Review : BRAIN DRILL – "Quantum Catastrophe"

Brain DrillQuantum Catastrophe
released May 11, 2010 on Metal Blade Records

Rating: 4/5

Technical death metal is one of the most polarizing genres among metalheads. Some will argue for hours that Necrophagist are some of the most talented musicians ever to walk the earth while others will say that Decrepit Birth noodle on forever without any kind of musical direction. Both of these arguments have credence. However, I haven’t seen a single band give critics so many dichotomous opinions of the same thing as much as Brain Drill have.

In order to really enjoy this album, you have to put yourself in a certain frame of mind. Hold brutal technical death metal bands up to the standard of other brutal technical death metal bands, not up to your favorite masters of gloom and doom. Firstly, you have to recognize that part of the point of this music is confusion. You’re not really supposed to be able to soak in every note you hear. Quantum Catastrophe drills your brain (pun intended) with so many angular, blistering melodies that I don’t think even the band can fully comprehend their own music. That’s why this album gets a 4 out of 5 and not a 2 out of 10.

What you’ll find here is very simple: turbo-speed guitar soloing, brutal blast-beats, and ferocious growls. The bass, unfortunately, falls very deep into the cavernous mix, only to be heard by the most attentive listeners. This is fairly sad due to the fact that bassist Ivan Munguia demonstrates his virtuosity with quite possibly the fastest bass intro ever on “Obliteration Untold.” It only lasts about two seconds, but it still doesn’t fail to boggle my mind. More solos from him would be a quite welcome addition. However, everything else for the most part works as it should.

Though they do manage to be as brutal as possible (exactly what is needed from this type of band) I find it very hard to listen to this for a long time. Getting through the whole album for one full spin was tough enough. I would have liked to have heard some variation, like Death did with “Voice of the Soul.” It really helps to keep the album on its feet and not allow the formula to get too, well, formulaic (it doesn’t help that the closing track has 11 minutes of constant death metal). However, in short bursts, Brain Drill are pretty damn good. If you are able to handle over-the-top technicality and unrelenting brutality, then I think it’s pretty likely you’ll agree with me.

FCC OK
Try 1, 3, 5, 6

01. Obliteration Untold
02. Beyond Bludgeoned
03. Awaiting Imminent Destruction
04. Nemesis of Neglect
05. Enemy of Extinction
06. Mercy to None
07. Monumental Failure
08. Quantum Catastrophe

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