Technical Death Metal

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

Technical/progressive (or tech/prog) death metal is considered a legitimate genre by some (or even two legitimate genres), while others argue that it is a pseudo-genre. Bands included in this genre take emphasize technicality in their music, in the form of complex riffs and/or complex song structures, while others apply the ethos of progressive music more broadly without straying from their basic death metal sound. Death, Cynic and Atheist are considered central bands in the establishment of tech/prog death metal. Some bands, like Necrophagist, Obscura, and Braindrill, emphasize technique in their style and are considered technical death metal acts, while others, such as Opeth, Neuraxis, Sectu, and Nocturnus are considered primarily progressive death metal. Sometimes, jazz death metal is listed as a separate subgenre and comprises artists who incorporate elements from fusion jazz into their death metal style, such as Atheist, Cynic and Pestilence on “Spheres”. Given that brutal death metal bands tend to emphasize technique and compositional complexity, many brutal death metal bands, such as Suffocation and Hate Eternal, are also categorized as technical death metal bands. Some tech/prog death metal bands are so progressive on some releases that these are considered progressive metal rather than death metal, as is the case of some Atheist, Opeth and Cynic releases, that they are filed under progressive metal in the MMA rather than under death metal.

technical death metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

DEATH Symbolic Album Cover Symbolic
DEATH
4.39 | 151 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DEATH The Sound of Perseverance Album Cover The Sound of Perseverance
DEATH
4.39 | 111 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
GORGUTS Colored Sands Album Cover Colored Sands
GORGUTS
4.42 | 23 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DEATH Individual Thought Patterns Album Cover Individual Thought Patterns
DEATH
4.29 | 100 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
NILE What Should Not be Unearthed Album Cover What Should Not be Unearthed
NILE
4.50 | 12 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ATHEIST Unquestionable Presence Album Cover Unquestionable Presence
ATHEIST
4.27 | 61 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
BEYOND CREATION The Aura Album Cover The Aura
BEYOND CREATION
4.42 | 14 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CRYPTOPSY None So Vile Album Cover None So Vile
CRYPTOPSY
4.30 | 28 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
AUGURY Fragmentary Evidence Album Cover Fragmentary Evidence
AUGURY
4.31 | 18 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
OBSCURA Omnivium Album Cover Omnivium
OBSCURA
4.22 | 33 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
NILE Annihilation of the Wicked Album Cover Annihilation of the Wicked
NILE
4.21 | 38 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DEATH Human Album Cover Human
DEATH
4.17 | 103 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

technical death metal online videos

technical death metal New Releases

.. Album Cover
I: Voice
Album
WARFORGED
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Altars To The Ones Above
Album
LOATHING
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Vile Nilotic Rites
Album
NILE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Culminating Ruins
Album
DAWN OF NIL
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Accursed
EP
VALE OF PNATH
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Metaportal
EP
WORMED
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Paradox
Album
NOCTURNUS AD
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Komouš
EP
!T.O.O.H.!
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Gomorrah
Album
GOMORRAH
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Demiurgus
Album
EQUIPOISE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Their Worn Never Dies
Album
CONTRARIAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Apoptosis
Album
ALLEGAEON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Undying Light
Album
FALLUJAH
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Release From Flesh And Blood
Single
CONTINUUM [CA]
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Designed Obsolescence
Album
CONTINUUM [CA]
Buy this album from MMA partners

technical death metal Music Reviews

DAWN OF NIL Culminating Ruins

Album · 2019 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Culminating Ruins" is the debut full-length studio album by French progressive death metal act Dawn of Nil. The album was independently released in May 2019. Dawn of Nil is a one-man project formed by Vincent Laugier, who performs all instruments and vocals on the album.

Stylistically the music on "Culminating Ruins" is progressive death/black metal, often atmospheric in nature (keyboards are occasionally used and the album feautures acoustic parts too). The vocals are low in the mix growling/occasional black metal screaming, and the riff- and rhythm styles vary between death metal and black metal influenced playing styles (often in the more melodic end of the spectrum). The material is structurally adventurous and there are some pretty creative songwriting ideas on the album.

