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Good stuff. - 78%

duncang, April 13th, 2008

Death metal from Liverpool. Apart from the obvious legends that you should know the name of without me telling, there's not really a big name in that location. It's hardly Tampa, or Stockholm, and in fact the scene seems to be flooded with identical deathcore bands, cloned down to every strand of hair over the eyes. Neuroma are no such band. What they play is technical death metal, with a fair amount of fat slam riffs every now and then. This demo contains almost 9 minutes of their stuff, and it's quite impressive.

If you say 'technical death metal' these days, most people will immediately rush to that widdly-woo sound that bands like Necrophagist are well known for, but don't expect this out of Neuroma, as their technicality is not as blatantly shown off as that of the aforementioned Germans. There are a lot of riffs in this demo for two tracks, which means that they are kept fresh and that makes it all the more sweet when they return to them. The problem with this approach, though, is that sometimes the varying feels of the riffs change quite a lot during a song, especially on 'Infantile Spasm', making it seem more like riffs cut and pasted onto each other than a coherent and flowing song.

One thing that remains consistent though, perhaps gratingly so, is the vocal delivery. The vocals are your standard monotonous incomprehensible growls, which I'm honestly not a fan of. A little variety in the delivery (especially during the groovier riffs) would help the dynamics of the music massively. It's really only the drumming that indicates a change in dynamics here, along with the frequency of the pinch harmonics in the guitar playing which are quite frankly very irritating most of the time. The guitar solos are mediocre, as they are not technical enough to be considered tech death solos, but too melodic to be considered brutal death solos, instead you get a sort of mess vaguely reminiscent of a boy improvising with pentatonics for the first time. No matter, though, as they are fairly short and far from vital to the sound as a whole.

The lyrics are never vital to death metal, either, and Neuroma could get away with writing the same old overdone gore tripe, but the lyrics to these tracks are absolutely hilarious. Sick but funny, exactly how good death metal lyrics should be.

Overall the demo is fairly promising, especially considering that it is a 100% live recording. The excellent drumming, solid riffing and brilliant lyrics overcome the problems with the songs, but it seems like the best is yet to come with this band. Check them out if you're a fan of Aborted, Suffocation or, indeed, small children.