Blotted Science – The Machinations of Dementia

Some of our older readers, and tech-metal freaks should remember the late Watchtower. The highly influential Texas band released Control and Resistance in 1989 and it went on to become a touchstone of progressive metal in history. Along with Jon Arch-era Fates Warning, the band sparked a movement of highly-skilled, technical metal that was short on traditionalism and big on virtuosity. Watchtower?s guitarist, and prime driving force, was guitar wiz, Ron Jarzombek. His inventive, oddly metered riffing was as erratic as a John Coltrane free-form jazz session but it somehow retained the biting veracity of thrash metal. When the band dissolved its working relationship, Jarzombek went on to form the less metal and even more technical, Spastic Ink. The band released records throughout the 90?s and with tempting offers to reunite started coming in from European festival organizers, Jarzombek decided to bring Watchtower back together on a semi-full-time basis.

Getting back to playing heavier material must have sparked something in the veteran guitarist because he went on to form Blotted Science, his new power-trio. Joining him is Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster and Behold?The Arctopus wunderkind, Charlie Zeleny handling the drums. The Machinations of Dementia is the all-instrumental debut album by the ace musicians. The recording was done in separate states and shared through ProTools files via email but the end result is the sound of a band hammering out challenging yet abrasive arrangements in one room, together. Jarzombek hasn?t dealt riffs this heavy since the late 80?s and his songwriting chops have actually made way for a more streamlined style. Don?t get me wrong, songs like ?Night Terror? and ?Brain Fingerprinting? will still have your head spinning, trying to figure out the next part, but the songs are bound by a fluidity that other ?tech-y? bands cannot seem to get a handle on.

Jarzombek also holds back on the soloing a bit, letting the schizophrenic riff structures be the main focus. When he does take a solo, like on ?Narcolepsy,? it?s with taste and it always makes sense in the scheme of the composition of the song. What really surprised me was Webster?s effortless playing. He holds the bottom end with skill and computer-like precision. Although I knew he was a formidable player from his speedy work in Cannibal Corpse, I didn?t know how deep his control of the instrument truly was. He pulls off some Sean Malone (bassist of the mighty Cynic) worthy runs all over the album and prog-heads will not be able to deny that, snobbery and all! Finally, Charlie Zeleny anchors the entire thing, shadowing every move Webster makes. His bass drum patterns astonish and he lays down some of the most exciting tom-tom work I?ve ever heard! So if you’re a life-long fan of this faction of metal or have just been introduced to it by bands like Between the Buried and Me, just make sure Blotted Science finds a place in your collection.


Rating 8.5
Label: Eclectic Electric

By Carlos Ramirez