Livhzuena – Dark Mirror Neurons (Klonosphere)

Sunday, 14th June 2015
Rating: 7.5/10

The unyielding success of Gojira has made it such for other French bands playing anything remotely tied to modern metal that they’ll be instantly compared to what the Duplantier brothers are doing. It’s not so much a natural function as it is a case of the band’s overwhelming influence in its home country, which as we’ve come to learn, is about as chameleon-like as any in the metal scene. Next in line is Livhzuena, who have been a functioning entity since 2011.

Dark Mirror Neurons, the band’s full-length debut, benefits mightily from a beefy production job that places plenty of emphasis on the band’s drum-riff tangents. Indeed the band’s riff choices are muscular, sometimes adorned with various pick slides and harmonic squeals ala Gojira. But there’s also some technical buoyancy to Livhzuena, as heard on the jostling “Nailli,” and the bouncy “Wave the Banner,” a song that out of the whole lot, recalls their fellow countrymen the most. (“Quantic Quake Monster” isn’t too far behind, though.)

The discernible man-roar of vocalist Franck suits the down-tuned, chord whirling found on album highlight “Void,” where upon some unexpected clean vocals pop up. Such deviations are a welcome sight given how close to the vest Livhzuena plays it sometimes.

Modern metal circa 2015 has become so moldable that bands like Livhzuena can ply their trade in any particular fashion they chose as long as the production is clear and hefty (check that off), and the songs portray the now familiar cyber bounce of Gojira and Meshuggah. Dark Mirror Neurons is at least, a promising start for the Frenchmen, who will probably need to make some noticeable sound alterations in order to avoid being forever linked to the band who probably inspired their existence in the first place.

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