REVIEW: Artificial Brain - Labyrinth Constellation

Genre: Technical Death Metal
Label: Profound Lore
Date of Release: February 18, 2014


Death metal group Artificial Brain formed in space and is currently stationed in Long Island, New York. They have released a few demos and EP records over the years, until they were signed to the legendary label Profound Lore Records (Agalloch, Evoken, Disma). Afterwards, the band went on to unleash their debut full-length album in 2014, which is eloquently named "Labyrinth Constellation."

In terms of genre-mixing, "Labyrinth Constellation" seems to be rather multifaceted. Although the music mostly revolves around raw death metal, it also touches upon other genres such as black metal, atmospheric metal, and even hints of sludge. While the ambition to try to be multi-dimensional is already an admirable trait, it's more important that the music retains its identity and doesn't sound forced. Thankfully, this is the case, and the record does a very good job at hitting these categories to appeal to a broader audience without losing itself.

On top of the music's diversity, the album also has a good fusion of brutality and technicality without being too overwhelming. It has the perfect balance to keep audiences generally engaged. To add to that, the musicianship also holds up nicely. The vocals and drums deliver their sheer heaviness as they should, but it seems that most of the musical prowess lies within the guitar work. It combines dissonant and low-tune riffs you would expect from a good death metal release, but it also contains some surprisingly ethereal melodies as well while staying true to its murky roots. Tracks such as "Wired Opposites" and "Frozen Planets" especially demonstrate this.

The mixing for this album is also very good. It was carried out by Behold The Arctopus guitarist/Gorguts bassist Colin Marston, and he did a solid job of giving the music the appropriate amount of rawness and atmosphere to match its sinister sound and make it more engaging. It sort of fits in the vein of a black-metal type of production, so it likely won't appeal to everyone since it's rather unrefined. Nonetheless, it melds with the music comfortably.

"Labyrinth Constellation" is a fine specimen of death metal. Though it doesn't have enough for it to propel itself into elite levels, it is still an enjoyable dose of brutality. The songs are well-built, and its ability to wield a wide range of influences outside of the death metal genre so seamlessly is just great. While the album's raw, unpolished sound may not be for everyone, anyone looking for a record that lays on the heaviness with substance should find at least something to enjoy here. Here's to hoping that this band's invasion has only begun.

Score: 8/10 (Great)