Artificial Brain
Infrared Horizon


4.2
excellent

Review

by Jacquibim STAFF
April 15th, 2017 | 794 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Let me ask you, "does a machine like yourself ever experience fear?"

After about a dozen or so listens, I finally understood why I was baffled in my attempts to describe Artificial Brain’s latest musical conundrum: there is little if anything on it that feels human. Here we have a rare example of a metal band whose work seems wholly disconnected from the very people who brought it into being. Told from the point-of-view of a machine that blurs the line between the sentient and the inanimate, Infrared Horizon is an enigma wrapped within a puzzle – one that seems to reset just as you think you’re on the verge of cracking it.

I guess that’s because it deals with themes unfit for the fleshy mind; trying to identify with our robotic protagonist causes an existential clash of sorts. Look at the cover. Is it really feeling anything" Or am I just subconsciously humanising its deceptively canny “expression”" Of course, sci-fi themes are dime-a-dozen in tech-death, thus to get so carried away in my off-the-cuff pondering demands instrumentation and compositions that are suitably alien. Infrared Horizon more than does justice to its subject matter by weaving a thick, ostensibly tangled web of dissonant melodies and scattershot rhythms. “Floating in Delirium” takes minutes to make sense of itself, only doing so when its opening riff is reprised during the twilight of its runtime. Onward, the album seems to get less and less direct.

“Static Shattering” is the first in a group of songs that hinge on their melodicism as opposed to their riff-craft; however, the melodies are distant, unfriendly and often unresolved. The gloomy mood they evoke is also heightened by Colin Marston’s superlative production work, allowing the melodies to permeate every nook and crevice of the intentionally spaced-out, dynamic soundscape. The bass is not only audible but commanding in its presence, the organic-sounding snare punches through the mix while having room to breathe, and the cymbals almost seem to glisten with clarity. The tones themselves are untouched by studio trickery, which combined with the impeccable musicianship is invaluable in aiding the album’s creepy, extra-terrestrial atmosphere.

Optimism isn’t totally absent throughout the album, but it’s fleeting at best, as even the more direct sections have this underlying sense of trepidation to them. The dominant motif in “Estranged from Orbit” is vaguely memorable, but it lingers about to the listener’s discomfort as the song itself becomes increasingly calamitous. Eventually, what seemed docile and somewhat alluring appears to become an image of terror, despite changing very little in reality. This sort of nebulous song-writing – in which there is nothing too immediate to latch onto yet nothing too mystifying to come across as nonsensical – continues until “Graveyard of the Lightless Planets", which ups the ante and returns to the more riff-centric approach of the first two songs. It’s as if, with an end in sight, the band is gearing up for one final assault.

It’s an endeavour that yields some rather grim results, however. “Ash Eclipse” is a sonic re-enactment of our little blue planet and lifeforms as we know them coming to an end, ditching prior melodic sensibilities for a churning tumult in the process. With that, the little robot is left to rust, rendered obsolete by the hand of nature that spawned yet would later decimate its very creators. The final line on the album is eerily fitting: “for some, an ending unclear”. Not only is it impossible to tell what awaits our cyber-protagonist, it asks the question of whether or not this whole ordeal has even occurred to it. That’s the brilliance of Infrared Horizon – it depicts a catastrophe of a planetary scale and channels it through a perspective we’ll never really understand.




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user ratings (213)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2017


2124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Me when the promo for this came through: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyK8VlhFHjk



Album should be out on the 21st, hope you like the review yada yada

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2017


6373 Comments


smh y didn't you dibs this, already knee-deep in a rev for it. then again i didn't dibs either so losers/weepers for me

the "it depicts a catastrophe of a planetary scale and channels it through a perspective we’ll never really understand" angle is great. captures the essence imo, etc

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2017


6373 Comments


nevar

well, maybe. haven't heard it yet but i'll assume it's good and you stink

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2017


6373 Comments


admirable multi-tasking. i'm snuggling puppies rn

kingdedethefifth
April 15th 2017


4277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This has me pretty stoked. Would you say better then labyrinth constellation or no?

Keyblade
April 15th 2017


25016 Comments


best summary

Digging: Summoning - With Doom We Come

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2017


10179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

PUT DOWN THE THESAURAS JAC WE DONT LIKE IT ANYMORE

Spluger
April 15th 2017


1789 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, I thought was out for a second . Went from pissed I missed it to excited to bummed pretty quickly lol.

trilogique21
April 15th 2017


1321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

need this hard

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2017


2124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

A little bit better than LC yea



I also see sach is still yet to get that stick out of his ass, must be rough. Praying for you man.

Ryus
April 15th 2017


15600 Comments


cant wait for this

Digging: DJ Richard - Path of Ruin

kingdedethefifth
April 15th 2017


4277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I presume that famousghost is sach?

necropig
April 15th 2017


3028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck yes

Digging: Chaos Moon - Eschaton Mmoire

mindleviticus
April 15th 2017


9212 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yes, pardon my language

Evokaphile
April 15th 2017


5955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for teasing us with a super early review

Digging: Chaos Moon - Eschaton Mmoire

Asmodeuss1990
April 15th 2017


367 Comments


I FUCKING NEED THIS SO BADLY

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2017


824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good ass album, will probably raise my rating over the next few weeks

Digging: Godflesh - Post Self

necropig
April 15th 2017


3028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pumped

brainmelter
April 15th 2017


4580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuck yessssss jac

Digging: Options - Driftwood Metaphor

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2017


824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's really good. Super similar to their debut in a lot of ways but honestly who cares.



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