Question time. Ever heard of Ron Jarzombek? I would hope the answer to that question would be “Yes and I own all his cds!” but if this is not the case then go out and buy Spastic Ink’s Ink Complete and Watchtower’s Control and Resistance. Done? Good.
For those of you familiar with Jarzombek’s previous work, the contents of this album will come as no surprise. The highly technical guitar passages with unfathomable time signatures and melodic intricacy are still very much intact and even emphasised on this release thanks to the flawless rhythm section. Oh yeah, did I mention that Alex Webster and Charlie Zeleny are playing? That’s Webster of Cannibal Corpse and Zeleny of Behold…The Arctopus. The formula should be becoming apparent to you by now, add the fun craziness of Jarzombek with the heaviness of Webster’s bass and the sheer insanity of Zeleny’s drumwork and you get Blotted Science.
So, after circumlocuting around the subject for a paragraph or two, onto the music. All of the songs on this release were composed using Jarzombek’s own “Circle of Twelve Tones” method. To save all of you less theoretically inclined reader’s I won’t fully describe it here, but the main idea is that it gives the player set notes to work around for a section of the music and a different set for another. This results in the music being completely atonal and very dissonant, but with very strong structure.
Don’t take this seemingly random way of composing the music to mean that it is a series of disjointed notes flung about to make something only vaguely resembling music. Few parts are actually catchy in the traditional sense of the word, but every section of the album is fresh and interesting due to Jarzombek’s incredible talent for making coherence out of incoherence. After chaining the material of a whole album (Solitarily Speaking Of Theoretical Confinement) to a number of sayings, he makes the music seem very natural and unconceited.
I realise that I called Alex Webster and Charlie Zeleny a “rhythm section” earlier in the review, but that does not do them justice at all. Webster’s playing is very technical and keeps perfectly in line with Jarzombek’s angular rhythms and timings. Zeleny is just as impressive, although I feel that he isn’t shown off as much as he is in Behold…The Arctopus. May be due to the guitar hogging the mix for the most of the album.
Coming in at 16 songs and just under an hour, this album is hard to digest for a first time listener to the more experimental side of metal, but the reward is in the challenge here. The complex timings are difficult to keep up with, but when you sit and really listen, you can appreciate the sophistication of the release and the effort which has gone into keeping the sound irregular, but never jarring. I would reccomend this to fans of any of the projects the band member’s have been involved in to date (perhaps ommiting Cannibal Corpse) or anyone who wants to find out what can be achieved with a pen, a circle and a lot of free time.
Avantgenre: InsruMENTAL Tech-Death
Official site: http://www.ronjarzombek.com/BlottedScienceOnline.html
Review online since: 24.03.2009 / 19:42:57
01 – Synaptic Plasticity