The Machinations of Dementia - BLOTTED SCIENCE

Most fans of virtuoso shredders are surely familiar with the "other" Texas guitar god Ron Jarzombek and his work in WATCHTOWER, SPASTIC INK, and GORDIAN KNOT. Yeah, the guy's got a devoted following among the tech-heads. The mad scientist's new invention from deep within the confines of his diabolical laboratory is "The Machinations of Dementia", an instrumental album from a project called BLOTTED SCIENCE. The trio consists of Jarzombek, CANNIBAL CORPSE bass master Alex Webster, and BEHOLD…THE ARCTOPUS' member, drummer Charlie Zeleny (who entered after both Derek Roddy and LAMB OF GOD's Chris Adler bailed out). The result is a technically proficient, musically stimulating, and sometimes teeth-rattling affair. Now let's be honest, all but the most devoted fans of the almighty shred can only stomach guitar-based instrumental albums for so long. After all, "wow, he can really shred" only takes one so far. Fortunately, "The Machinations of Dementia" ends up offering more for the discerning fan, including those that have no formal drum/bass/guitar training. That's not to say that at 16 tracks, one doesn't need to be in a certain frame of mind to stay with this one from beginning to end. Still, the album is an awfully riveting listen. In other words, this stuff sounds cool. Of course, the defining element is Jarzombek's super fast, tech-death/thrash riffing. His flashy fretwork is especially noteworthy against the backdrop of the Webster/Zeleny angular rhythms and staccato bursts. And yes, Webster's bass licks sound fantastic, especially when Jarzombek's guitar drops out and Alex is left to fill the space with a flurry of notes in a style that is distinctively his. A jazzy undercurrent is present as well, a fact that will surprise no one. If it is a track by track, theory-based dissection of thee album that you seek, then you may want to check in with another reviewer. What I can tell you is that I've spun "The Machinations of Dementia" many times and I can honestly say I've never once found it unbearably jarring or intolerably boring. Sure, it's still a very technical instrumental album, but it's an entertaining one. It's one I'd probably even purchase had I not already gotten it free of charge.

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