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What an album! Blotted Science has done it again! Prepare your ears for the most insane virtuosic exercise you'll find on a metal record. After recruiting renowned drummer Hannes Grossmann (Alkaloid, Obscura and Necrophagist), Blotted Science have outclassed their debut record 'Machinations of Dementia'.
Being an instrumental metal band is a tricky endeavor. Animals as Leaders aside, most bands are incapable of writing an instrumental record that keeps listeners glued to their earphones. It demands an enormous commitment on behalf of the listener - you must appreciate the amount of musicianship in each song, the melodies must be interesting enough to substitute for a vocalist - meaning that 'hooks' are pretty challenging to write and the music must be sufficiently novel to gather curiosity from an already restricted fan base.
Blotted Science have achieved this in spades, and unlike 'Machinations of Dementia', this record is inconceivably technical. There is not a single 4/4 beat here, and given all the guitar layers I am fairly confident this music is almost impossible to play live. Unlike Animals as Leaders or Liquid Tension Experiment, who set out to write songs oriented around the instruments - Jarzombek wrote the entire record to fit with sci-fi horror films. This undoubtedly plays a role in how unpredictable each song is, and highlights a key feature of this band - Blotted Science isn't out to write melodic music with hooks, they're out to push the limits of whats considered physically possible.
Another subtractive effect to being an instrumental band is writing songs that are distinguishable, a drawback this record does not suffer from. Au contraire, every track is instantly recognizable - from slower, heavier tracks like "Cretaceous Chasm" to the arpeggiated madness as you'll find on "A Sting Operation". Of course, the record is fairly short, leaving less room for fillers.
In conclusion, there are plenty of bands that have shaken up the scene recently. Conquering Dystopia and Animals as Leaders come to mind as being pioneers of this music genre. However, I see no reason why Blotted Science cannot be considered just as good as their virtuosic counterparts - there is no doubt that this band has truly pushed the limits of what is considered technically conceivable in the world of metal.
It's finally here.
In 2007, musical 'mad scientist' Ron Jarzombek and legendary death metal act Cannibal Corpse's bassist Alex Webster came together to release 'The Machinations Of Dementia' under the name Blotted Science. Taking in the best elements of both musicians, the music was viciously technical, heavy, and ultimately one of the most brilliantly complex metal albums ever made. Despite the overwhelming critical support and acclaim that Blotted Science received in 2007, I wasn't even sure that this project would see any future releases. After all, after virtually perfecting a sound at their first try, where was there to go? All the same, Blotted Science has come back again, this time in the form of a twenty-four minute long EP. Although it may sound like traveled ground for some, there's no denying that the band has done it again; Blotted Science have crafted another masterpiece of tech metal.
As I described the debut, Blotted Science's sound is essentially technical death metal, without the growls that seem to turn off so many prospective listeners. In any case, while Blotted Science may lack the defining feature of death metal, they remain heavy as hell, with guitars blazing, bass pummeling, and the drums firing as precisely as an atomic clock. While there may not be lyrics here, Blotted Science also tends to have albums based on a theme. With 'The Machinations Of Dementia', Jarzombek and company built this music on the foundation of brain disorders, titling their songs after brain disorders and gearing the music to revolve around what feelings they might evoke. On their second run-through, Blotted Science maintain their cold, mechanically oriented themes, this time dealing with the nature of bugs, and all of the different unsettling things they do. The album cover is crawling with them, and while I thought that the subject of brain dysfunction worked perfectly for Blotted's music, this new subject mirrors the music perfectly.
Over the course of seven tracks (four of which are bound together in a mini-epic), Blotted Science's number one goal seems to be to make their listener's heads explode in amazement. Sure, plenty of guitarists can shred and some even have a deep knowledge of theory. Still, I am hard-pressed to think of another band that is able to play together with such complexity as Blotted Science. The music is highly aggressive, with 'Ingesting Blattaria' opening up the album with a barrage of nearly incomprehensible tech-heaviness that soon breaks up into an incessant fusion of technical death metal riffs, sci-fi lead solos, and a surprising depth of atmosphere that lets the horror-styled undertones of the music get inside your head. Jarzombek and Webster are an absolutely devastating pair, whose respective styles compliment each other greatly. New to the band is drummer Hannes Grossmann, who brings a subtle jazz flourish to the band; I would say the intense and dynamic drumming here is even better than Charlie Zeleny's performance on the debut.
