Released: 2010, Metal Blade
Almost as though custom-designed to sate the Cryptopsy fanboys who continue to weep themselves to sleep in the wake of their erstwhile heroes’ "betrayal" (read: 2008's THE UNSPOKEN KING), the momentum generated by Brain Drill's exceptionally promising debut was derailed after the band spectacularly imploded shortly after its release. Not content to simply exit members under the age-old pretense of creative differences, accusations were hurled in public, blogs posted on MySpace; basically, shit got messy and for a while Brain Drill was DOA.
Thankfully though, the folly of youth has proven to be short-lived in this instance and two years later, the only lasting casualty of the band's public spat appears to have been drummer Mark Pitruzella. His successor, Ron Casey, wastes little time in laying down his own marker and as early as the aptly titled "Obliteration Untold", he and his associates make it clear that a quest for brutality and technicality veering well past most conscionable levels of absurdity remain their sworn mantra. Armed with an arsenal of hyper-speed staccato shredding and sweep picking flourishes to make the eyes water, it's almost a surprise to hear actual riffs materialize in the midst of the chaos. But these prove crucial, acting as the proverbial glue holding Brain Drill's barmy assault together for long enough to avoid it descending into complete cacophony. "Awaiting Imminent Destruction" for example shelves the tech lunacy for a few fleeting moments to make room for a grind-like groove pattern - the sort of thing Pig Destroyer practically built their reputation on. "Nemesis of Neglect" meanwhile opts for a darker and more atmospheric turn, though not detracting from the intensity one iota.
And perhaps that's the problem. At their best, Cryptopsy eventually realized that all blast and few discernible songs made for a test of endurance rather than a classic album. QUANTUM CATASTROPHE is a fine release with much to offer. I just wish that these crazy Californians would let me savor their wares for just a while longer, before shoving my senses back into what often feels like a sonic wind-tunnel of sorts. As it is, many will walk away from Brain Drill's sophomore effort feeling as though they've run a marathon, but remembering very little about what happened along the way.