You’d think that, in the wake of all the highbrow approval lauded to Helmet’s heavy me(n)tal, more bands would aspire to ply the intellectual-jackhammer trade — guess not. But in a metal climate starved of any crossover adventurism outside of flinging insane korn bizkits, it’s all too uncommon to find a record like Gooseflesh’s Chemical Garden . Actually closer to Pro Pain stripped of most of the macho browbeating, Gooseflesh wax tricky upon their pummel-from-every-imaginable-side grooves, doom pus oozing out here and there, riffs always straddling the mathematical and the mechanical. And for as potentially exhausting as Chemical Garden ‘s precepts may be, the album thoroughly captivates to the very (loud) end, never once succumbing the blind anger n’ frustration ethos often attributed to such fare.
Digital Dimension Records, 6661 W. Tropicana Ave. #202, Las Vegas, NV 89103-4791