NEURAXIS has been a stellar reference when it comes to Canadian Metal, Technical Death Metal to be more precise. I´ve never had an exciting relation to the band, but they´ve always been there; you know, the kind of band that you read about, forget about, forward 3-4 months and you´re reading about them again, and yet for some odd reason you don´t take the plunge and explore their music, even though what you´re reading sounds inviting.
“The Thin Line Between” is the band´s fifth full-length release, an album flying on well defined manners around instrumentation, and somewhat coolish yet stereotyped songwriting. Opener “Darkness Prevails” is a poor choice as starting point, since it´s really just a mish-mash of tired riffing, dissonances and melody. Otherwise most of the songs work well. Frantic and melodic cuts like “Wicked”, “The All And The Nothing” and the eight minute plus title track, all have great energies and well rounded execution, with the occasional fragmental oddball songwriting that is to be expected from daring bands such as this one.
Vocals range from blackish shouts to dry sounding growls, they sound natural next to the sometimes maddening musical attacks involved. Without further analysis, I feel the album manages to merge acrobatic melody, brutal blasting, and progressive/tech workouts into an indistinct but still interesting sound with a powerful mix.
This album will do the trick if you´re looking for some concrete heavy, non European Death Metal that´s way harder to navigate through than say KATAKLYSM (still nowhere near as avantgarde as GORGUTS). A challenging and at times compelling ride, even if a bit fragmental for my current tastes hehe.
(Online September 4, 2008)