Tech Death Thursday: BRAIN DRILL


Spear is out of town and he foolishly left me to ruin his weekly column. Today, we’re listening to BRAIN DRILL.

FIRST OFF, the tech news of the week:

  • Decrepit Birth have wrapped up recording on a new album! Expect it out on Nuclear Blast soon.
  • Wormhole signed to Lacerated Enemy, and they have a brand new track up for your perusal. Check out “Symbiotic Corpse Possession”
  • Hannes Grossman, former drummer for Necrophagist, Obscura, and Blotted Science, is streaming his brand new record over at Invisible Oranges. Stream Crypt of Sleep here.
  • Abiotic are hanging up their axes and calling it a day.
  • The latest iPhone sounds fucken dumb.

When Spear asked me to cover for him, I made the exact same threat I used to give Jack Bauer when he was the captain of Tech Death Thursday: “Sure, I’ll write it. But we’re gonna listen to BRAIN DRILL.” Spear didn’t take me seriously, the fool, so here we are.

Brain Drill started waaay back in 2006 when the world of metal was wild and endless thanks to a little site called MySpace. Suddenly, any teenager with a harebrained idea and some half-assed recording equipment could share their pornoskramz project with the world and be rewarded with the e-love of raccoon-haired women. In 2008, Brain Drill had just released Apocalyptic Feasting. I was in college and had befriended a pair of long-haired heshers that loved weed, Cephalic Carnage, and Brain Drill. They shared all of these items with me. Apocalyptic Feasting was impossibly fast and ludicrously heavy. In 2010, Brain Drill upped their game with the absurd mess that is Quantum Catastrophe. Back in July of this year, Brain Drill released their long-awaited follow-up to Quantum Catastrophe with Boundless Obscenity. Surely, given six whole years to craft the perfect record, Brain Drill would return to form with another brilliant clusterfuck of endlessly fun gibberish?

With Boundless Obscenity, the band displays a progression in their songwriting. That is to say, the songs sound more like songs rather than 3-minute razor bombs of bone-bleaching shred. Lyrics are more audible, the result of long-time vocalist Steve Rathjen departing and Travis Morgan, former bass player for Atheist, taking his place. The drums sound noticeably less triggered, perhaps an effect of new drummer Alex Hernandez-Bent (Arkaik). Guitarist Dylan Ruskin, the only original member of Brain Drill, indulges his guitar heroics as flourishes in service of the song, rather than the main course. All of these elements result in a smarter, more mature Brain Drill. I don’t like it.

For years, Brain Drill have been a hideous caricature of technical death metal. Every genre trope stretched out and distorted beyond reason; faster-than-fast BPMs, endlessly noodly guitar riffs, technical for the sake of being technical. Boundless Obscenity sounds like Brain Drill has taken some of their feedback as criticism and capitulated to tha haterz; the result is a solid tech death album that has few distinguishing features. For longtime followers of the band, I’m sorry to say Brain Drill has developed a modicum of taste. For newcomers, do yourself a favor and blast your brains to mush with Apocalyptic Feasting and Quantum Catastrophe.

Follow Brain Drill on Facebook and frantically shriek “BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRIAN DILL” at them.

Do you have a band you would like to see featured? A new release we should keep an eye on? Or maybe you want to do some writing yourself? Then email us at and make your voice heard!

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