"The Machinations of Dementia" (Eclectic Electric; 2007)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Way back in the day there was a famous tech metal band by the name of Watchtower which set the metal community afire with its highly complex approach. Watchtower’s guitarist extraordinaire was Ron Jarzombek – Jarzombek has managed to keep a high profile with his other musical projects.

Jarzombek is joined in Blotted Science by Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse) on bass and Charlie Zeleny on drums. As a co-writer Webster gets significant input in the songs and shows a surprisingly nimble approach; the complex tunes of Blotted Science don’t scare one of death metal’s more consistent bassists. Zeleny does yeoman’s work as a frantic human drum machine. As an all-instrumental affair “The Mechanizations of Dementia” leaves the listener with only the musical lifeline to grab for in a cascading torrent of waves.

Whereas Jarzombek’s work with Spastic Ink tended to gravitate toward intentional humor, Blotted Science plays it (kind of) straight with sheer technical audacity – it’s the audaciousness that does provide some humor.  The "liner notes" also provide some levity as the seriousness of the words is a little hard to believe.

Generally, the song titles rip a page from early-Carcass silliness and, musically, Blotted Science keep things tight, staccato, and percussion-heavy (for example, “Night Terror” encroaches on Meshuggah’s tech-metal sound). I can’t help but think of tech-metal gods Cynic when I listen to “The Machinations of Dementia.” I hear keyboards as well – either as an un-credited guest or via Jarzombek’s own insanely skills on a guitar synth. I’m not sure and I don’t particularly care as it gives the album depth.

It’s funny that I was listening to “The Machinations of Dementia” on the eve of the 2008 Summer Olympics because I could easily imagine Jarzombek and company winning a gold medal for best technical album of the year (yeah, I know this was released in 2007 but it’s new to me).

“The Machinations of Dementia” was produced by Ron Jarzombek.

Blotted Science: Ron Jarzombek on guitar, Alex Webster on bass, and Charlie Zeleny on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400.