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Ahtme – Mephitic

by Cherie Wong at 13 August 2020, 8:08 PM

On July 24, 2020, AHTME released “Mephitic.” AHTME is a Technical Death metal band from Kansas City that formed in 2005, though the band was known as THE ROMAN HOLIDAY from 2005 to 2015. “Mephitic” is the band’s second full-length release with the AHTME name, though they had released an EP and their first full-length album as THE ROMAN HOLIDAY. AHTME promises to make music we can bang our heads to and to impress those “interested only in speed and precision.” Since they are signed to Unique Leader Records, a record label with many great Technical Death and adjacent extreme metal bands on their roster, I have high expectations for “Mephitic.”

With the opening track, “Swarm Of Fools,” AHTME immediately makes their sound apparent. The guitar riffs are technically intricate, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s quite easy to catch a groove and headbang along to the music. There are many great examples of this. The ending of “Putrid Perforation” is intense, with an intense technical riff and battering drums played at a slower pace, which makes it all the more brutal.

Though there are many approachable groove-focused riffs, there are also plenty of dissonant riffs. For those, listen to “Dissolve” and “Dent.” These two are fast-paced and contain plenty of technically proficient guitar playing and blast beats. The outro of “Dent,” in particular, is arrhythmic with odd time signatures and distorted guitar riffs. The following track, “No Stone Sacred,” is more dynamic, with equal amounts of fast-paced riffage backed by blast beats and more restrained, groovy riffs.  My favorite track off the album is “Valley Of The Gourds.” It’s a complete package, with gnarly and catchy riffs, great pacing from the drums, and vocals growling about gourds.

Overall, I recommend this album to fans of Technical Death metal. Fans of NILE and DYING FETUS would like “Mephitic.” While AHTME’s sound is undoubtedly Tech Death, there is less of a focus on overly complex guitar playing and more of a focus on a dynamic sound. Groovy and intricate riffs are both present, making the music as worthy of focusing on the instrument technique as it is to just headbang along.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Swarm Of Fools
2. Putrid Perforation
3. Node
4. Dissolve
5. Dent
6. No Stone Sacred
7. Hair Of The Hog
8. Valley Of The Gourds
9. Devourment Empowerment
Brent Turnbow – Vocals
Craig Bruenger – Bass
Dalton Harper – Guitar
Jordan Plumer – Drums
Record Label: Unique Leader Records


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