Apocalyptic Feasting (2008)
U.S.A, Metal Blade Records, Technical Death Metal
Most people will pass off Brain Drill as “technical wankery”, i.e. they have technicality and flaunt it tremendously. I will admit that they are somewhat right, but I would put it more in the sense that they took the term “technical death metal” literally, like 4 death metal musicians with Asperger’s. And I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing; It’s never been attempted to the extent that they’ve attempted it, nor pulled off as flawlessly.
I first discovered Brain Drill through recommendations from a friend, who also used the term “technical wankery”. At first, I agreed. since the first song I heard was “Sadistic Abductive” (Ironically the last song on the album), which has an abrupt stop 10 seconds in so that Jeff Hughell can play a quick 8-finger tapping arpeggio on his signature 7 string bass. However, having listened more closely, I discovered that everything was actually rather melodic, structured, and put together, shall I say, beautifully? It’s almost like they want the “weaklings” who can’t comprehend the speed and precision to leave, so that those who can recognise the true virtuosity can do so in peace (well, except for the sweeps and gravity blasts embedded in your mind long after the album ends!).
The drums are by “Lord” Marco Pitruzzella, a renowned tech-death drummer who’s worked with Vornagar and Anomalous to name a couple. They are essentially not much more than straight blast beats reminiscent of olden-day Cannibal Corpse, excessively fast double bass reminiscient of Fleshgod Apocalypse’s “Mafia” EP, and gravity blasts reminiscient of a Kalashnikov. They don’t show a great deal of variation, or of the talent I know Pitruzzella is capable of, but they do what they were there to do, even if their job is to power through the album and deter posers.
The guitars are performed by one man, to those who would believe it, and that man also wrote the lyrics to 6 of the 10 songs, and the music to 9 of them. His name is Dylan Ruskin, and he’s the man behind the sweeps that listeners either love or despise. The guitar style is almost all lead, mostly sweeps or tremolo shredding. There’s the occasional chunky riff, where the whole band builds up an awesome groove, like the intro to “The Parasites”, or the breakdown of “Swine Slaughter”. Sadly, these don’t last long enough to get a good headbang out, which is where most of the 12% was dropped.
The bass essentially follows the guitar, except it’s an octave lower, and the vocals seem a bit too generic, especially the lows. What I look for in a vocalist is the ability the sound inhuman, like you can’t actually believe it’s a person, like Lord Worm on Cryptopsy’s first 2 releases (Or the majority of the Slam Death, Grind and Black Metal scenes). I feel that the highs on this album achieve this, but the lows fall short of my expectations.
Overall, I feel this release won’t appeal to near everyone, even those with a passion for tech-death or overexaggerated brutality, but to some, it will be worthy of worship. I personally would recommend this album, but make sure you turn the speakers lower first, the music feels at first like a dentist drill jammed into your ear canal.