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sabato 15 novembre 2014

BrainDead - Behind the Mask of Sanity

#FOR FANS OF: Death/Thrash Metal, Deus Otiosus, Ares Kingdom
Among the countless bands mixing together Death and Thrash Metal, regardless of the influences taken from each genre for preference over the other, this New York act’s debut tends to fall in the middle of the pack as a fairly decent and middling effort. While the thrashing guitars fueled by raging patterns and kinetic energy are present throughout, as well as the deep, chunky Death-Metal style patterns that bring the two together just as much as the vocals do, there’s one rather distressing part about the band that does hinder this somewhat. The band does have a tendency at times to resort to a mid-paced chug that’s almost groove-based that really drains a lot of the energy and style throughout this almost to the point of being not even a mix between these two styles how far apart from the rest of the material these tracks are. The use of a drum-machine on many of the tracks is something to get over as well as it adds a cold, electronic influence on the material that’s far removed from the organic sounds on the rest of the album especially when it’s blasting away with the double-bass feature. Certainly it sounds good when covered up for the most part by the raging, thrashing guitars as the energy there manages to hide it pretty well, but there’s still the matter of the needless minute-long interludes that crop up several times here to contend with. They’re really not that impressive at generating the breather they’re intended for, causing annoyance instead and hamper the flow of the album throughout. Still, the thrashing guitars and deep riffing does make this pretty enjoyable at times. After the pointless noise-collage intro ‘Clean15,’ proper first song ‘Splitting of the Mind’ gets things going with raging thrash guitars amidst blistering drumming, tight patterns and plenty of extended patterns that really showcase a more dynamic assault of riffs than expected which causes this to stand as a fine highlight. This trend continues in much of ‘5 Dimensional Apprehension’ though this one tends to offer a more explosive thrash riff and more energy as the basis behind the track, and frankly other efforts like ‘A Warm Embrace’ and ‘Red Snow’ showcase this style quite effectively. Both ‘Rust & Decay’ and ‘White Walls’ drop a lot of the thrash here for plodding mid-tempo groove and rather bland pacing so there’s not much to like with these, though ‘White Walls’ does kick it up a bit in the second half. Yet another pointless noise-collage interlude in ‘Neat03,’ the electronically-influenced ‘Frozen Perfect Mirror’ comes back as a rather blistering effort that’s more notable for the haunting keyboard melody raging alongside the dynamic riff-work and tight grooves, sounding like a rather lively effort altogether and getting back in the good graces after the three straight weak tracks. The title track does manage to get some of the same thrashing influences and extended, nearly progressively technical style of riffing in here which is a welcome sight being placed again in the mix after it worked so well for the first track on here, while ‘Eternal Contusion’ is yet another winding, twisting epic of progressive riffing, technical patterns and furious drum-machine blasts through tight razor-wire riffing and rather deep, chunky guitars that make for quite an enthralling effort,. The massive ‘15 Hours of Hell’ tends to blow that up into even grander forms with an even more extended canvas to wrap all those influences into. ‘Dreams’ is a pretty experimental effort as it winds a laid-back Gothic ambiance with the cold atmospherics and thrashing guitars into a nice idea that tends to go on a little more than it should but still comes off rather nicely in the second half with slightly more Death Metal influences. The last of the pointless interludes, ‘Organized04’ thankfully leads into the chaotic ‘Permanent Enslavement’ which tends to go into overdrive with the frantic riff-work, pounding drums and tight patterns that really go all out and frantically charge through blistering patterns, making for another strong highlight. These do make for an enjoyable listen here though it does have a few hindering flaws. (Don Anelli)

(Self - 2012)
Score: 65