Released: 2007, EclecticElectric
Reviewer: Mr. Rock
Instrumental albums are a tough sell to the record buying (ok, song downloading) public. It always seems that the masses have an easier time relating to a band if there is a frontman in the group. The genre (instrumentals) also seems to also have the stigma that it’s ‘experimental’ music with no real structure. These two challenges combine to make the life of an instrumental album, usually, a rather short one. It’s too bad that most seem to write off a disc as ‘too head-y’ simply because there are no lyrics, as they are the ones that are missing out on some wonderfully creative musicianship.
Part jazz fusion, part doom-y metal, part technical, part melodic, a little spacey, sometimes frenetic, and quite eclectic, THE MECHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA is the debut release from the instrumental metal band Blotted Science, fronted by guitarist Ron Jarzombek of Watchtower and bassist Alex Webster (of the mighty Cannibal Corpse). Drummer Charlie Zeleny (Behold The Arctopus), the last to join the fold, holds down the timekeeping position. In fact, Zeleny is the third drummer the outfit has seen.
The star of this show is guitarist Jarzombek, showing an amazing range of styles and influences, all the while playing only for the song. There are no Yngwie-isms here, though there can be no doubt that the man can shred. The intricate passage, strong staccato movements, chunky metal chords all work towards the same goal – the song. Sometimes all of these styles surface in the same song; however it never seems overindulgent or overwhelming for the listener. Yes it can be intense, but it’s not overwhelming. Bassist Webster, one of the premier bassists in death metal, gets a chance to stretch out a bit more here. Not being confined to being a ‘rhythm player’, Webster’s intense style is a perfect match for the six strings of Jarzombek. The combination of the two, with their fierce attacks on their instruments, proves to be a lethal one. Drummer Zeleny fits in very nicely with the two, adding complex fills and machine-like timekeeping.
The packaging of THE MECHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA is interesting. Each song is named after a medical situation (“Night Terror”, “Laser Lobotomy”, “Brain Fingerprinting”, “Amnesia”), and instead of lyrics, they have added medical observations and synopsis to each, describing in detail each condition. The back page of the booklet is very cool, giving an overview (diagnosis?) of the disc. A very nice touch and I’ve always said that it’s the small things that make the difference. This album and booklet are loving put together.
THE MECHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA is a very interesting, challenging, and intense album. It’s not going to be for everyone, but those that can wrap their head around this weighty offering are in for an intense 57 minutes.
The prognosis for Blotted Science and THE MACHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA is a positive one.