Neuraxis – The Thin Line Between (Prosthetic Records)

Friday, 15th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

After years of slugging it out in smaller, to mid-sized indie labels, Montreal’s Neuraxis are no doubt going to benefit from the larger exposure a label like Prosthetic can bring. Those in the underground are already familiar with the band’s technical, explosive brand of quasi-melodic death metal, so The Thin Line Between shouldn’t surprise many, but in what should be the introductory listen for Neuraxis, you’d be hard-pressed to go wrong.

In contrast to 2005’s excellent Trilateral ProgressionThe Thin Line Betweenrelies less on melody and more on crazed, shake ‘yer foundation songstructures. The climbing triplet run of “Wicked” is firm proof of this, as is the unsettling main riff to “Versus.” “Deviation Occurs” and “Dreaming the End” are instant neck-snappers, especially the latter which jumpstarts with a maniacal blast portion then segues into a tricky, yet groove-oriented verse riff.

The textured and very melodic “Standing Despite…” and “The All and the Nothing” are trademark Neuraxis numbers, laced with those swirling and dicey melodies the band has made a career out of for the better part of the decade.

Initial listens to The Thin Line Between aren’t as immediate or gratifying as they should, but this has always been Neuraxis’ modus operandi. Alongside Despised Icon and Ion Dissonance, Neuraxis are a part of a very small, insular group of Canadian metal bands that push the envelope in every direction possible. Fitting, as Canuck metal forefathers Voivod are now finally seeing the rewards in the form of Neuraxis and others for their hard work.

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