Thursday, 13 October 2011

Neuroma - Extremophile

Self Released 2011

1.Gash In The Attic 2.Cyclopath 3.(O)beast 4.Chicken Poodle Soup
5.Semi Skimmed Milf 6.Killed To Bits 7.Quadraspaz
8.Centipaedophile 9.Columbine Harvester

After a short sampled intro we are greeted by blasting technical and precisely played death metal which opens up in a sonic fury, the production absolutely pounding your ear drums. ‘Gash In The Attic’ has everything you need from a brutal death metal track, namely blasting drums, heavy and frenzied guitars and deep guttural vocals spewing obscenities. All the boxes are ticked. There’s a heavy U.S influence on show, a lot of slow ‘chugging’ riffs interspersed with frenzied technical riffing. Gravity blasts are introduced to add even more extremity and adding to the storm being stirred up. ‘Cyclopath’ shows the bands more technical edge off through the guitars, the fret boards being given a good work out. The band tends to jump between styles, brutal yet simple slower type riffs followed by a whirlwind of technically exquisite riffs. Working from one to the other then back again, the song flows nicely with the pace being fast, rarely slowing down to take breath.

‘(O)Beast' follows a similar pattern, jumping back and forth between styles but again flowing extremely well. The more technical riffs are very catchy on this track, especially when the pace is slowed down. ‘Chicken Poodle Soup’ begins as a more mid-paced affair, bouncing along at a reasonable pace and being fairly simplistic in its delivery compared to the previous tracks. Not a bad thing as Neuroma manages to inject some groove into their slower riffs which retains your attention and makes for an enjoyable slab of death metal. ‘Semi Skimmed Milf’ see’s the bands differing styles mixed to the extreme, jumping sharply from one to the other. Simple passages mixed with short, sharp bursts of technicality which work surprisingly well, never sounding ‘too different’ that they end up sounding wrong. Rather a mix of styles used to great effect which keep the song interesting, no fear of mid cd boredom creeping in here, there’s too much going on to keep the listener entertained. ‘Killed To Bits’ is extremely catchy, especially when the chorus bursts in, the vocals spewing out “Killed To Bits” repetitively before a barrage of blast beats is unleashed over some ‘stop-start’ technical riffing. The track takes on an ‘all over the place’ feel not seen on the previous tracks. Simple but effective and catchy riffing re-introduced to keep the song ‘together’, not allowing the technical edge to take over the song and lose it’s structure. ‘Quadraspaz’ is another extremely catchy affair, the U.S. Death metal influence on full show here and at the forefront of the track, pinch harmonics a plenty. The band definitely at their best here with simple, heavy death metal riffing which makes for an excellent listen. Obviously fans of ‘Brass Eye’, the intro for 'Centipaedophile' sampled from the ‘paedophile’ edition and It’s more of the same, the now trademark mix of mid-paced slower riffs together with the faster technical style again being used to maximum effect.
‘Columbine Harvester’ is the last track and it’s a great finish to a great cd. Blasting drums and frenzied guitars up the pace and see’s the band at their fastest and catchiest, pinch harmonic riffing takes leading the track, the band really ‘going’ for it, ending things on a high before slowing the song right down and fading the track out. The finish to this track reminiscent of a more technical ‘Incantation’ maybe mixed with some ‘Monstrosity’ with a hint of ‘Cannibal Corpse’, the obvious U.S influence again on show. For such serious sounding music, the song titles baffle me. Adding humour into extreme metal isn’t always a good idea, very few bands actually manage to pull it off (Gorerotted and Birdflesh manage to) and Neuroma haven’t. The music is first class well played technical death metal, no hint of humour to their sound. The song titles just don’t fit with what the band are producing. It’s almost like the all that effort put in producing such a great album is almost spoiled by the stupid song titles because as mentioned, if they are trying to inject some humour into their sound, they haven’t done. They have produced some extremely serious sounding extreme metal. That aside, the music should do the talking, and it does. Another great example of a UK band at the top of their game and producing a first class death metal album. Well recommended.
8 out of 10

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