Blotted Science - The Animation of Entomology
Basick Records
Progressive Death Metal
7 songs (24:47)
Release year: 2011
Basick Records
Reviewed by Jaime
Album of the year
Ah Ron Jarzombek. He of Watchtower and Spastic Ink fame. That insane, madcap, properly demented mad scientist of the guitar world took a tumble into death metal land when he teamed up with bassist extraordinaire Alex Webster (you know where he's from, come off it) to pop Blotted Science's first album in 2007. There've been a few speed bumps between the first album and the new EP The Animation of Entomology, namely Watchtower's failed reunion and Alex's day job, but as you may have guessed from the title this EP has a rather specific theme. You could say it might... bug you a little.

Aye. I went there.

Musically the EP is as you'd expect from those involved. Completely nuts, with Ron's Twelve Tone System meaning that the compositions are, hold your breath here, pure progressive metal. Not like Dream Theater and their sheer wank and pomp, not Opeth's last bash at trying to be a 70's rock band. This is music that looks forward, and sounds fantastic in the process with Ron writing each song to not only stand by itself but to accompany a video clip. It's not the first time he's done such a thing, there's his rather bewildering Bambi video for example, but the way that Cretaceous Chasm syncs up to its video (From the remake of King Kong) is a testament to his rather twisted genius. Check it out here. Its viceral imagery is captured perfected by the accompanying audio, with each movement, each hit gaining a far creepier and unsettling edge in the process. There's also the four part A Sting Operation which sways between the death metal madness and the slightly cleaner, jazzier insanity. The performances are slick, with Obscura's Hannes Grossmann taking up the sticks in the place of a fair few others who've fallen by the wayside and all three making it sound far, far too easy. Production wise the album sounds fine. You can hear everything clearly, which is excellent considering how layered some sections can be. It's all surprisingly organic sounding which probably helps distance it from other "tech" bands, assuming the can get anywhere near this level.

Was it worth the long wait? Most definitely. This is progressive music at its finest. Not just in metal. Not just in the subgenres that spiral out of it, but across the board. Go listen.
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