Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Artificial Brain: Labyrinth Constellation (2014)

Not So Artificial

Normally I ignore technical death metal. But that has nothing to do with the essence of the genre itself. Sadly, the majority of it is all showing off and lots of polish. Emphasis on the "technical," not the "death metal."

That hasn't always been the case. If you go back to the genre's roots, there was real songwriting and real ugliness. Notably, there were Cynic and Demilich, the former exemplifying the art of the song and the latter being as ugly as a demon from a Bosch painting. Artificial Brain channels that spirit of technical death metal in a manner that makes the shorthand "tech-death" feel, somehow, wrong.

You've already got the general idea. This is death metal, true to the name, with guttural vocals and a twisted sound. And it's also technical. The riffs sound like they're not too easy to play--hey, ask a musician to be sure--and they're changing all the time. The "technical" and the "death" serve each other well.

And while it does harken back to the spirit of a bygone era, this is not a part of the "old-school" death metal trend. The guitars make extensive use of relatively clean dissonant chords in a clearly contemporary manner.

This is technical death metal the way it's meant to be.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

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