It´s obvious that Laugier is both a skilled musician and knows how to compose music, but the sound production on "Culminating Ruins", do come off slightly amaturish. It´s a bit too audible that the drums are programmed, which wouldn´t be a problem if the artificial programmed drum sound was an integral part of the the soundscape and enhanced it, but here they work like a replacement for a human drummer, because a human drummer was either not available or because Laugier did not want to bring in a session musician to play the drums. It´s sometimes the curse of one-man projects that the artist has full control and often don´t realise that outside input could have enhanced their project greatly. The drums are otherwise well programmed, they just sound a little stiff and artificial.

The choice to place the vocals as low in the mix as they have been placed is another production choice I question. Maybe they are placed this low to create a mystical effect or something like that, but to my ears it does not work well. They sound like a deep growling noise in the soundscape and thereby more like an instrument than actual vocals.

So upon conclusion I´ll praise the many creative songwriting ideas on the album (and the many great epic and melodic moments) and the fact that Laugier is a capable musician, but the songs really aren´t that memorable and they generally don´t differ enough from each other (there are many great ideas, but they aren´t put together in a particularly effectful or memorable fashion), and as mentioned above the "bedroom" sound production and the programmed drums don´t do the material any favors either. I overall respect the basis of project, but to my ears the glass is only half full, and Laugier still has some way to go, before releasing what I would characterize as a fully professional sounding release. Still a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

CYNIC Focus

Album · 1993 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Focus" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Florida based progressive metal act Cynic. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in September 1993. Cynic had been around since 1987 though, and had been an integral part of the early Florida death metal scene, releasing no less than four demo cassette tapes in the years 1988-1991. It took a while to find the right label and get signed, and the release of "Focus" was further delayed by the session work/touring that the members of the band did for/with other acts in the early 90s. Original bassist Tony Choy (who was replaced by Sean Malone for the recording of "Focus") recorded with both Pestilence and Atheist (and eventually joined and toured with the latter), guitarist Jason Gobel recorded the "Imperial Doom (1992)" album with Monstrosity, and drummer Sean Reinert and lead vocalist/guitarist Paul Masvidal recorded the "Human (1991)" album with Death and subsequently toured with Death in support of the album. Masvidal also recorded guitars for the "On the Seventh Day God Created... Master (1991)" album by Master. So they were definitely a busy bunch in those years.

So Cynic were known as a death metal act and therefore the sound on "Focus" came as a bit of a surprise to the contemporary death metal community. Stylistically the album features occasional death metal heaviness and aggressive snarling vocals (courtesy of session vocalist Tony Teegarden from Epitaph as Masvidal had serious issues with his voice and couldn´t record the extreme type vocals for the album), but there is a major jazz/fusion influence in both the choice of notes/chords, the guitar solos, and the on the drumming style. Add to that Masvidal´s robotic vocoder delivered "clean" vocals and spiritual/philosophical lyrics and a generally ambient ethereal atmosphere to the music, and "Focus" is anything but a regular early 90s US death metal release. The fact that they were often refered to as a death metal act, when a label like technical/progressive metal would probably have been more appropriate, and they ended up touring in support of Cannibal Corpse and receiving quite a hostile reaction from many audiences at the time, were probably contributing factors when they decided to call it quits already in 1994. They did reach an audience who praised the bold originality of the album, but "Focus" has become more retrospectively recognized than it ever was upon release. Not completely unlike the story of "Spheres (1993)" by Pestilence. The contemporary metal scene apparently weren´t ready for that revolution yet.

"Focus" is an exceptionally strong and original sounding release though. The alien sounding vocoder vocals are probably an aquired taste, but they create an almost futuristic sounding counterweight to the raw snarling vocals, and provide the album with a very distinct vocal sound. Guitar synthesizers are also used (so what sounds like keyboards on the album are actually guitars played through synth effects) and further enhances the feeling that you are listening to something completely alien. The two guitarists play different guitar lines, chords, leads/rhythms constantly, and are complimented by the fretless bass playing, and the ever changing time signatures and rhythms. It´s multi harmony and rhythmically very complex music.

