Designed Obsolescence 

Unique Leader never ceases to amaze me when it comes to being on top of Californian technical death metal bands. Santa Cruz California death metallers Continuum’s second album Designed Obsolescence is an absolute treat.  Featuring current and former members of Animosity, Deeds of Flesh, Decrepit Birth, Allegaeon, the bar has definitely been set quite high with this release and it does not let the listener down at all. Opening up with “Theorem” these guys lay down some relentlessly crazy fretboard work and have no problem changing tempo.

At times Continuum remind me of label mates Arkaik in terms of fretboard attack but with maybe a little bit lower end groove to them.  They definitely have the west coast Unique Leader sound down.  Chase Fraser and Ivan Marguila’s picking hand are on fire throughout, literal buzz saws.

This full length really moves quite quickly.  At right around a half an hour of material, Designed Obsolescence has perfect pacing and really doesn’t waste any time with samples or instrumentals.  A trend with technical death metal these days is to write longer arrangements which at times can feel like just writing riffs or arrangements just for the sake of having them there.  That is definitely not the case with this release. Tracks like “All Manner of Decay and “Into the Void” continue to demonstrate how mechanically precise Continuum are.  I can hear some older Cryptopsy and Soreption influence on these guys.

It is also worth noting that this album was recorded mixed and mastered by Zack Ohren at Castle Ulltimate Studios. Ohren’s work in the past has been pretty darn solid and his work on this album is quite well done. If you are a fan of the classic Unique Leader west coast technical death metal sound then this release will be exactly what you are looking for.  I am excited to hear future releases from Continuum as I believe there is still plenty of room for these guys to grow into their sound.

If you are a fan of bands like: Deeds of Flesh, Decrepit Birth, Cryptopsy, Soreption and or Arkaik then these guys are going to be right up your alley.  Unique Leader have a lot of releases coming out this year so make sure to book mark this one and check it out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
March 20th, 2019


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