As with any Technical Death Metal band, one can always make reference back to the pioneering work that bands like Atheist, Death, and Cynic unleashed on the Metal community. These bands focused on multiple influences, including Jazz and Progressive Metal, to bring forth a new sound for the Death Metal genre. Believe me, few bands have “pulled it off” the way the aforementioned bands have done to the extent they are actually acknowledged in Metal history. Granted those bands are the forefathers of Death Metal, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Death Metal scene, especially from Canada, since Death’s last release.
Neuraxis, from Canada (who could’ve guessed, right?), comes right along after three previous works to enlighten the world with their technical masterpiece, <i>Trilateral Progression<i>, which was released in 2005. Granted, I can’t say that they surpassed such acts like Kataklysm, Cryptopsy, or Quo Vadis in the brutal sense, but they have incorporated those crucial influences with such an addicting melody that once you listen to the whole CD, you will go back for more.
Ian Campbell is one of the few vocalists in this genre who has a truly unique sound and often reminds me of a US pioneer by the name Billy Milano of S.O.D. fame. But, Mr. Campbell can reach such impressive lows that I want to check for effects pedals if and when I get to see them live. (Just Kidding)
This album is amazing from start to finish and never lets up. The songs don’t come across as negative in the sense of “Death” metal. They are quite upbeat and sustain a theme about the systems of mankind, intelligence, and a quest for moral achievement. Though, these are just my interpretations after pondering the lyrics to the 10 tracks of blistering blast beats and furious riffing that would lead many to think otherwise.
Actually, if you never read the lyrics you would miss out on the Shuldiner-esque style of deep thought that utilizes the dictionary far beyond what your average stereotypical “Metal head” could understand. Thus, the term “Forward.Thinking.Metal” comes to mind and that is why the label the band is signed to has it as their motto.
Which leads me to the technical precision of this album, because fine musicianship awakes the thinking process and makes you want to submerse yourself deeper into the realm of all that is Neuraxis. You have Robin Milley (guitar),Yan Thiel (bass) and Tommy McKinnon (drums); upon the second track which is understandably titled “Clarity” these guys make you realize their motive is clear.
To create a wave of audio annihilation with accurate timing that penetrates your ears and cues you in on what kind of force there is to be reckoned with. With moments that roll in right around the 4:00 mark on songs like “Shatter the Wisdom,” you realize these guys are a powerhouse and can explode with the greatest of ease even after you think it’s going to end.
The strong points on the album are the two songs I mentioned, which you can download from either the band’s website or the record label’s website. As for the third track, “A Curative Struggle”, you will have to purchase the album to hear it. It is totally unrelenting and once again showcases the band’s ability to lay down a massive audio attack.
This is one CD I highly suggest you add to your collection as the band will probably be perceived, in due time, as pioneers of the Death Metal scene in this decade.