dB rating: 8/10
Release Date: April 21, 2017
Label: Profound Lore
The concept behind Artificial Brain’s dizzying sophomore album, Infrared Horizon, reminds us that just because we live in a world preoccupied with its dystopian present doesn’t mean we can’t take a moment to imagine our dystopian future. It envisions an extinct humanity, our place in the universe taken by robots and cyborgs, synthetics who believe they have naturally evolved from mankind, as though the species of Aristotle, Einstein, da Vinci was only ever primordial goo. Vocalist Will Smith’s lyrics read like Mr. Spock took a word cloud of Skynet’s internet search history and made beat poetry of it. They’re resolutely bleak, abstract and awesome. As are Artificial Brain.
With their 2013 EP, Butchering Cosmic Giants, and full-length debut, Labyrinth Constellation, released in 2014, Artificial Brain announced themselves as a band who’d draw upon all kinds of extreme influences and meld them with a technically adroit death metal core. Here, they take that further, propelled by drummer Keith Abrami jockeying hard on his snare, his frenetic blasts underpinning the dissonant foam that washes over Artificial Brain’s wall of sound. Producer Colin Marston’s alien thumbprint is all over Infrared Horizon’s long-form pummel. Are Artificial Brain an abstraction of, say, Morbid Angel, taking death metal’s formative hellfire ’n’ chaos to a logical conclusion? Or is their creative kin more Deathspell Omega? They have an atonal free-jazz vibe like the latter, but the bruising physicality of the former. There are elements of black metal and post-metal; Artificial Brain are similarly elegiac. But they are something else entirely, a singularity. A record like this doesn’t prove that death metal has a future; it proves that death metal is the future.
— Jonathan Horsley
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