Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Album Review: "Ouroboric Stagnation" by Neurogenic

The vast majority of music is vocal based, meaning the melody and primary focus of a song can be found in the vocal track.  This is not necessarily true in heavy metal, where often the main feature is the guitar riff and the vocals are just another instrument, rather than the focal point of a tune.  This is especially the case in death metal where growled vocals are usually indecipherable, rarely contain melody and are utilized to create atmosphere and emphasis.  

Neurogenic’s album Ouroboric Stagnation is notable for the lack of attention placed on the vocals.  Vocalist Matteo Bazzanella’s tracks are so low in the mix, they seamlessly blend with the instrumental tracks.  Perhaps they are even a bit too low, but I understand the reason.  These tunes are entirely guitar driven, and the guitar tone is masterful.   

To me the greatest guitar tone ever achieved was by Obituary recording at famed Morrisound Recording in Tampa, Florida.  Neurogenic comes very close to achieving this perfect dark, gravely, ominous fuzz.  In fact, I was surprised to learn Ouroboric Stagnation was not recorded at either Morrisound nor Sunlight Studio in Stockholm, but rather at Nologo Studio in Italy.  I had not heard of Nologo before this album, but much credit is due them for being able to capture such a magnificent tone.   

Neurogenic have scoured the world to build their band of aggressive onslaught.  They are comprised of Ukrainian guitarist Vlad Melnik, Russian bassist Anton Zhikharev , the above mentioned Italian vocalist Bassanella  and American drummer Marco Pitruzzella, of Six Feet Under fame.

The album is relentless and brutal.  It is a never ending barrage of palm muted machine gun guitar riffs, punctuated by harmonic squeals, and lightning fast arpeggios.  

Neurogenic have managed to merge European technical proficiency with and old school traditional Florida death metal grind.  The sound is complex, intense and capable of instigating a mosh pit wherever it is played.  The guttural vocals are vile, despairing and perfectly suited for the mountain of aggression Neurogenic have built.  Pitruzzella's drums are precise and unabating.

It is not an easy listen, but it was never meant to be.  It is death metal at its finest.

Release: September 2, 2016
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Comatose Music 

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