BLOTTED SCIENCE — The Machinations of Dementia (review)

BLOTTED SCIENCE — The Machinations of Dementia album cover Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Conor Fynes
'The Machinations Of Dementia' - Blotted Science (10/10)

To put it simply, this is the most accomplished technical metal release ever created.

While the genre of technical progressive metal has gotten a bad name in the eyes of some for it's typically overindulgent and mindless showboating and lack of substantial depth, there will always be bands, or albums that really excel and break through the barriers of convention to deliver something that really blows the doors away. While the metal world is full of greatly talented, skilled and even genius musicians, I will admit that there have been only a handful of albums that have impressed me so much on a musical level in instrumental metal, and arguably none that have blown me away as much on a technical level as Blotted Science does however. While this is not going to be the order of the day for everyone, 'The Machinations Of Dementia' is easily one of the greatest instrumental albums ever made.

Essentially the brainchild of virtuoso guitarist Ron Jarzombek (of Watchtower/Spastic Ink fame), Blotted Science was created out of the urge to make a progressive metal supergroup of some of the most talented and skilled musicians in the scene. What might come as a bit of a shock to the progressive side of the prog metal scene is that the bassist chosen to be part of this project is Alex Webster, of Cannibal Corpse. While Cannibal Corpse isn't exactly known for their penchant of thought-provoking themes and music, they are indeed talented musicians and Alex Webster's frantic bass work steals the show here. With a presence much greater here than on most other albums, the technical bass display adds a dimension to the music that really compliments Jarzombek's left-of-center guitar playing. Add in some near-obsessive mathematical drumming from Charlie Zeleny (of Behold... The Arctopus) and Blotted Science comes together to produce something that is nearly unparelleled in terms of it's complexity and chaos.

Although the music is entirely instrumental, the concept of mental illness and psychology flows throughout the album, as is conveyed through the song titles. As with all great concept pieces, the music reflects the nature of the subject matter; frenetic work, crushing heaviness and mathematically impossible polyrhythms give 'Machinations' a very unsettling and disturbing feel to it. While there are a few tracks that stand out on their own as individual songs ('Laser Lobotomy,' 'Night Terror') the album generally flows together as a long piece. While such complexity and technicality can be overwhelming over the course of fifty-odd minutes, the high level of compositional quality and experimentation lies throughout.

Possibly best described as an 'instrumental technical death metal' album, Blotted Science gets very heavy amongst the technicality. 'The Machinations Of Dementia' is an insanely complex and immersive listen. Any fans of progressive metal should find something to love here, but make no mistake; you'll be exhausted by the end of it.
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