Being an instrumental metal band is a tricky endeavor. Animals as Leaders aside, most bands are incapable of writing an instrumental record that keeps listeners glued to their earphones. Instrumentals demand enormous commitment on behalf of the listener – you must appreciate the amount of musicianship in each song and the melodies must be interesting enough to substitute for a vocalist – meaning that ‘hooks’, ordinarily considered pretty challenging to write, must be sufficiently novel to gather curiosity from an already restrictive fan base.

Blotted Science achieved this in spades, and very much like – although more extreme – Machinations of Dementia, this record is inconceivably technical. There is not a single 4/4 beat here, and given all the guitar layers I am fairly confident this music is almost impossible to play live. Unlike Animals as Leaders or Liquid Tension Experiment, who set out to write songs oriented around the instruments – Jarzombek wrote the entire record to fit with sci-fi horror films. This undoubtedly plays a role in how unpredictable each song is, and highlights a key feature of this band – Blotted Science isn’t out to write melodic music with hooks, they’re out to push the limits of what’s considered audibly comprehensive

Another subtractive effect to being an instrumental band is writing songs that are distinguishable, a drawback this record does not suffer from. Au contraire, every track is instantly recognizable – from slower, heavier tracks like ‘Cretaceous Chasm’ to the arpeggio madness you’ll find on ‘A Sting Operation’. Somewhat surprisingly, the record is fairly short, leaving less room for fillers.

In conclusion, there are plenty of bands that have shaken up the scene recently. Conquering Dystopia and Animals as Leaders come to mind as being pioneers of this metal sub-genre. However, I see no reason why Blotted Science cannot be considered just as good as their virtuosic counterparts – there is no doubt that this band has truly pushed the limits of what is considered technically conceivable in the world of rock music.

Written by: Sherif Gerges

Edited by: Ahmed S. Khalil

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