Monday, August 15, 2016

Neurogenic - Ouroboric Stagnation (2016)

An international collective between the US, Russia and Italy, these brutal death metallers just released their debut pounder, which hits like a sledgehammer to the chest and just keeps fucking clobbering all the way to it's pulverising culmination. Fans of acts like Dying Fetus, 7.H Target, Cryptopsy, Malignancy and myraids more will find something in this relentless assault, which also includes the guest talent of Brian Forgue (Syphilic, Gutrot) on vocals, as well as Mallika Sudaramurthy (Abnormality) and Danny Nelson (Malignancy) also vomiting up a few syllables on the recording. There's a guitar solo in place by Dave Suzuki (Churchburn) as well as some additional bass by Jeff Hughell of Six Feet Under. No offense to Jeff, but that Graveyard Classics IV record wasn't even worth reviewing and I've never been so insulted in all my life by having to listen to that one. I really hope that Barnes and company will go back to making death metal, instead of copying Debauchery. Bickering aside, the “real death metal” that we're experiencing here is made up of members from acts like Back Door To Asylum, Execration and Cerebral Paralysis as well as Six Feet Under. (Yes, Marco Pitruzzella also handles the drumwork here.) Of course, it's still going to take a while for me to get the bad taste of Halford and Dickinson's tarnished legacy out of my mouth with that recording. The legendary 1% rating on Metal Archives that the record so lovingly deserves (yes, out of two reviews) will hopefully be a sign that things need to change and possibly head into this much more fulfilling direction. You see, the thing about Neurogenic is that Pitruzzella is the fontispiece of the album. His drumming is literally fantastic for the type of atomsphere being conveyed here, with the massive gurgling of Matteo Bazzanella flowing perfectly in the mix. It's a record that has very little differentiation, but doesn't really need it. Listeners know what they're getting, I knew what I was getting and I'm very pleased with the thunderous result. Ouroboric Stagnation feels like death metal. Actual pulse-pounding, head-ripping off your shoulders death metal, the kind that you can identify among ten-thousand other types of musical genres and that's more or less what I like. It doesn't go out of it's way to be something that it isn't, even though there are several spatterings of technical precision in not only the drumming, but in frontman/mastermind Vlad Melnik's guitar playing, so it's not completely barebones. Melnik seems to utilize these odd riff interjections – they almost seem completely off-kilter and might even come across a bit annoying to some people. But to me, it feels like they fit in with the rest of the process. More is heard of the Anton Zhikharev's fiery bass than Melnik's guitar, but the meat of this record still remains in it's kit abuse and vocal utterances. Italy, Russia and the United States all came together to record this album, so perhaps the key to world piece lies ironically within the world of brain-splattering brutal death.

The lyrical matter here is completely focused on gore (and no, that isn't our former vice president, even though I think it would be very fucking odd if a band did a record based on that level of Gore) which goes to show that meat is something we're all made of and perhaps we should all hail the god that the Preacher character Odin Quincannon (As played by Jackie Earl Haley) boldly declares is the only true god in this world. If the god of meat is repsonsible for such an incredible outpour of death metal talent, as well as a unifying effort between nations (two of which have growing tensions with each other as I've been researching) then by all means, give me a large chunk of roast beef and a chicken sandwich. Perhaps both at an Arby's. All joking aside, remember that I receive a lot of brutal death metal albums as you might expect, and some just literally go in one ear and out the other. But because of the killer drumming performance on this recording, I knew that I wanted to focus on Ouroboric Stagnation from the minute I first heard it. Never expected the thing to come in the mail, but when it did, I was more than happy to feature it much earlier than planned. Not all of the submissions I receive will be so heavily praised, but I definitely feel that despite it's short length (it's less than thirty minutes) there's still plenty of potency and punch to get you going on this release. It's like a harsh cup of coffee in the morning, and great for a workout. Speaking of a workout, I know that Pitruzzella ended up getting one hell of one during the composition of this record. Yet it's an effort that proved frutiful, time and time again. Let's all hail the god of meat and thank him for this fantastic performance in gore. May your steaks be always bloody.

(11 Tracks, 25:00)


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