existential Gravity is an extremely underappreciated 2017 groove-centric death metal gem, and as such, I wanted to make sure to share it and highlight it in this article.
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The Clockwork Deity is some nxt lvl stuff