Metal, in general, is as vital today as it has in the 80s. Sure, the impact of one record today is not as considerable, but nonetheless vital. Every year we see artists coming with music that makes our hair stand up on the back of our neck, and the impact of such grandiose pieces of art that don’t affect only the metal scene but other scenes as well. Lately it has been the black metal genre getting “all” the recognition, winning fans like Marissa Nadler, Chelsea Wolfe or even the legendary Thurston Moore (a member of the super-group Twilight for their final album). Metal as a whole is vital. Period. But there’s always the underdog thing when comes to metal. In this case death metal is the big underdog. Just like a bud of mine said a few years ago: “These are some of the most brilliant times for death metal. Unfortunately we will need 20 years to take proper notice”. Sonne Adam’s Transformation, Teitanblood’s Seven Chalices, Ævangelist’s De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis, Portal’s Swarth, Mitochondrion’s Parasignosis, and many more. Brilliant records that were released just in the last five years. Impressive? Told ya.
Let’s add another name to our little list: Artificial Brain’s debut album, Labyrinth Constellation (Profound Lore). That’s right, the band formed by Revocation’s guitarist Dan Gargiulo and ex-Biolich vocalist Will Smith has released a monster of an album. Technical death metal with sci-fi themes, a description that doesn’t cover, not even for a moment, all the greatness of this album and the music contained in it. Well, technical death metal – let’s just say technical musical in general – tends to be a dangerous game where wankers are the kings and boredom is the only color of a shitty painting. Not this time. The most impressive thing is to hear and feel how well-thought this album is. How every detail is folded into a single unit making the album coherent and, at the same time, diversified. With an old-school approach the quintet from New York “reworks” death metal, offering dissonance through uncanny atmospheres, tremendous moments of abrasiveness and an album that breath with all the dynamics presented. The melody and weird atmosphere created by the guitar while the madness of death metal is on full mode is probably the biggest highlight of this album. Songs like ‘Absorbing Black Ignition’, where that contrast is for the first time evident, and ‘Worm Harvester’, where the band shifts gears without losing any sense of purpose or brilliance, are some of the moments that standout in an album that will make the year of any extreme metal fan. Brilliant, utterly amazing, breath-taking and challenging from the first to the last second.