Neuraxis
The Thin Line Between


3.5
great

Review

by Anthracks USER (14 Reviews)
March 29th, 2009 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the more overlooked metal albums of 2008.

To start with the vitals, Neuraxis are a Canadian act that primarily blends melodic and progressive death metal elements while flirting with brutality and technicality. Now I’m not too familiar with their other albums, but as I understand Neuraxis shifts their sound at least a smidge with each album, and were originally a more grind-oriented band. The Thin Line Between is their fifth studio album and the melodic and progressive aspects of their sound are in full effect here. It should also be noted that with it there were two new additions to the band, vocalist Alex Leblanc, from fellow Canuck band Atheretic, and Will Seghers, who was previously a session guitarist for Quo Vadis.

Right away the first track, Darkness Prevails, hits the listener with an aggressive-progressive riff backed by the constant blasting of drummer Tommy McKinnon. Now as an aside, the drumming is probably the weakest aspect of the album. McKinnon seems to only showcase two things here: the aforementioned “constant blasting” and being overly conservative behind the kit. I wouldn’t necessarily label this as a negative aspect to the music; it’s just that it could benefit the music so much more if he wasn’t just blasting away while the other members are doing really interesting stuff. Darkness Prevails also features an incredibly crushing chorus riff, a short but tasteful solo (there are a few solos scattered on the album) and is overall the heaviest song on the album.

Wicked, the second track, is easily the best song on the album and I consider it a pretty essential death metal song myself (of recent years anyway). The track opens with an acoustic introduction, which gives off a really menacing feel, before the same passage is repeated with the actual guitars. It isn’t long before it breaks into the abnormally heavy and catchy galloping main verse riff, and eventually the screeching tremolo riff at around the 2:45 mark. Honestly though, there are so many amazing riffs jammed into this song it’s hard to keep track; there’s even a well done tapping section sure to please any tech-heads. Versus is also another highlight on the album, mostly made notable by its revving intro/main riff; it also features another short, nice solo.

Around here the album starts to lose its momentum, unfortunately. Deviation Occurs is only almost great and the eight-minute behemoth of a title track, while ambitious, ends up a bore; the guest vocals by Luc Lemay (Gorguts) are a welcome addition to the otherwise one-dimensional vocal effort found throughout the rest of the album however. Dreaming the End brings up a couple of decent ideas but again falls flat.

Something engaging, however, comes in the form of Standing Despite; a 90-second interlude that sounds either uplifting and hopeful or apocalyptic, I can’t decide which. Either way it’s a welcome distraction to the usual extremity, not to say that the album is especially brutal or draining though. At this point the melodic elements in their sound start to take more prominence in the songwriting. It only seems fair to at least mention the melodic and tremolo-centric Oracle, which is in somewhat of a middle ground in terms of quality.

Seeing as how the album started off so strong, I’m relieved to announce that it does end almost as well as it started. Phoenix is well-executed Death worship in parts and also features an epic, baneful riff around the 1:55 mark; another one of the best riffs among this riff-fest of an album. The All Or Nothing begins with an acoustic passage that you might hear some old guy in some old Irish village flubbing around with before it breaks into a triumphant tremolo attack. The song is uplifting in nature and provides a sense of closure to the album well enough.

Overall The Thin Line Between is a great album (hence the rating), but a few aspects keep it from being a truly remarkable album; mainly the vocals and the drumming. If you find most of your enjoyment while listening to death metal in the guitar work then you should be nothing but pleased with the album, I don’t want to give the impression that that’s all there is though.



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user ratings (129)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Anthracks
March 29th 2009


3770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The album is in that grey area between a 3.5 and a 4. I know it’s kind of a track-by-track (and as a result loses a bit of flow)….that’s not how I intended it to be but that’s how it came out. Either way please point out anything wrong or anything I can do to improve.This Message Edited On 03.29.09

Digging: Radio Moscow - Magical Dirt

Wizard
March 29th 2009


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

One of the most boring metal albums of 2008.

Fixed!!!

Well written review, terribly misleading hahahaha jk. There are a million and one of these types of tech death bands around.



Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

HenchmanOfSanta
March 29th 2009


1884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is just one of those tech death albums that is boring to listen to all the way through but awesome whenever a song comes up on shuffle. This band needs a less monotonous vocalist and more riffs as catchy as Wicked.

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

HighandDriving
March 29th 2009


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agreed, new vocalist suck.

jrowa001
March 29th 2009


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album is good

DoctorNurse
March 29th 2009


475 Comments


I remember listening to this a while back, never really hooked me.

Wizard
March 29th 2009


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I remember listening to this and thinking to myself "Damn, Anthracks is going to love this album".

Anthracks
March 29th 2009


3770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why so? I'd hardly say I love this album.

Wizard
March 29th 2009


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

You have this rated a 4 (Excellent).

I actually didn't mind their last album too much.

Anthracks
March 29th 2009


3770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And as in my first comment I alluded that the album is near the 3.7 area. There are LOADS of albums that I hold in higher regard. Love = 4.5+, usually.

I'm lowering the rating to a 3.5 since that's what the review reflects, as well as being closer to what it is. I gave it the extra nudge to a 4 due to the fact that it had one of my favorite songs that year.This Message Edited On 03.30.09

weareshadenow
September 11th 2009


175 Comments


There first two albums were so very promising. Listen to those instead, though this isn't too bad.

asdemonsburn
March 19th 2010


793 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

riffaxis

renzuokun
May 6th 2010


35 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

not sure why you guys seem to be hating on this album... it has sooooooo many good riffs that i cant even explain it in words, and the vocals are awesome, they remind me of immolation.

Essence
August 6th 2010


3586 Comments


snoooooooooooore

DeafMetal
October 7th 2010


8588 Comments


This sounds like it'd get about a 3 or so. Not worth my time right now though.

Digging: Ja Rule - Pain Is Love

Belloq
October 20th 2012


52 Comments


nice review


TheNotrap
October 21st 2012


8109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oracle's riff ftw.


Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


21506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

vocalist sucks so bad

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia



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