It may be difficult to tell exactly who is in the band Neuraxis at this point, but it’s never difficult to tell when you are hearing Neuraxis. Despite lineup changes that would have ended other bands faster than the Grammy’s turned up the “suck” knob, Neuraxis carries on and maintains a fairly technical and melodic style of metal with a distinct sound. There exists a sweet spot of accessibility that Neuraxis hits, not too technical, brutal enough, fast enough, but melodic enough to gather them a larger group of listeners than some of their more extreme counterparts. Of course, some technical death metal fans might not see it that way and prefer to call it watered down, but that’s the great thing about any music. Unless you’re stuck in an elevator it’s all subjective and you can choose to listen or not. At times technical death metal makes me want to bust out a smoking jacket and a monocle, fire up the chainsaw and make the news, but Neuraxis is more “open a beer and get to work” music. There is something to be said for either side of that coin.
Asylon is not the best offering from Neuraxis, but if you generally like Neuraxis it’s one that you will probably want to have in the collection. They seem to have lost a little bit of the technical fireworks in favor of melody, but to my ears it’s not a lot and the album remains firmly in the technical and melodic realm. The main issue with Asylon is that there is not one track that makes me immediately want to listen to it over and over. With some bands, the whole album is like that, with most bands, there are at least a few tracks that I can really look forward to hearing over and over. This album? Not so much. It’s the sensible shoes of technical and melodic death metal. Brown. Lasts a long time. As you expected it. Could be more exciting. The bands obvious technicality and skill almost live up to their potential. In the interest of full disclosure I’m only on the third listen, so maybe a few more would change that, but I’m not sure that it will. Asylon is pretty solid overall though and songs like “Savior and Destroyer” and “V” are very strong despite not being the pinnacles of metal in terms of memorability.
The bass and drumming are decent and at times impressive for a new to the band rhythm section. The bass could be a little better placed in the mix, but it’s there at least, if difficult to pick out at times. Drums are precise and while not as flashy as some bands, have a more organic feel than a lot of technical efforts these days. Guitar work is top notch. Odd time, melodic or brutal the precision and skill remain. Newer to the band vocalist LeBlanc delivers a pretty decent growl, and lyrically this album fits the mood of an asylum so I would call his effort a success.
Overall Asylon is a solid album. It’s not quite up to par with Trilateral Progression, but it’s definitely a Neuraxis album which means it’s a quality work of melodic technical death metal. Asylon retains the sound Neuraxis have become known for. While not exactly mind blowing it’s one that fans of the band should pick up.
3 Savior and Destroyer
4 By the Flesh
10 Left to Devour