"Focus" was recorded at Morrisound Recording in Tampa, Florida with producer Scott Burns, and while he successfully captures the essence of heaviness, the album does feature a slightly thin sounding production job. It´s mostly the distorted guitars which could have prospered from a more meaty tone, but on the other hand, it is a sound production, where the listener is able to hear all details. Overall the sound production suits the music well.

The material on the 8 track, 36:13 minutes long album are well written, quite catchy and melodic for music as complex as this generally is. It´s a varied and dynamic album too, where each track stand out as something special and outstanding. Tracks like "Veil of Maya", "I'm but a Wave to...", and "How Could I" are all tracks featuring both atmospheric acoustic moments and more aggressive heavy moments (the latter also features one of the most beautiful guitar solos (the closing solo) I´ve ever heard), while tracks like "Sentiment" and "Textures" stand out for other reasons. "Sentiment" is an atmospheric track with spiritual lyrics and "Textures" is an instrumental jazz/fusion track (with some metal elements).

Upon conclusion "Focus" is a unique release. It was unique in 1993 and it´s unique today. Sure there had been other artists like Watchtower, Sieges Even, and Atheist, who before Cynic did, had incorporated jazz/fusion elements to their brand of metal, but Cynic still managed to create their own sound with a focus on atmosphere/spiritual ambience. It´s not only a unique release it´s also an outstanding one and a 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

ORIGIN Abiogenesis - A Coming into Existence

Album · 2019 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kev Rowland
This is an interesting concept, as this isn’t the current direction or sounds of the band Origin, but instead is a trip back to the very earliest days of the band. The twelve-track album includes eight new (previously unreleased) songs from the pre-Origin period, spanning from the ‘Necrotomy’ (1990-1991) and ‘Thee Abomination’ (1992-1993) eras of the band which followed by a remastered version of the band’s first ever EP from 1998. For this project band leader Paul Ryan spent five years recording all the old material on his own. As he says, “Over the years people have asked me how Origin just came to be as a band so ferocious virtually out of nowhere. This is a small summary of the Origins of Origin. Basically, I spent a lot of my youth at shows at the outhouse practicing garage grinding, basement blasting & shed shredding anywhere I️ could, composing as what my father would call 'Infernal Racket' as I was very passionate about death metal. That's all I ever wanted to do. This is by no means the current direction of the band Origin, but simply music that is the Origins of Origin. I did to the best of my ability to recreate the instrumentation of all the former members and the guys who I played this music with blended into each track (and yes there was a lot of editing!!!!). I’m officially retired from recording drums ever again!".

The end result is an album of 12 songs, which is under half an hour in length. Although recording wise this is very polished, this brutal death metal act is quite different in many ways from what I think of today with Origin as they exist now. I am a big fan of their last album, ‘Unparalleled Universe’, which shows the more technical direction the band takes now. The vocals are often distorted and screamed and add little to the overall sound of the music. It is very heavy, and the drumming is surprisingly good (which makes me wonder exactly how much editing went into that area), and while the guitars and bass are as tight as one would expect from Ryan it is the vocals and song length which really lets this down. But, this isn’t really designed for the casual listener, and if it was placed before 2000’s ‘Origin’, which in many ways is the right place for it to be, then it would have been discussed in a different way. As it stands, this may be mostly for Origin fans only as it shows where they came from, but apart from the vocals this is still a fun ride.

ALLEGAEON Allegaeon

EP · 2008 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
ALLAGAEON (pronouned uh-LEE-juhn) formed in 2008 in the Fort Collins, Colorado area of the USA by vocalist Ezra Haynes, lead guitarist Greg Burgess, rhythm guitarist Ryan Gilsan, bassist Corey Archuleta and drummer Jordon Belfast of which only Burgess remains in the modern day era (2019 when i write this.) The band started out playing local gigs around at bars and in house gigs but soon caught the attention of Metal Blade Records who signed them after hearing how much they kicked ass on this debut self-titled and self-released EP of four tracks.

