Review Summary: If this is supposed to be death metal about space monsters, where the fuck's Cthulu?
Whoever said that death metal is totally dead and buried is talking out of their arse. While there are many derivative bands out there, others, such as Obliteration and now Artificial Brain, that are pushing boundaries that were considered un-pushable. Artificial Brain's sound can be characterised as death metal with sci-fi themes. While this is something that has been done before (see Morgoth, Nocturnus and Hypocrisy), the fusion of Demilich/Adramelech atonal craziness with the intense groove of Immolation and a b-movie/hard sci-fi atmosphere creates a sound that is pushing at the boundaries and approaching something truly unique.
It should be emphasised that, while the band is not consistently pushing over the boundaries established by their aformentioned contemporaries, when they do the results are spectacular. 'Absorbing Black Ignition' is the shining example of what happens when the band pushes beyond the normal brutality of death metal; they create an atmosphere that rivals Immolation's Closer To A World Below
at its most titanic but one that has much greater emphasis on sad, haunting and, dare it be said, beautiful, dissonant melodies. It does this while losing none of the power and brute force that death metal is so revered for. To create a song of this type in this genre and execute it so well is rare indeed.
As mentioned before though this album is not a consistent experiment; the band stays within their genre confines more on the shorter tracks while letting loose on the longer tracks, all with a hint of melody. It should be stated that band does all of this with exceptional skill, balancing technical prowess, aggression and atmosphere in well-thought out structures that flow between the three without ever dropping the ball once. On the flip side though none of these songs approach 'Absorbing Black Ignition' in terms of quality or originality (the title track comes close though). It's both a blessing and a curse for the band as it leaves a huge amount of potential that the band can build upon for the future but also it leaves this album feeling a little lacking. With that said though this album still stands head and shoulders above most of its contemporaries in terms of quality and also provides a valuable lesson that death metal isn't quite dead yet. Recommended with occasional light refreshments.
-Absorbing Black Ignition