Neuraxis
Trilateral Progression


4.5
superb

Review

by Neurasthenic USER (1 Reviews)
July 19th, 2006 | 27 replies | 9,707 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


When most people not really into death metal think about the genre, most of them think about bands like Suffocation, Death, and Cannibal Corpse, or about the wave of brutal death bands (devourment, guttural secrete, etc). Good bands, mind you, but to a lot of folks they sound, well, dated and/or unoriginal, or just plain boring and they fail to attract new people into the genre. Following this path, death metal would stagnate and die. Truth is, in the last decade, death metal was in need of a revival in order to survive. This need is being answered by bands like Martyr, Atheretic, Augury, newer Cryptopsy, Opeth (to a certain extent), and many other. Among these "many others" stand a Montreal death metal quintet called "Neuraxis".

line-up on this album:
Rob Milley - Guitar
Steven Henry - Guitar
Yan Thiel - Bass
Tommy McKinnon - Drums
Ian Campbell - Vocals

(note: a couple of month after the release, Steven Henry left the band)

Guests vocals:
Alex Erian (Despised Icon)
Jason Netherton (Misery Index)
Pat Loisel (Augury)
Guillaume Audet (Nefastus Dies)


First of all, let me say that this is not an ordinary death metal album. It's even categorized as melodic death metal by some people, which is true to a certain extent, but unlike a ***load of melodeath band, Neuraxis isn't doing any compromise to put melody into their compositions. By that I mean that the intesity and/or brutality is still present during melodic passages in songs.

You'l also notice that the artwork, done by Mark Riddick ( www.riddickbros.com) is very different from a cannibal corpse album cover. The band has said that the artwork represent a mind in constant evolution (or, a mind in trilateral progression)

And then there are the lyrics. Again, not your ordinary death metal lyrics. Vocalist Ian Campbell doesn't write songs about murders, rape, or good ol' gore, but about philosophy, which opens the lyrics to a very wide field of interpretation, and it strikes me as a breath of fresh air. It has been said that Ian wrote a load of lyrics after reading the book of Urantia, so check out http://www.urantia.org if you're interested. The lyrics on this album focus on the trilateral progression of a human mind, and that means the Philosophical, spiritual and scientifical progression. As you could imagine, it covers a lot of possible themes, ranging from wisdom (clarity) to a "consesus for one polar power" (Chamber of Gaurdian). I have yet to study philosophy, so I can't really get to deep into the analysis of these words, but it still makes you think if you take the time to read them.

Let's now talk about the music.

First, there are the guitars. On this release, long time fans of the band will note that there are much less solo spots than on their previous releases as there are only 4 solos on this album, of which 3 are in "thought adjuster", a song that was written quite some time before the rest of the songs. This time, the complexity of the music is most notable in the song structure, which, to me, denotes a higher level of maturity in comparison to early albums. Ocasionnal use of clean electric guitar (A curative struggle, Chamber of Gaurdian, for example) gives a nice feeling of "intelligence" or "complexity". Those words are not really accurate to describe what those parts bring to the songs, because, well, its hard to describe! Let's just say that it's a part of what makes Neuraxis a unique band.

THen there is the drum. On the last efforts, the band kind of seemed to be holding back a bit because of the lack of speed of the previous drummer (whose name I cannot remember right now). Well, this feeling os all gone with the addition of drummer Tommy McKinnon on this release, which thrust the band into a new era of tightness and speed. He seems to be a really mature drummer, as he posses impressive technical skills yet he doesn't need to go "in your face" to prove it. He shows a great sens of restraint, which is something that I think is lacking in modern music. The only problems I have with his drumming is that sometimes he doesn't push his fills far enough, like in "Shatter the wisdom" for example.

Bassist Yan Thiel seems to be the musical weak spot of the band. Not that he's bad, but I think that he's not original enough. Most of the time he just mimics the guitar patters. But his good stage presence makes up for that !

Finally, The vocals. I must say that Ian Campbell is definitively one of the most polyvalent death metal vocalists out there. He delivers everything from good old brutal death pig style vocals to higher pitched screams ( but note that some of the higher pitched vocals on the album are performed by guests) while also being able to do a standard, powerful growl. The thing I really like about his growl is that most of the time you can understand what he's saying, and it really adds to the overall experiance of his unusual lyrics.

In conclusion, well, what can I say... If you are among those who think that death metal is in need of something new, well, go ahead and buy this. And if you ever get to see this band live, it's truly a special experience. They all have killer stage presence, they are really tight, their merch is not expensive and they are all gret guys to talk to.

Positive:
-Polyvalent vocals
-Great lyrics
-Good musicianship
-songs are not repetitive

negative:
-The bass is not really innovative
-Sometimes drummer Tommy McKinnon show too much restraint (but thats only if you're being picky)


Recommended tracks:
Clarity
Shatter The Wisdom
(both tracks are available for download on http://www.willowtip.com/store/product_detail.aspx?id=362)



P.S. Sorry for spelling mistakes, inacurate vocabulary and ocasionnal bad syntaxe, english is not my first language.


user ratings (135)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
July 19th 2006


7926 Comments


I wanted to review this!

Oh well, maybe I still will.This Message Edited On 07.19.06

Mikesn
Emeritus
July 19th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Excellent first review, I look forward for more.

I've never heard of this band before, but it sounds like something I should check out. I like the album cover too.

Confessed2005
July 20th 2006


3314 Comments


This band first came to my attention through myspace - I have only heard a couple of songs but they are fucking incredible. I really need to check out more.This Message Edited On 07.20.06

Tyler
Emeritus
July 20th 2006


7926 Comments


Yeah, these guys are brilliant. This is the album Once Was Not should have been.

bobohed
September 29th 2006


20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This truly is an amazing album, one of those that should be in every metalheads collection. It comes off to me as a versatile album, and I believe it will stand the test of time (as far as my listening is concerned).This Message Edited On 10.15.06

antihippy
April 30th 2007


696 Comments


polyvalent........?

asdemonsburn
March 27th 2008


793 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

finally got this album, and it is quite great. Riffs everywhereThis Message Edited On 03.27.08

AvictimOfSociety
November 21st 2008


71 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why is this rated so low on this site? This CD is the shit.

toolguitarkid
March 1st 2009


262 Comments


do these guys sound anything like the faceless?

toolguitarkid
May 1st 2009


262 Comments


nevermind. these guys are definitely the shit

weareshadenow
July 17th 2009


175 Comments


This band deserves so much more.

CoRpSeSlAyEr
October 8th 2009


855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet song titles


Derkyle
January 9th 2010


185 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is such a fantastic album.

ameypv
January 18th 2010


807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album,but couldve been better.

bloozclooz
March 30th 2010


1770 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

not as experimental as their older album, but it's their last real one

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2010


21019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

GREAT stuff.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2010


21019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

quite possibly

hitman
December 23rd 2010


774 Comments


amazing

gutturalmaster
January 6th 2011


170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review; couldn't agree more...this album is excellent!

MO
May 5th 2011


18626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

man, Clarity destroys



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