Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nociceptor - Among Insects

Nociceptor
Among Insects
Pivotal Rockordings

With Canadian melodic death metal act Threat Signal currently on hiatus (Following the release of their second album ‘Vigilance’ in 2009), guitarist Travis Montgomery has decided to focus on his own project Nociceptor, who after signing with Pivotal Rockordings, have just released their new E.P. ‘Among Insects’.
Despite having been around for the better part of six years, and independently releasing a full length album in 2008 (‘Sum Of All Scars’), the Dallas (Texas, U.S.) based outfit (Who also comprise of vocalist J.D. Schmidt, bassist Scott Allen and drummer Michael Eskandari) are still a relatively an unknown act within the metal scene. But given the strength of the material featured on ‘Among Insects’, that situation is sure to change in no time at all.
Sounding like a cross between Tesseract, Periphery and Meshuggah, it’s safe to say that Nociceptor can be well and truly pigeonholed as another new piece of the growing underground ‘djent’ movement. But while some may see that as a negative, Nociceptor do have enough originally within the eight tracks they offer up on ‘Among Insects’ to stand out amongst the crowd.
Despite its unimaginative title, the two and a half minute ‘Intro’ serves as a fitting introduction to proceedings, with the gentle build of guitars against some sound effects easing the listener into the E.P. with its melodic start, and eventual build into heavier riff structures towards its tail end.
The hard hitting second track ‘The Fell’ virtually follows on from the opener in a particularly bruising fashion, with the band locking into a grooving riff pattern that’s fairly indicative of the ‘djent’ sound. It isn’t until around the two thirds mark that the vocals deviate from the short and sharp barks, allowing a brief passage of melodic clean vocals to take over. It’s not exactly the sort of change that blows the mind with originality, but it does help break up the monotony within the track, and it’s done exceedingly well.
‘Botfly’, which is preceded by the rather short guitar heavy interlude ‘Emergence’, is a definite stand out cut with the band demonstrating their technical ability with tempo changes and complex groove-like riff structures, and the constant shift between melodic and growled vocals throughout, while the added aggression within ‘Pornoholocaust’ (Which has been reprised from ‘Sum Of All Scars’ and re-recorded here) adds a different feel to the E.P.’s overall sound.
‘Mollusk’ (Another track lifted from ‘Sum Of All Scars’) is solid, if a little unremarkable, while ‘Cuntagion’ is noteworthy for its guitar solo and the effects utilised here and there on the vocals.
The closer ‘Angus McGillicutty’ is another highlight on the album with the use of varying vocals, the vast contrast between heavy passages balanced against brief atmospheric pockets, the shredding solo work and the extended melodic riff structure that eventually eases the song toward its eventual fade out.
Nociceptor isn’t going to win any awards for originality within the growing ‘djent’ movement, but they will turn some heads with the strength of the material they offer up on their latest E.P. And that alone is enough to earn ‘Among Insects’ and the band some well deserved praise.

For more information on Nociceptor, check out - http://www.myspace.com/nociceptor

© Justin Donnelly