Monday, May 24 2010 00:00


Written by
  • While all content is editorially chosen, articles may contain affiliate links which may generate revenue for the site when a purchase is made.
517u4WmvzL. SL160 There's a genre being touted as "Tech Metal" or "Technical Metal" that's being used to describe death metal bands that have some serious progressive playing skills, yet use their powers questionably. Too often "Tech Metal" can also mean "unorganized sonic babble to annoy James with." Truth is, there's only a handful of bands and players that manage to combine virtuoso playing with extreme music and make it work. Off the top, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, CANDIRIA, and (sometimes) BUCKETHEAD come to mind. The reason? The can actually write songs.
BRAINDRILL's QUANTUM CATASTROPHE is the latest in a string of disappointing releases from Metal Blade, with eight cuts clocking in at just under 42 minutes. With track after track of unstructured garbage, there's literally no breathing room, nor is there any true musical merit whatsoever. The overly-triggered drums sound mechanical and artificial, not in an industrial sense, but in a just plain piss-poor sense. The leads are the epitome of guitar masturbation, and I can only assume that guitarist Dylan Ruskin likely ejaculated profusely onto the walls of the studio by the time recording was completed. Bassist Ivan Munguia is lost in the mix save for a few spots where they let him poke his head in for a quick audible doodle here and there. As for vocalist Steve Rathjen, he'd be better-suited growling away for a band that people may actually care to listen to for reasons other than seeming "cool."

Ya see, that's what it's all about kids. Weird genres with bullshit descriptions so you can say you liked 'em before they made a listenable album and sold out to the man.

Between the 16-minute mess that closes the record and doubles as the album's title track, and it's preceding number, you could slap the two song titles together to describe this album: QUANTUM CATASTROPHE = MONUMENTAL FAILURE.

Rating: 0.5/5 Stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.