Review Summary: Only for fans of overly technical Death metal and not for the faint of heart.
Brain Drill is one the most controversial bands of the genre, you have Death metal fans who love what they do and then you have the Death metal fans who absolutely LOATHE them. All these guys seem to be interested in doing is pushing their technical abilities to the limit, cramming notes and blast beats wherever there is time available. I am personally a sucker for technical wankery, so this album sits quite well with me. Whenever I get that itch to listen to a blistering flurry of notes and (mostly) incohesion, I usually just pop this album in.
Technically, these guys are at the end of the road, they push the technical envelope further than Origin does, this album shows without a doubt that Dylan Ruskin can shred and sweep at warp speed on the guitar, Ron Casey on drums can deliver some serious blast beats and hyper speed double kicks, Ivan Munguia’s bass sound cuts through the mix very well and he is clearly heard, usually he is doubling Ruskin’s parts, his technical mastery is astonishing as well and gets a few moments to shine in the intro of “Obliteration Untold” and “Entity of Extinction”. Steve Rathjen is your typical Death metal vocalist, he can growl and shriek, he does those well but apart from that nothing else stands out about him, he is just a typical Death metal vocalist.
Musically, they have improved a bit from “Apocalyptic Feasting”, here they actually launch into a groove from time to time in their songs, these moments are few but they are there. A glimmer of cohesive songwriting is heard on “Beyond Bludgeoned” and “Monumental Failure” where hooks and musical reference points are actually heard. Mostly however, what you hear is a sonic whirlwind of notes, growls and shrieks that hit you at 300bpm. Much of their criticism stems from the fact that they can’t write actual songs to save their life, but here one can bask in some comfort that they’ve made at least some effort. The production on Apocalypse Feasting was jarring, it sounded too trebly with very little low end, electronic drums were used too, but here on Quantum Catastrophe the production is improved and sounds far more organic than their previous album, the mix is far more balanced, the low end is bumped up and real drums were used.
These guys can obviously play their instruments, but they are still sorely lacking in the songwriting department, they will certainly go further if they really focused more on writing actual songs rather than doing a constant technical circus display.