Blotted Science - The Machinations Of Dementia

Outstanding Tech Metal - 85%

Written by chaxster on November 21st, 2007

If you're in any way familiar with the work of Ron Jarzombek, you'll already know that it's not quite normal. 'Control and Resistance' spun the thrash blueprint on its head, and Spastic Ink still comes off as quirky as ever (this coming from someone who once mixed vodka and tomato ketchup to try get something resembling a Bloody Mary). Anyway, I'd been searching for videos on youtube and saw a few clips of him chugging away on some riffs for a new project. Fascinating as always, though cursed by being too damn short.

It dropped under my radar for some time, and while I was napping, it turns out plenty was cooking. Monster bassist Alex Webster (you know him) was already on board, which should have been enough to get a curious look-see from the metal community at large. Drummers had come and gone, till the spot was finally firmly taken by Charlie Zeleny from Behold...the Arctopus. Just so you know, any band with an ellipsis in their name is likely to be whack. Anyway, if you've heard any of their stuff, you should be reassured that the man can handle the weirdness.

Ok, now that I've got the easy stuff out of the way, I suppose I'll have to get around to the music. Doing a song by song analysis is near impossible here, since this project has very little to do with individual songs and more about an all-out sonic assault on your senses. This is probably the least accessible music he's made, edging out 'Ink Complete' by a narrow margin. The thing with the other albums (barring the above mentioned) is that the presence of vocals, no matter how off-kilter, more often than not has the tendency to bring a more coherent pattern to the fray. Here, on the other hand, you have close to an hour of instrumental mayhem with no respite - it's not for the faint hearted.

Reading the song list, you might be fooled into thinking is a family-friendly goregrind band for shrinks. For that matter, it might just be. You see, the theme presents all sorts of mental phenomena and illnesses, which the music more than adequately manages to convey. In the sense that if you stay up late, on the verge of sleep while listening to this, and then check the song title of whatever is currently you're playing and see something like 'Laser Lobotomy', you'd think that sounded about right.

I think of listening to this album as being stuck in a car with these three whackjobs. A muscle car with no brakes, hurtling down a cliffside road. You can't stop it, can't pause for a breather, can't sit back and enjoy the view (except for the few moments when they decide to crash into a conveniently parked petrol pump for a change of pace) - all you can do is scream "I love this shit!" and hope it doesn't kill you.

Jarzombek is honest-to-god insane. It's like he hates playing the same riff more than once, and just keeps lining up the most twisted guitar riffs in his arsenal back-to-back at breakneck speed till you go bonkers trying to follow the trail. And the solos have no problem keeping up, hurdling jagged rhythms with mind-boggling accuracy and more than a hint of goofball mania. Webster holds his own, doubling over the guitar rhythms nearly all the time, which is pretty stunning considering he's a plucker. He's given free space some of the time, which he uses to great effect, most notably in 'Amnesia', where, if you're the kind who likes to connect the dots, the bass noodling could be construed as a hat-tip to Cliff Burton and 'Anesthesia'. Just a theory. Zeleny rounds off the rhythm section by doing a solid job, never really taking too much attention away from the main event, but adding his own mix into the maelstrom.

This is definitely not for everyone. It's loud, manic, technical and unpredictable noise. But for those who that doesn't scare away, it's worth the venture.

Chaxster, Metal Archives

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