At a time when every one is intent on being more technical than every other band, perhaps success lies not in being as technical as one can be. What’s more important rather, is to be able to come up with music that sounds complex, but just enough to keep someone intrigued and not so much as to lose the listener’s interest. Portuguese five piece Annihilation’s newest EP, ‘The Undivided’ is an example for what I’m talking about. This album showcases how songwriting should take a higher precedence than complexity. Self released on 4th November, 2014, the six tracks on the record have a streamlined flow of technicality and brutality
Following a weird, underwater sounding intro, ‘Holographic Paradigm’ starts like a regular death metal track with a simple and catchy guitar work as the growls kick in. As the song progresses however, the music slowly and methodically gets more technical, especially the guitar riffs and the drumming. What the band get right, is that they keep the songwriting entertaining and relevant, despite bringing in technical elements into the picture.
The EP itself, has a tendency to get a little bit more complex with each song. ‘Transcending Conciousness’ and ‘Feeding the Void’ exhibit a barrage of technical guitar riffs while managing not to overdo the complexity of the song writing. The penultimate track ‘The Great Cycle’ takes the technicality a notch down and delivers a semi technical, death metal riff fest glorified by mad drumming.
‘The Undivided’ as a whole, is not without its flaws. For instance, the album comes with a weird atmospheric intro and an outro, which together accounts for over 5 minutes. I understand that these tracks are meant to set the tone and mood for the rest of the album, but in the long run, I’m sure that these tracks will be skipped by most of the listeners. The production is just fine and it pretty much does its job of keeping stuff raw and audible.
While this may not be the ideal technical brutal death metal record that all future records should be modeled after, Annihilation get how to make a technical record interesting to us common folk. If only more bands did this, so I wont feel stupid when I fail to see what’s so special about the latest tech death album everyone’s listening to.