We covered Montréal-based progressive technical death metal band Sutrah, back when they released their demo, and it seems that our crystal ball was no liar: they are releasing their debut full-length, Dunes (no, they didn’t liked my name suggestion), on 22 September, with pomp and circumstance! Fortunately, only positive changes were brought to the Sutrah formulah. First, obviously, it’s produced with a much higher quality. It feels like a proper product and the result of professional work, and it lets us enjoy the fifty-five minutes of puzzling death metal to the fullest. Secondly, their use of Oriental music instruments – namely the Balinese reyong and Australian didgeridoo – is only more present, as showcased in the introduction track “Réveil”, and others on the disc, but it’s still something that could benefit from being even more integrated to the band’s music. The rest is mostly things the band built upon: the magnificent fretless bass lines of Alex Bao, the unrelenting drums of Kevin Paradis, the wicked riffs of Claude Leduc, and tortured screams of Laurent Bellemare. One of the things I appreciate the most about Sutrah’s sound is how varied it can be. While I do enjoy some unforgiving tech-death from time to time – speaking of which, the new Archspire is right around the corner! –, its pace, at often abusively high tempi, is rather straightforward, and it can weigh on me as an active listener. With Sutrah, tech-death is not afraid to, when the song calls for it, play at a slower tempo and convey a wider array of different emotions. Dunes comes out this friday!