You know when bands are technical for technical's sake? Relentless Mutation is, thankfully, not that. This is absolutely top-notch Technical Death Metal - well-written, well thought-out, and features a merciful run time.... do we really need 50+ minute injections of TDM?
The album starts out with the ambient, airy "Nexus", this combined with the excellent follow-up track "Tesla", pretty accurately aligns expectations for the album. What they offer right from the get-go is the yin-yang of their softest side, followed by their most straight-forward progressive death metal side, which works to make the remainder of the album more surprising.
There are few bands who can play as technical of music while still being able to write even halfway decent vocal melodies, never mind the truly top-notch vocal melodies (and harmonies!) contained herein.
Missing the heaviness Opeth's older sound? Black Crown Initiate has the cure. Their stunning debut EP Song of the Crippled Bull is four tracks of exemplary sometimes melodic, often brutal, technical death metal.
It's time to explore a series of phenomena that appears to appear mostly in metal: only in metal is it the case where long time bands get a spark lit under their asses and come back with some of the best work of their careers.
The variety and thought that went into these tracks have shot Rivers of Nihil to the upper echelon of modern metal.