|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Retaliation of Discomfort Organisms
An obscure band from Japan provides this great album. A really interesting mix of sludgy, grindy technical death metal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Scepter of the Ancients
A nice meaty guitar tone combined with fantastic vocals makes this an excellent tech death output.
|30||Theory 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.
Perdition of the Sublime
A fantastic one-man output, especially considering his young age at the time. Riffs for days.
|28||Spawn of Possession|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
The Sum of All Fossils
This album has a really grungy sludge influence all throughout, making it a really interesting tech death album.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A classic album with a classic cover and classic riffs.
An excellent classic tech death album with symphonic flair sprinkled throughout with keys.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.