Hundreds of bands in the world today emulate Death’s enduring tech-death sound. Most get in the ballpark, and a handful get pretty close. Miscreance is one of the latter bands.
The road to this point was difficult for Miscreance (formerly Atomic Massacre), but their hard work paid off. Their self-titled album, Convergence, caught the eye of the prestigious metal label Season of Mist, which is reissuing their debut so their work might reach a larger audience.
From 2013 to 2017, members of the Italian band Atomic Massacre honed the skills required for tech death. In 2017, they changed their name to Miscreance, and a year later released a limited demo. Then, their singer split. For two years, they searched for a vocalist before discovering, Genesis-style, that their drummer Andrea Feltrin could handle drums and vocals simultaneously. Armed with this information, they recorded a split with the Australian death metallers Vile Apparition. Finally, five years of preparation paid off when they recorded their debut full-length Convergence. Season of Mist caught wind of it, and Miscreance agreed to a label reissue due May 19, 2023.
A story of woe and passion does not an album make, however. Convergence must succeed on its own merits and has a fair few. Many tech-death bands focus on exhilarating speed, but Miscreance focus on what made early death exciting: complexity, soloing, and riffing. Each instrument gets to shine in this album – yes, even Jean-Claude Rossignol’s bass. By these powers combined, tracks like “Incubo” and “My Internment” refuse to let the album fall to background music: soloes, bass runs, and spoken-word sections keep the music fresh, engaging, and exciting the whole way through.
Miscreance adore Death; that much is obvious. Why they aren’t simply Misanthrope, a Death tribute band, is also clear after a listen to Convergence. It is nigh-impossible (and nigh-sacrilegious) to suggest Chuck Schuldiner could be superseded, anyways. Miscreance don’t need comparisons to the paragon of death metal: their solos and riffing have their own magnetic qualities, and besides, Miscreance clearly gave early Gorguts a few spins too.
If this album had an Achilles’ heel, it would be its timeworn formula. It has been thirty years since death metal sounded like Death, but it would be unfair to judge Miscreance on standards they do not aspire to. Miscreance knew what they wanted: a tech-death album that sounds remarkably like the early nineties. In that, they succeeded remarkably well.
Technical death metal is a genre known for its extravagance: extreme speed, extreme soloing, and extreme riffing. However, sometimes a band comes along and reminds a genre of its roots, and Miscreance have done precisely that. It may not bend any rules or push limits, but “Convergence” is an excellent time for any fans of old-school death or tech-death metal in general.