Neuraxis, from Montreal (Canada), debuted with a mediocre death-metal album
Imagery (1997), but then
guitarist Steven Henry and bassist Yan Thiel reformed the band for
the eight-song 20-minute mini-album
A Passage into Forlorn (2001).
The 13-song album Truth Beyond (2002) shocked the death-metal scene
with a sound that was visceral and savage while humane and melodic,
and with collective and complementary dexterity thanks especially to
versatile vocalist Ian Campbell,
drummer Alexandre Erian and second guitarist Rob Milley.
Each song is different, each song mutates within itself,
and each contains an unorthodox element.
Some, like Impulse, are so well staged that they feel like mini-tragedies.
Some are pure animal instinct, notably Imagery with its
demonic, machine-gun and panzer attack.
All are unpredictable and incoherent. For example,
the vocals intone a gargantuan dance, ignored by guitar and drums; and the
Essence is distracted by a pulsating atonal guitar effect.
Xenobiotic is torn between charging and braking.
There is actually melody, except that the
effects can be goofy like in the chaotic Mutiny.
The standout is probably the
imposing, thundering Truth Beyond Recognition.
Trilateral Progression (2005), featuring the
unstoppable drummer Tommy McKinnon and a plethora of studio effects,
vomited Clarity, Monitoring the Mind,
but the terrifying intensity of this album is perhaps better packed in the
verbose and dishevelled Thought Adjuster
and in the incoherent structure of
Chamber of Guardians, that bridges a gentle beginning with
a romantic guitar line via a breakneck all-out epileptic fit.
vehement Shatter the Wisdom
The songs are generally longer but a bit less
melodic and less varied, despite the
synth finale of The Apex.
The Thin Line Between (2008), instead, reduced the density and impetus
while augmenting the melodic quotient. The result was a slightly more accessible
format. This was de facto a different band, because gone were
the two pillars of the past (Steven Henry and Ian Campbell)
replaced by guitarist William Seghers and vocalist Alex Leblanc,
both far more loyal to their genre's stereotypes than their predecessors.
This moderate (and not so "technical") form of death-metal delivers
relatively polished songs such as Darkness Prevail and Phoenix,
but rarely achieves the dramatic tension of the previous albums
(The All and the Nothing being a notable exception).
The eight-minute The Thin Line Between shows ambition but not
enough ideas to match the ambition.
By the time Asylon (2011) came out, the band featured none of the
old guard. The album boasted the most polished production of their career,
and possibly the catchiest songs of their career
Decrepit Birth's Bill Robinson guesting in
Savior and Destroyer.
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