Trepalium H.N.P.

Trepalium H.N.P.
This French band play death metal ― the name tipped you off, right? But they do it their way. Check out opening track "Heic Noenum Pax" for a good cross-section of the grinding, blasting, grooving and technicality these guys are capable of. Bringing to mind a more extreme version of Gojira, Trepalium have tons of big, open spaces to their death, often approaching thrashy, Meshuggah-ish turf (the riffs in "Slave the World" are pretty Thordendal-ish). I love the unique guitar work (see the awesome "Prescription of Crisis"), the perfectly crisp production and the high intensity levels that never get bogged down in too much bass-ridden death oppression. "Order the Labyrinth" and "Insane Architect" even turn into a kind of Soilent Green on death metal overdrive, with a Spanish guitar interlude. As the album goes on, the groove increases and the death metal fades away. "I Was" sounds like late-era Pantera, which makes sense, as this album ends with an admirable cover of "I'm Broken," one of the best metal songs ever written. (Season of Mist)