Artificial Brain – Artificial Brain

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12 years after its establishment, the New York-based technical death metal band Artificial Brain launches its third self-titled studio album. During a five years hiatus, they evolved from their sophomore 'Infrared Horizon' in the technical areas. Artificial Brain’s songwriting expertise has taken great twists in a different direction. At the same time, the guitar department that is handled by Oleg Zalman, Jon Locastro and Dan Gargiulo provides a multilayered approach. On drums, Keith Abrami and bassist/synthesizer Samuel Smith spewed out a cacophony of loud dissonant notes, rhythms and blast beats.

The opening track ‘Artificial Brain’ nails a progressive guitar tone with the spectacular, deep and low guttural growls of vocalist Will Smith. The infectious riffing allows the dissonance to swirl. The riffing on the album is homogeneous as it seems to flow vividly with the blast drums, Artificial Brain’s unique sound is quite distinguishable from their peers. From start to finish each track can be recognized by its dissonant specimen. The combination of the progressive guitars creates an atmospheric flux. The guitars are professionally mixed and they got that modern sense of the technical death metal sound. ‘Glitch Cannon’ and ‘Celestial Cyst’ are comprised of catchy guitar lines. Extra credit goes to the vocals of which performance is extraordinary and perfectly fit to such a style of music.

Riffing on the album is intense with integral qualities of the lead guitars and rhythm providing ample melody. There is a meticulous layering of the flowing guitars as they beautifully stream with the pacing drums. The album also highlights the drumming work of Keith Abrami. Artificial Brain builds on its individual skills, but the NY act can also sound very fast and chaotic at times. ‘A Lofty Grave’ elaborates on the complex songwriting prowess as there are plenty of details soaking the oceanic technicality and likewise the rich, progressive features. Proggy synth, saxophone, blast beats and the shimmering riffs are the backbone of the music.

The vocals on the album are dense and achieve a multilayered tonality. The guitar department displays beautiful patterns and they mesh quite well with the low, guttural growls. The third endeavor explores a wide spectrum and this shows how much the band has evolved in the past few years. The unique aspect of the band is their idiomatic brand of technical death metal. These elements are mainly refined and strengthened by their craftsmanship. ‘Time of the Exiled Engineer’ demonstrates these highly refined techniques. The surging of the drums and the intricate riffing offsets creating a thick atmosphere. The guitars are perfectly layered in the forefront, while the vocals are somehow overshadowed by the textured dissonance, melodic chords and blast beats.

Artificial Brain focused on carving its own niche in the sub-genre of death metal. Therefore, the third album feels substantial. From simple to more complex and visceral forms songs like ‘Embalmed with Magma’ combines the dynamic complexity of the drums and the triple guitars. Although this track emphasizes the interplay of the rhythms and melodies, the music exudes a fantastic blend of dissonance and tranquility. Artificial Brain‘s musical inclination is somewhat similar to Deathspell Omega, Gorguts and Ulcerate. Despite the velocity and sheer technicality, when the music settles on the mid-paced tempo, the guitars demonstrate an eye-raising dexterity. ‘Parasite Signal’ bring the Sci-Fi elements to the table. With influences ranging from jazz and technical/progressive rock music Artificial Brain is able to emphasize all these elements simultaneously.

In other songs like ‘Cryogenic Dreamworld’ the music thrives on creating hazy lucid dreams of colors and sounds with the use of synth. The track evolves into an undiluted mixture of rhythm and progressive death metal. Although the old school influences from bands like Atheist and Cynic add another characteristic trait to the twisted riffs, the abundance of layered riffs manifests the scale in creating depth and contrast to the other instruments. The guitars have the ability to churn out multiple styles as they meticulously cloak the vocals. The final two tracks ‘Insects and Android Eyes’ and ‘The Last Words of the Wobbling Sun’ are both catchy and organic. The powerful guitar tone becomes soaked in synth textures, adding a very atmospheric feel to the music.

The massive amounts of riffing explode into unhinged tempos and then build up from the mid-tempo section, leading into blast beats. Despite the colossal guitar work, the album doesn’t feel bloated. Instead fans of technical death metal will highly appreciate the effort. The later track ‘Last Words of the Wobbling Sun’ presents something fresh and more daring and innovative approach to death metal. The guitars here add an extra flavor of progressive elements while the drums sway back and forth between the blasting sections, flawlessly constructing catchy hooks.

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 9/10
8.8

This is a great addition to the band’s growing discography. Artificial Brain’s self-titled album offers a diverse set of deranged riffs, with a drench of fluent atmosphere. If you are into bands like Gorguts and Obscura, then look no further.

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