posted on 10/2005 By:
I'm going to get a few things right out in the open from the start. The first being that I've never liked Neuraxis. That isn't to say that I've always disliked Neuraxis; it just means that I've never liked them. Now, keeping that in mind, I've also never known what the hell a Trilateral Progression is. Lastly, and this is somewhat embarrassing to admit as a reviewer, but often times, I can figure out if I like an entire album simply by listening to a single song. How can I do it? The answer: I can't, really. I'm just an asshole in that sense.
So now that I've rendered my opinion as a reviewer to be completely irrelevant, I'm going to tell you what I think of this record. It's good. It's nothing I'm going to play religiously every day and continually recommend, however, it is something that I'm probably going to headbang lightly to while I fix a ham sandwich for lunch. It's that kind of progressive technical death metal. The ham sandwich-making soundtrack kind.
But if it's good, why wouldn't I listen to it every day? Why wouldn't I recommend it continually? Because it's simply something I'm not particularly interested in, and I'm only going to recommend it once, which is this review. Although I'm positive that death metal fans will gleefully pick up a copy and probably wear the damn thing out in a few months, for me, it's too polished and controlled - too poised and planned. That, and I don't generally approve of uplifting melodies in my death metal unless it's somehow tied together with Dan Swano. There's more as to why I won't be listening to this, but I won't ever figure out how this album won't enter my regular rotation.
There's some killer parts, in all seriousness. "Shatter The Wisdom" has some exceptionally skillfully written material, especially during the verses. Thrashy and well-defined, the more the song unfolds, the more it actually comes together for me. The following track, "Monitoring The Mind", begins on an excellent note but still loses me from time to time. Not because of a level of complexity, necessarily, but more due to the pairing of near-genius quality material with just passable parts.
Forgive me for getting too deep for most of you, but really, isn't that what causes problems on so many extreme metal records? Don't you feel that half the time you're listening to the music, you're just really anticipating the six or seven life-shattering parts on the entire album? I mean, when those parts do hit, even when you're expecting them, they're still great, but I feel like the method that metal music has trained me to enjoy songwriting is almost unreasonable. Again, forgive my navel-gazing contemplative crap as I go back to the review.
It's shitty, but I think this album just triggered an existential crisis of sorts. Am I depressed? Am I insane? Why aren't I taking maniacal joy in the intelligence displayed during the Scandinavian mid-tempo part on "Chamber Of Guardians", or the mind-splitting and siren-esque dissonant bends on "Caricature"?
I don't know, but I'm going to have to hammer out this issue outside of this review for the sake of all involved.
Really, nothing's changed between me and Neuraxis. I still desperately want them to be my favorite band as they're increasing their adoring fanbase daily, but to put it lightly, the band and I just have artistic differences. They're so good, really. They are. I think the bar just got set too high to begin with. No matter though, I'll wish them all the best anyway as they definitely deserve it and this album definitely punches humanity in the throat. While I may bitch and moan about some parts not being as good as others, 95% of what Neuraxis has written on Trilateral Progression is shoulders above their contemporaries, forcing a great score out of me. If it means anything to you, I feel like I'm the only person on the planet capable of complaining about such an intricately structured and spirited album. It's a shame that the rest of the world doesn't approach songwriting the same way as Neuraxis does, as truthfully, they're one of the best in their game.
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