Timeghoul - 1992-1994 Discography
Dark Descent Records
Progressive Death Metal
6 songs (43' 43")
Release year: 2012
Official Label Bandcamp
Reviewed by Andy
Archive review

Those of us who came of age in America in the 90s probably remember much of it as a pretty foul decade for metal -- but extreme metal came of age in the 90s too, and did great even as mainstream heavy metal suffered. The second wave of black metal reared its demonic head in Northern Europe, and in the US, death metal was travelling into completely new territory, with outfits like Death, Atheist, and Morbid Angel adopting progressive compositions that would lead to some of their greatest albums. Another of those progressive death metal bands, though languishing in obscurity instead of being with us today, was Timeghoul, which left behind only demos, treasured by fans in the know, before folding. A remastered collection of them, released in 2012, were also made available on Bandcamp last year, and how good the demos sound is as much a testimony to the power of the songs and the band that played them as the quality of the remaster work.

Timeghoul's songs are made to tell stories on several levels. I've seen concept albums with less depth than some of their single tracks, and all of those tracks paint gruesome scenes of sci-fi-tinged horror; just reading the lyrics is like reading a short and disturbing story in a pulp magazine. Vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jeff Hayden's voice is a rotted, rumbling sound, dragging with the slowness of doom, but jumping with the unbalanced-sounding riff work to a low-pitched gibbering, so fast it can barely be followed -- and then breaking off into mournful clean vocals a few times when the atmosphere requires it. The noisy but compressed guitar sound is beautifully composed, meticulously building up the songs just in time to move to another theme, such as the scintillating leads in the middle of Infinity Coda. The remastered production keeps a lot of the rough demo sound, but softens the edges enough to get it nearly to LP quality.

The brilliance on display is effortless but restrained. The crazy geometry of Gutspawn's riffing, for example, is wholly subservient to the creeping pacing of the narrative, until the band decides to jump to a blindingly fast tempo -- which it can apparently do on a dime. The final track, Occurence on Mimas, is the best example of this, and the crowning glory of the lot. There's more of an epic feeling here than on any other track; robotic chanting vies with gloomy screaming guitars, dragged out in a higher key than the band usually takes on, and spiked with harmonic squeals. Towards the middle of the song, as the world-ending disaster depicted in the lyrics unfolds, the chords get more ominous and the poisonous howls of the leads take on an even darker tone, painting a morbidly beautiful picture for the listener.

This collection showcases some classic material for the progressive or tech death listener that was far ahead of its time. If you never listened to Timeghoul before, this is an excellent time to check it out.

Bandcamp: https://timeghoul.bandcamp.com/album/1992-1994-discography-digital-download.

Killing Songs :
All of them
Andy quoted no quote
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