Despite a change in apparent subject from brain disorders to bugs that cause them, , the actual music of Blotted Science has barely changed, if at all. As much as I am blown away by what Blotted Science do with 'The Animation Of Entomology', there are no creative leaps here beyond what the band did on 'Machinations'. For this, I cannot quite consider it the classic that the band's debut is, even if Blotted Science have some even greater moments here. One thing I could mention that seems to set 'Animation' apart from its predecessor is that the mellower moments here are integrated a little more cohesively into the music that on 'Machinations', where the brutal tech metal and schizoid jazz explorations where largely kept separate from each other. While I may have been a little disappointed at first that Blotted Science's second album was only twenty four minutes long, this does work for the exhausting style of the band. I would not consider 'The Animation Of Entomology' necessarily to be an improvement in what Blotted Science has done, and certainly not a development. All the same, the depth in the composition is very consistent, and as impressive as it ever has been. While I thought their debut was a virtually impossible achievement, Blotted Science have gone out and done it twice.
Blotted Science is always one of those groups that’s going to fly under the radar due to the lack of a vocalist. No matter how great you play or who the members of your band are, it’s difficult to truly make a name for yourself when people can’t sing (squeal or grunt) along to your tunes. Blotted Science seems made to be music only though.
Formed by guitarist Ron Jarzombek to focus on his progressive and technical side and brought together as a whole by drummer Hannes Grossman and Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster, Blotted Science is tech-metal to the extreme.
The first name that comes to mind when I think of technical metal is of course Meshuggah. Although there’s a different tone here, the polyrhythmic nature of their music is similar. There’s one huge difference between the groups though. Blotted Science make listenable music. That’s a little harsh on Meshuggah as I did like Obzen quite a bit, but the majority of their music is brutally hard to get into. With The Animations of Entomology though you get time signatures that very few human beings could ever recreate, fantastic complex drumming, remarkably creative bass work and moments of prog-rock that certainly help digest the chaotic sounds of the record. And not that Webster had anything to prove but for those that think Cannibal Corpse’s brutal death metal is simply all about speed and no other skill, he certainly proves that notion wrong here.
The real key to the album for me is that it’s only four tracks (or seven depending on how you look at it) long. It’s a 25-minute record with the 4-part 9-minute final track being the longest of the disc. That’s key because while their 2007 debut – The Machinations of Dementia – was pretty fantastic itself, the only real drawback was that it’s totally hard to focus on nearly 60 minutes of chaos especially since both these records are meant to be listened to in their entirety, not piecemeal. Twenty-five minutes is really perfect. You get all the great technical elements and the ability to digest it before your brain turns to mush. And while it’s hard to honestly talk about a theme on an instrumental composition, songs like “Ingesting Blattaria” and “Vermicular Asphyxiation” actually do seem to fit as I can totally picture this being the soundtrack to worms choking me to death.
Cockroaches and human barbeques notwithstanding, The Animations of Entomology is technically perfect and is a fantastic album for anyone that likes progressive or technical metal or simply wants to be challenged by their listening experience.
condensed from original review on Popdose - theunrelentingattack
How could Blotted Science top their immaculate debut? With a little extra shot of Ron Jarzombek's mad genius, that's how.
When the concept for this album was announced, namely that the songs would be synced to bug movies, I have to say I was a little concerned. As creative and wonderfully-executed as Jarzombek's "A Wild Hare" and "The Cereal Mouse" cartoon-synced scores were on the Spastic Ink records, I had no desire to listen to them more than once and without the accompanying film they made little to no sense. Well, the ep's out and it has to be said, Ron has pulled his most ambitious project to date out of the bag.
This time Jarzombek and Webster are joined by Obscura drummer Hannes Grossmann who handles the intense technicality flawlessly. I need say nothing about Jarzombek and Webster as the names alone speak for themselves. There are plenty of sections that wonderfully expose the mastery of their respective instruments.
To date, only one of the films has been released, namely "Cretaceous Chasm", the insect trench scene from King Kong. The syncing is amazing, and it's more than just scoring in the sense that the music is not just changing pace/style as the scenes change, but every gunshot is worked into the drum part and each sword swing or punch thrown is heard . That said, it absolutely stands alone as a piece of music and isn't just a novelty like "A Wild Hare" was to me.
I don't know what to say. Every second of the ep is pure gold. If you liked Machinations, you should have already stopped reading and bought this. It's Blotted Science with bite if you will.