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11.20.16 Kamelot Ranked01.31.16 Megadeth Ranked
07.29.15 Symphony X Ranked06.22.15 Top 40 Progressive Death Metal Albums
06.22.15 Top 40 Technical Death Metal Albums12.18.14 Top 25 Melodic Death Metal Albums
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01.11.14 Plugging Some Obscure Artists

Top 40 Technical Death Metal Albums

Technical death metal is an often misunderstood subgenre of death metal. There's quite a lot of soulless guitar wanking out there in the front of things that sometimes distracts from the good stuff. Where the songwriting is intense and feels right and where the riffs just slay. It's been a long road listening to several albums to make sure this list had a good base to go off of, so here's my top albums in the genre. I'm making a list for progressive death metal as well, and sometimes that overlaps quite a bit with this. To prevent any duplicated cross entries, something I feel is primarily technical will go on this list, and something that's primarily progressive will go on that list. Also the ranking may not be exact because golly that'd be hard. Limit one album per band.
40Arsis
A Celebration of Guilt


Appearing for the second time on my death metal lists, Arsis' debut was pretty solid stuff. Then they decided to make less interesting music. Mostly technical riffs but with melodic tinges. A good starting foray into this list, but they're barely special compared to what's up ahead.
39Atrocity
Todessehnsucht


Apparently this band can't decide what to be. For their first two albums they were a pretty good death metal band with some technicality to their riffs.
38Abnormality
Contaminating the Hive Mind


Yes, I discovered this band through Rock Band 2 like a lot of people did. A nice brutal album that has riffs that kick ass, and a really good female vocalist.
37Fleshgod Apocalypse
Oracles


These guys were better before they went full blown symphonic, because the songs of their recent albums have been incredibly busy and bloated. Without all that orchestral flair clogging up the songs, we have some solid technical death metal left behind.
36Taste (Jpn)
Retaliation of Discomfort Organisms


An obscure band from Japan provides this great album. A really interesting mix of sludgy, grindy technical death metal.
35Desecravity
Orphic Signs


Another band hailing from Japan, that's really brutal and technical. This sounds like the sterile kind of tech death I'd dislike, but this riffs pretty hard.
34Scrambled Defuncts
Souls Despising The God


These guys went symphonic before Fleshgod did, and they handled it more tastefully. Instead of constantly being there, it's injected in bursts. The main problem is that the keys are mixed WAY TOO LOUD and overshadow some of the brutal riffs below. Hackled in Gore is probably the better album, but from what I heard it's more brutal death than tech death.
33Punish
Raptus


A solid slab of technical death metal mixed with thrash. I could see the vocals driving people away, but they're pretty good. This album is free for download on their site, too.
32Neuraxis
Trilateral Progression


I've only listened to this and A Thin Line Between. Not a fan of the latter, and this album's pretty good. I don't have much to say about it other than the riffs are great.
31Psycroptic
The Scepter of the Ancients


A nice meaty guitar tone combined with fantastic vocals makes this an excellent tech death output.
30Theory In Practice
The Armageddon Theories


I don't know what happened with Colonizing the Sun, but that one's not that good. This album has some nice shreddy stuff going on, which I'm usually not too keen on, but these guys do it well.
29Sophicide
Perdition of the Sublime


A fantastic one-man output, especially considering his young age at the time. Riffs for days.
28Spawn of Possession
Cabinet


It's really weird. This sounds like one of those tech death albums I wouldn't like, but the songwriting is too tight and the riffs too good for me to dislike it.
27Appalling Spawn
Freedom, Hope And Fury


Another repeat entry from an older list. I couldn't exclude this album. Brutal yet somehow melodic, tinged with all that heavy bizarre goodness that would eventually seep into Lykathea Aflame.
26Psypheria
Embrace The Mutation


A keyboard is a prominent instrument in this band, adding symphonic sounds. But it's mixed well and fits snugly in with the songs, making a really nice atmosphere.
25Gigan
Multi-Dimensional Fractal-Sorcery...


This band definitely took a lot on influence from Gorguts' Obscura, that's for sure, but they're not a Gorguts worship band at least. Bizarre riffs and psychedelic elements make this a pretty neat album. Their first album is the more psychedelic of the three, and their second album is the more technical of the three (and my least favorite). I picked this album to represent them because it's a nice blend of the two styles.
24Artificial Brain
Labyrinth Constellation


I initially shelved this because the few snippets I heard sounded like the sterile, lifeless kind of tech death I didn't like. But I dove in when I decided to craft this list, and was pleasantly surprised. Great songwriting and oddly intoxicating riffs (though it might just be the guitar tone).
23Baring Teeth
Atrophy


