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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.