Neuraxis - The Thin Line Between
Prosthetic Records
Technical Death Metal
10 songs (47:41)
Release year: 2008
Neuraxis, Prosthetic Records
Reviewed by Goat

Technical Death Metal tends to hurt the ears – admit it, brutality these days is as much about forcing your brain to understand what you’re subjecting it to as it is the depth of the riffing and growls – but I thought I had trained myself to withstand such sonic torture. That is, until I stuck the latest album from Montreal-based Deathsters Neuraxis on and quickly discovered that, once again, there’s something about Canada that makes the bands that call it home heavy indeed. Once, Cryptopsy were the technical trainwreck kings, pumping out technical brutality by the bucketload. Now that they’ve gone rubbish, a new master of the riff is needed, and Neuraxis fit the bill. They may not be as chaotic as their comrades, but there’s something truly pulverising about The Thin Line Between, each riff another weight on your back until the agonising snap, and you’re left as a pile of broken meat on the floor...

Describing The Thin Line Between without saying things like ‘man, it’s too damn heavy’ is hard. Compared to the band’s last album, 2005’s Trilateral Progression, both the production and the vocalist have improved, a clearer sound and a more focused growler adding much to the band’s impact. Some may still complain because Alex Leblanc’s grunts are less varied than his predecessor, but this does open a new facet of the band’s sound, the hypnotic effect it can have. More than once whilst playing The Thin Line Between I found myself staring into space, literally pummelled into compliance. Cuts such as the eight-minute title track will crush all that dare listen, Progressive structures advancing the band into new levels of technicality, whilst skilled drum and guitar work impress each and every time. I’m always at a loss to describe exactly how the instrumentation sounds, and this is no exception; oddly melodic without sacrificing the heaviness, this will rip holes in most bands’ sounds. Don’t be afraid to listen to this if your only Death Metal experience so far is with Job For A Cowboy, but be prepared for music that demands attention and respect in order to show its true worth.

Those that enjoyed the Grind influence on previous albums will have a sharp shock here – this is pure Death Metal, people, any Grind is relegated to brief moments like the intro to Dreaming The End. Despite this there’s plenty of groovy heaviness, and if you’re looking for headbanging material that makes you think even as you’re damaging your neck, well, look no further. This is pretty exhaustive stuff, short melodic interludes like Standing Despite notwithstanding, and it took many listens before I even began to enjoy what I was hearing. Music for masochists, then – this is great when you’ve unlocked its secrets, and the pain meanwhile is just as enjoyable. A bit of touring on the back of this and Neuraxis will be head of the technical pack.

Killing Songs :
Darkness Prevails, Wicked, Versus, Deviation Occurs, Oracle
Goat quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Neuraxis that we have reviewed:
Neuraxis - Asylon reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Neuraxis - Trilateral Progression reviewed by Jason and quoted 86 / 100
Neuraxis - Imagery - Passage Into Forlorn reviewed by Jason and quoted no quote
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