March 28, 2011

Music Review: Neuraxis - Asylon

AsylonIt was nearly two and a half years ago that I first put fingers to keyboard with thoughts of Neuraxis. Despite the fact the Montreal, Canada, based act had been tearing it up for so long it was just recently that they happened to cross my desk. Sometimes the most intriguing acts are the ones you aren't looking for. No, they are not my favorite act but there is definitely something to be said about their brand of melodic, technical, and brutal death metal. Not to mention the fact they have been able to maintain a certain level of quality despite what looks like a constant stream of new members. Asylon features a Neuraxis with an entirely new rhythm section.

Now, even with the lineup shake up and thee years between albums, they have not lost one iota of the brutally technical skill that has lead them up the mountain. There is something about this band that is utterly engrossing, yet accessible, familiar, and safe in an extreme fashion. Neuraxis has set out to craft an overly technical and complex love song to the creation of brutal music and they are absolutely winning.

I still believe the Cookie Monster vocals are the weakest aspect of their game, but it is easy to overlook when the music is this good. There is no denying they are looking to raise their game. The technical shredding, catchy riffing, and melody are hard to ignore. I find it is very easy to get swept up in the tidal wave of sound, getting slammed into various debris. They have taken the familiar and molded it into something else.

In my review of The Thin Line Between I believe I compared them to a combination of Dream Theater and Fear Factory with an extra dose of essence of brutality. I think that may be an overly simplistic way of looking at them, but is still effective shorthand. I really like the way the blend the technical with the brutal and still manage to have melody.

It is a vastly different approach to the the melodic death bands of Europe, some of whom use their technical skill purely in service of the melody. Neuraxis does that but they are clearly not afraid of branching out into more brutal sounds. Asylon does not lack in this whatsoever.

Something else that I like about these guys is that the music is complex, but it is not complex for complexity's sake. These songs are songs first and foremost. I know you know what I am talking about, those amazingly technical bands with insane songs with insane time changes and just stuff that is all over the place. They are good, don't get me wrong, but the songs themselves often suffer. Neuraxis may not be the craziest band around but they have harnessed the technique and used it to craft solid songs.

Overall, this is an impressive release and one that definitely should be heard by all of you metal fans out there. This is especially true if you like insane guitar work.


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