Having one foot in the past and another in the brave new world of the 21st century ALLAGAEON found a niche on the melodic side of the technical death metal camp. Churning out aggressive guitar riffs at a million miles per second, ALLAGAEON seems to have taken a cue from Marty Friedman era Megadeth especially on some of the melodic thrash metal techniques on “Rust In Peace” and applied them to a more suitable death metal context complete with blastbeat technical drumming wizardry laced with jazzy drumming skills in the mix.

Ezra Haynes’ vocals exhibit the typical death metal growls but the musical drive somehow melds the aforementioned Megadeth thrash with bombastic groove metal chops in for good measure however the galloping riffs and melodic soaring neoclassical soloing clearly reminds me of tracks like “Holy Wars” from Megadeth’s 1990 magnum opus. The technical displays come in not only the virtuosic instrumental interplay with amazingly precise bass grooves, guitar riffs / solos and percussive perfection but also in some of the compositional skills. While the melodic bantering can remind a lot of band like Amon Amarth with the double-bass drum patterns and extra catchy hooks, the compositions are dragged out a bit and whenever the saccharine detector registers too high, the band seem to steer it all into a more bombastic counterpunch.

This is a full fury album with four tracks that fire on all pistons for the EP’s 20 minute run. With a slight pension towards the progressive side of extreme metal, the amazing part of ALLAGAEON is how well they deliver the melodies without sounding like it. While melodic constructs are the clear focus, the intense fury delivered by the technicality and heaviness steals the show as the lyrics delve into the expected tech death subject matter of alien life and other sci-fi themes. While more famous for later works such as 2016’s critically acclaimed “Proponent For Sentience,” this debut EP is a stunningly excellent starter filled with one impressive series of musical chops after another and a testament to how well balanced a tech death metal can sound. Definitely not one to be missed.

DEATH Human

Album · 1991 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
Okay this isn’t going to make me any friends... but this is my review and I can only share my honest opinion...

Yuck. What is this?

I was heavily into thrash metal in my early teens, and while I don’t sway very often towards the heavier and more aggressive side of metal these days, I still like many of the artists that I’m already a fan of. So here I am many, many years later, and it’s time to get stuck in with one of the main metal subgenres that has always eluded me; death metal. And what better place to start than one of the most revered and beloved bands of the genre? Death.

But this? Nope! Not into it! I mean, the playing is incredibly intense and these guys are all incredibly proficient at their instruments, with pinpoint precision and accuracy, and there are a couple of decent riffs. But most of it is just way too fast and lacks any kind of melody. Ditto for the vocals. Angry, growly stuff, which is fine if you’re into that, but for me, I need some kind of melodic vocal line that I can sing along to!

Aw well. I tried, and I know I’ll get flayed alive for this review (metal fans can be so annoyingly passionate sometimes, it’s just a review, come on guys, chill!), but there we have it. I gave Death’s ‘Human’ multiple listens, and it’s just not growing on me. What can I say? I’m only human.

technical death metal movie reviews

No technical death metal movie reviews posted yet.

Artists with Technical Death Metal release(s)

technical death metal Index

Member Zone

Username:
Password:
Stay signed in

Metal Subgenres

Artists Alpha-index

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Dirt Alternative Metal
ALICE IN CHAINS
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

MetAlmighty Power Metal
MAGIC KINGDOM
Buy this album from MMA partners
Black Anima Alternative Metal
LACUNA COIL
Buy this album from MMA partners
Violet Hour Stoner Metal
ALUNAH
Buy this album from MMA partners
Primal Future: 2019 Thrash Metal
TOXIC HOLOCAUST
Buy this album from MMA partners
Collision Course Hard Rock
VANTAGE POINT
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Avandra - Ubiquitous
AVANDRA
Tupan· 17 hours ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online