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Vortech - Deep Beneath (7,5/10) - Finland - 2008

Genre: Industrial Metal / Progressive Extreme Metal
Label: Self-production
Playing time: 42:34
Band homepage: Vortech

Tracklist:

  1. The Awakening 
  2. Biodroid Legions 
  3. The Undying Storm 
  4. Shadow Shapes 
  5. Retribution 
  6. Bewildered 
  7. Deep Beneath 
  8. Subjugation 
  9. Exile Within 
  10. So They Rise 
Vortech - Deep Beneath

While the majority of Metal bands fall back on the past for influence and direction, certain bands only look ahead. Most of what we call Progressive Metal seems to fit that group, but that doesn't mean it's the only style turning its back on the past. VORTECH has enough of what you can call progressive in its formula, but its limits are too broad. Imagine a blend of Industrial, Progressive, Thrash and Death Metal and you've got the basic ingredients. Occam's Razor would cut this down to “Future Metal,” which is the vision that really matters here.

That said, it's still necessary to dissolve this aggregate into its constituent parts. Industrial is a term often associated with “Future Metal,” and that's the sauce that flavors this mixture. The drums are synthesized and inorganic, though the beats are more akin to Metal than any Industrial sub-group. On “Subjugation” it even beats out a Middle Eastern rhythm. The most enticing aspect is easily the hypnotic synth-work, which ranges from ambient to trance. They succeed in creating atmosphere and harmony, breathing life into the machine “deep beneath.”

The riffs roll along at an up tempo (but not lightning fast) somewhere between Heavy Metal and Thrash. Most of the time there's only one guitar at work, so the bass has a heightened presence. On their own the riffs aren't too special, but combined with the synths, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Vocalwise, the human presence is clearly not the focus: growls deathly enough to warrant the “extreme” prefix.

The Finn at work here is a remarkable musician who offers a vision into the future of Metal music. People will continue to compartmentalize every new piece of music into pre-existing pigeonholes. But with more bands like VORTECH advancing the scene, such a task will become increasingly difficult. It may be a matter of time before what we now reference as “Future Metal” will be present Metal.

(Online September 3, 2008)

Jeremy Swist



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