I haven’t been the biggest proponent of tech death bands of late. The combination of mediocre songwriting and over emphasis on weedily weedily guitar riffs has left me cold in most cases. So this is why I find it hilarious that a relatively new band on the scene has made me wake up to the fact that tech death can actual be awesome. I’m speaking of 7 Horns 7 Eyes out of Seattle and their full length debut ‘Throes of Absolution’. These guys must have studied up on their contemporaries and figured out how to draw out excellent music from the progressive arena and draw it into the tech death realm. Usually it takes a band of this nature to grind through a couple of albums before they find a groove but from the gates Throes of Absolution is something special and it’s almost mind boggling where it can go from here.
From what little research I’ve been able to do on this band it appears that they are either a Christian band or have Christian themes to their music. The band name itself is derived from Revelations 5:6 which states
“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.”
I’d say that was a Christian passage and metal as fuck wouldn’t you say? Never let it be said that That Devil Music is one sided. But back to the album and where do I begin? Let’s start with the area I’m always fixated with, the vocals. JJ “Shiv” Polachek IV has fantastic growl abilities. The tone is powerful and aggressive with just the right amount of comprehension. Check the track ‘Vindication’ to get just how awesome Shiv is. Almost every track is a roller coaster ride of brutality and ambience amid structure. Check out the track ‘Hill of Difficulty’ for a good example of what I mean there. There is a flow to each song that makes you pay attention to see where the ride will take you next. You know the weedily guitar parts I spoke of in the beginning? Non existent here, but instead some fantastic lead work by Aaron Smith and Sean Alf.The truly heavy area of the music is in bassist Brandon Smith’s lines. The bass has almost a Tool like tone that make up for the clean rhythm riffs by the guitarists. Drummer Ryan Wood loves the double bass fills and liberally uses them throughout but his patterns are not so off time that they are a distraction. Pay attention to the last track which is an instrumental entitled ‘Regeneration’ as Jeff Loomis adds to the awesome of this album by making a guest appearance.
I love discovering fantastic new bands and I love being there somewhat at the beginning of a band’s career. Being not as versed on death metal as maybe some other genres I usually end up discovering a band multiple albums into their career but I have to say for new guys it’s going to be hard for veterans to top this output this year. In fact they’ve already secured a place on my year end list for sure. If you want to hear for yourself how good 7 Horns 7 Eyes is you can head over to our new friends at No Clean Singing and check out the stream and then get to buying as it releases today. For more information or to show some love to 7H7E head over to their Facebook page too.