It's like Gorguts and Ulcerate had a child that would never be as good. Still, a great mixture that produces a pretty great album. The follow-up album goes too heavy on the atmospheric sludge and is boring at parts and ultimately not that good, so they probably won't surpass this album if they keep heading in that direction.
22Neoplasmah
Sidereal Passage


A really obscure album with a female vocalist. An excellent slab of tech death that certainly deserves a spot with the greats in the genre. Fantastic riffs all around.
21Flourishing
The Sum of All Fossils


This album has a really grungy sludge influence all throughout, making it a really interesting tech death album.
20Disembarkation
Rancorous Observation


There's a lot of progressive influence on here, but I put this album on this list because there was a lot of Atheist feel to it. Wonderful jams to be had here.
19Jumpin' Jesus
The Art of Crucifying


One of those "one then done" bands that came out of nowhere, left this classic death metal record with nice technical riffs, and then went back to their home planet.
18Unhuman
Unhuman


Another one of those surprises where I thought it wouldn't be good but turned out to be awesome. Only this one was better than the other two suspects. Fantastic riffs and an amazing vocalist that definitely sounds inhuman at points.
17Martyr
Warp Zone


Apparently quite a few people dislike the vocals, and I can see why. In fact, I'm pretty sure they turned me off of this band when I was a metal babby. But now I've come back to relish in these tasty, tasty riffs.
16Fractal Point
The Bizarre Machinery Of Universe


I don't know what brings these guys so high up, but they're definitely not out of place. They just managed to hit a sweet spot with their riffs.
15Rune
The End Of Nothing


A beautifully bleak album that has considerable sludge influence (and sections). Another "one and done" band, which is unfortunate because I'd really like to see how their music would have progressed.
14Astomatous
The Beauty of Reason


Considerable Obscura influence here, but this is another band that breaks from the mold and does a fantastic job at it.
13Monstrosity
Millenium


A classic album with a classic cover and classic riffs.
12Nocturnus
The Key


An excellent classic tech death album with symphonic flair sprinkled throughout with keys.
11Cryptopsy
None So Vile


Of course they'd get on this list. Brutality blended with technicality in a cocktail of chaos. Lord Worm grunting the lyrics with gutted syllables everywhere. This and Blasphemy Made Fresh are wonderful albums.
10Decapitated
Winds of Creation


I'd always seen Nihility held in high regard, but frankly it was not really interesting. So I was suspicious when I was recommended this album. I don't know what happened to this band, but they killed it on this album. Immense talent from the band, all youngsters at the time. Excellent riffs.
9Suffocation
Pierced from Within


Of the classic three Suffocation albums, this was the pinnacle of the band's progression towards a more technical sound. Suffocation's riffs are too tasty to keep them off this list.
8Ulcerate
Everything Is Fire


Really great use of atmospheric sludge influence to make very dense albums. Still plenty of riffs to be had. Their whole discography seems to be pretty solid stuff (never listened to the debut); this and Vermis are on equal footing for me.
7Pyrrhon
The Mother of Virtues


More Obscura worship, but this band keeps it fresh by injecting a nice dose of jazzy flair into things. Definitely looking forward to what this band produces in the future, providing they don't mess it up.
6Crimson Massacre
The Luster of Pandemonium


Oh my. The riffs are a constant whirling cacophony that becomes a droning buzz throughout the course of the album. It's a very daunting listen, but in getting past that wall of noise you can start to hear the extremely ordered chaos that makes up the songwriting of this album. Fantastic.
5Anata
Under a Stone With No Inscription


I love Anata, so my favoritism rockets them up this high. Don't get me wrong, they're really good, but they're probably not top 5 material. Regardless, this is the most technical of their albums with very little melodic death metal influence to be found. Just delicious riffs.
4Atheist
Unquestionable Presence


Piece of Time was a wondrous debut, but I just loved the jazz this album brought. Classic riffs in an amazing album. If only they could get back to this perfect blend of technicality and jazziness.
3!T.O.O.H.!
Rád a Trest


Another favorite. These guys are nuts. Spastic at one part, beautiful at the next, all while the vocalist wails and howls like a madman. This album riffs so damn hard. The last half of Kali is one of the best things ever.
2Gorguts
Obscura


Gorguts is an amazing band, and this is their crowning achievement. A masterful, unorthodox craft filled with dissonant riffs. Somehow this album clicked for me the first time I heard it long ago, and I've loved it since.
1Demilich
Nespithe


Nothing's going to beat Demilich for me, though. Several bands with considerable Obscura influence have made excellent albums, but I haven't yet heard an album with Demilich influence that could grasp what made this band excellent (edit: Cthe'ilist pulled it off and did an excellent job; their debut album would be on this list somewhere if I wasn't lazy). Just amazing, alien riffs that are just constant melodies echoing in the gut of a Lovecraftian monstrosity. And who can forget the demonic toad gurgles of Antti Boman? Truly the king of "one then done" bands.
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