Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Neuraxis - The Thin Line Between (2008)

Prior to this, I would have counted Truth Beyond... as my favorite album from these Canadians. Trilateral Progression was a good effort and a new, cleaner direction, but The Thin Line Between takes that and truly capitalizes on the style. Groovy, mathematical death metal with a lot of punch and quality riffing.

Few death metal albums can pull off a mix this high quality, a great balance of tones with only one flaw (the bass seems low if you aren't listening closely). But the guitars sound amazing here, as they throttle you with the unique riffing of opener "Darkness Prevails" or the dynamic grooving chug of "Wicked". "Versus" has a unique, almost jazzy intro. But what all the songs have in common is this central, technical mid paced groove. It's almost a unifier, as if this were all one song (even though the groove differs across its tracks). There are a few acoustic bits, such as the nice lulling instrumental "Standing Despite" or the intro to "The All and the Nothing".

This is a pretty catchy album, loaded with excellent guitar work and just enough memorable melody without calling it 'melodic death'. Progressive death metal fans will truly enjoy it, especially fans of Death, Cynic, Obliveon and the like. A killer release for Neuraxis and in my opinion their strongest yet.

Verdict: Win [8/10]

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