Artificial Brain – Labyrinth Constellation
New York is a hotbed for creative extreme Metal and one name keeps popping up: Colin Marston. The guy is involved in countless great bands and projects, such as Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, Behold… the Arctopus, Indricothere, Krallice and probably a bunch that I don’t even know of or simply forgot. But as if that’s not enough of work, he also records and produces other bands, including Artificial Brain.
After a really good demo and EP, their debut full length ‘Labyrinth Constellation’ is finally out and it really exceeds all my expectations. In fact, it doesn’t sound like a debut at all. Artificial Brain’s songwriting is mature, seamless throughout, the melodies are infectious, the compositions on point, and they are even able to churn out a few hits. Epic and dissonant is what comes to mind when trying to describe their music. Artificial Brain make great use of a very melodic guitar playing, which is creating a quite desperate vibe. The middle part of ‘Worm Harvester’ is a great example for that, and that song is also one of the “hits” I was talking about earlier. The distinctive production by Colin Marston sounds somewhat cold and slightly mechanical, which is a great fit for the concept of ‘Labyrinth Constellation’. Other reviews are calling this “Blackened Death Metal” or Death Metal with a Black Metal-influence, but I don’t hear it. To me, this is Death Metal. It is unique and focussed on atmosphere, but I just don’t get any Black Metal vibes here at all.
The vocals are very guttural and while I don’t mind it, it’s something I am not especially into usually. I also feel like this album would have done great with more versatile vocals, but on the other hand they really fit the sci-fi themed lyrics and even the minigun-slinging robot on the cover. Whenever I listen to this and look at the cover it’s like those vocals are coming out straight of that fucking machine. So I guess they blend in very well with the music and concept of ‘Labyrinth Constellation’ after all. I gotta say that the album cover generally really helps to tie up the whole package, which is rare. I mean, there are tons of great artworks out there, but when I’m listening to this album, it actually brings up the cover art in my memory immediately. It’s like it’s actually attached to the listening experience.
Artificial Brain have crafted a remarkable debut that is probably going to be hard to beat in the future. It’s rare that the lyrics, production, songwriting and artwork go so well with each other, even though literally everyone is always trying to achieve just that. Colin Marston has proven a good hand with his choince of producing this. It really came out perfect and even if some tracks even stand out, it is an all killer, no filler album. I know it is early on, but this album hasn’t worn out on me for weeks of listening to it, and I usually put it on several times in a row, so I’m just gonna say it: ‘Labyrinth Constellation’ is a very potential album of the year contender! If you have slept on this so far, you better get your shit together and get into it!