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Imagery/A Passage Into Forlorn
May 2004
Released: 2004, Galy Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

Quebec metalllers, Neuraxis, have always been difficult to classify. Are they grindcore? Death metal? Even some prog elements have drifted into their songs. The band has also suffered from the lack of stable lineup. No less than 11 people have been in this band since 1997 including 4 vocalists. Still, Neuraxis has soldiered on with 3 releases in that time. Galy Records has combined Neuraxis’ first two CDs, 1997’s IMAGERY and 2001’s THE PASSAGE INTO FORLORN E.P., into one package. The CD has been remastered and there are a few bonus tracks to sweeten the deal, as well.

IMAGERY is a brutal grind/death record with ultra-low, guttural vocals and is much heavier than their later efforts. Even with production duties from Kataklysm guitarist, J.F. Dagenais, an over-reliance on blastbeats and Maynard Moore’s incomprehensible vocals leaves this record to swim amongst the many acts that fell prey to the sagging death metal scene in the mid-90s. There is little originality here and the record is more of a time capsule of how far the band would come in later years. “Oscillated To Intelligence” is the standout track here and features a classical guitar part and an intro from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, TOTAL RECALL.

The second half of the CD features the much-improved A PASSAGE TO FORLORN E.P.. With a new vocalist, guitarist and drummer, the band begins to incorporate melody into their music without forsaking the brutality. This helps break the monotony that weighs on IMAGERY. Right from the get-go, “Unite” confirms the progress that the band made during their 4-year hiatus. “Virtuosity” features a killer guitar solo. New vocalist Ian Campbell is a FAR better vocalist than Moore was and he shows off his chops most notably on “Unite.” The band also re-recorded “The Drop” with an almost industrial feel to it. Having both tracks on the same CD makes for an interesting comparison.

As a bonus, Galy has included a brand new live track of “…Of Divinity” that was recorded in August 2003. The song originally appeared on the 2002 CD, TRUTH BEYOND…. Also included is a rare track, “In Silence,” from the band’s 1999 promo CD. Then there are two band interviews—one in French and one in English—that offer some insight into the history of Neuraxis.

As a Neuraxis “starter” package, this is an excellent place to get your feet wet. The evolution of this band from a cookie cutter death/grind project to a full-fledged melodic/prog/death powerhouse is quite an experience to hear.

KILLER KUTS: “Oscillated To Intelligence,” “Unite,” “Virtuosity,” “Link”
Track Listing

IMAGERY (1997)
1. Intro (Instrumental)
2. A Temporal Calamity
3. Oscillated To Intelligence
4. Cyberwar
5. Inquisition On Morality
6. The Lid To Your Soul
7. Reasons Of Being
8. Atmospheric Holocaust (Instrumental)
9. Psycho-Waves
10. A Drift... (Instrumental)
11. Driftwood
12. The Drop
13. Unite
14. Virtuosity
15. The Art Of Sadness
16. Link
17. Blind The Vision That Shatters
18. To Pacify
19. The Drop
20. Forlorn (Instrumental)
21. In Silence
22. ...Of Divinity (Live)
23. Entrevue Avec Neuraxis
24. Interview With Neuraxis


Maynard Moore—Vocals
Steven Henry—Guitar
Felipe Quinzanos—Guitar
Yan Thiel—Bass
Mathieu Royale—Drums

Ian Campbell—Vocals
Steven Henry—Guitar
Robin Milley—Guitar
Yan Thiel—Bass
Alex Erian—Drums

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Imagery/A Passage Into Forlorn
May 2004
Released: 2004, Galy Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

This is more of a public service announcement for long-time fans of the band but also a good starting point for newer fans as well. Galy and Neuraxis have joined forces to release the bands first two, hard to find CD’s in one cool package.

I’m not going to focus as much on the music in this review because I’ve already reviewed a couple of Neuraxis CD’s on this site, including PASSAGE. The first thing I noticed is that the old logo is gone. Too bad, I liked it better, but admit that the new streamlined futuristic logo/font is a better representation of what the band is doing now.

Galy has repackaged the CD’s added a whole pile of extra treats including, lots of photos, reviews, an interview (In French and English) and lyrics. This compilation is a great introduction to the band. For the fan who already owns the music there are two bonus tracks a live version of ‘..Of Divinity’, which shows the band CAN pull it off live. The other is an unreleased track from 1999 called ‘In Silence’. It is anything but!

This is a great compilation, well designed and executed and it is great 10th anniversary set from this highly respected cyber-death thrash band. It is neat to follow the progression in terms of style and songwriting from the early days (slightly more death influenced) to today (slightly more thrash influenced). These guys are as tight as you are going to get and truly make many of the Gothenburg (so-called) death-thrash bands sound like a bunch of cream-puffs.

On a personal side note: I got to see the band live when they passed through town and enjoyed their music, hospitality and friendship. Great guys, great band, can’t wait to hear a new CD!

Next review: » Neuraxis - The Thin Line Between
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