The modern era of technical death metal is a far cry from the bands that ruled the early 90’s. While today’s scene is dominated by mechanical rhythms and furious fretwork, the genre’s forefathers were a bit more creative. Whether it was the insane basswork of players like Steve Digiorgio (Death) and Roger Patterson (Atheist, RIP), or just the catchy songwriting that infected their albums, technical death metal used to something great. With the debut release by Sunken Colony, this once lost era is now returning to form. Appropriately, this project was written by former bass player for Atheist, Travis Morgan, who also played nearly everything on the album.
The most noticeable feature of this demo is the loud, melodic bass playing. While the other instruments are playing quality riffs, the bass is creating unique lines that sound like lost parts from “Individual Thought Patterns”. This is the first release I’ve ever heard where the bass is the highlight, and that’s not saying anything bad about the other instruments. The vocals are lower-pitched, but fairly easy to understand. While there is nobody that sounds quite like Chuck Schuldiner, Travis Morgan could definitely do justice to those songs. The drums are a little bit stiff sounding, which is understandable because they’re programmed. It’s not too troublesome, because he avoids extensive use of blastbeats, but the drums are probably the weak point. Out of the four songs, two of them are mind-blowing. Both “Imminent” and “Animus” display the kind of songwriting that takes you back a couple of decades. The Gorguts cover, “Dormant Misery”, fits in perfectly, which shows just how skillfully the other three songs are composed. “Rite of Passage” is a solid song, but doesn’t really have anything to draw you back. Ultimately, “Animus” is one demo that should create some buzz in the metal underground. The instruments are well played, and the style hasn’t been done very successfully by anyone in the last 10 years.
PS: When a band sings about Starcraft, you know they are awesome!
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4.25/5 or 85%.
Written by Scott