Music

Brain Drill: Quantum Catastrophe

Mind-blowing, inhuman deathcore could leave the staunchest metal-hater with his or her mouth agape.


Brain Drill

Quantum Catastrophe

Label: Metal Blade
US Release Date: 2010-05-11
UK Release Date: 2010-05-10
Amazon
iTunes

The Quote:

"Brain Drill are one of the most musically over the top bands I have ever heard. They are truly raising the bar for technicality, velocity, and overall extremity in death metal.” - Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse.

The Setting:

Ben Lomond, California, is a small town off Highway 9, outside of Santa Cruz, essentially on "The Peninsula" (what we, in the San Francisco Bay Area, call the jut of land that stretches from near San Jose to San Francisco, separating the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean). I've been there many times on lazy drives and it is a gorgeous area, nestled amongst redwood trees, emitting a sense of peace and isolation. As of the 2000 census, a little over 2,000 people lived there, and it only occupies less than 1 square mile.

The Drill:

Brain Drill are an absolutely inhuman death metal band -- extremely technical, with guitar chops that should put Vai and Satriani to shame (though, music-wise, there's not much of a comparison). Rarely have I heard music so intense and mind-blowing, and they are purportedly from Ben Lomond, CA.

I wish I had the true story on all of this, because in their short life span (about 5 years), they've been in constant state of lineup changes. And that many people who can play music like every member of Brain Drill can't possibly be from Ben Lomond, CA. It would be hard to find guitar virtuosos and tempo-destroying drummers like this in Los Angeles or New York City.

At any rate, the most important things are that Brain Drill exist (especially after rumors of breaking up in 2008), that they've released one of the best albums I've heard all year, and they have brought into my world more ear-shattering music of brainy metal, now included in my sadly short list of bands like the Dillinger Escape Plan, Candiria, Meshuggah, and Converge, even though Brain Drill are more easily classified as "death metal" than those groups.

Set against the most grandmother-murdering aural assault you could imagine, the guitarist and bassist run up and down scales in ways that even power-metal gods Dragonforce could never fathom. Even if you hate death metal, you've really gotta hear this. It does exactly what I want my heavy metal to do: it makes me ask, "How in the hell did they do that?"

9
Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Television

Padma Lakshmi's 'Taste the Nation' Questions What, Exactly, Is American Food

Can food alone undo centuries of anti-immigrant policies that are ingrained in the fabric of the American nation? Padma Lakshmi's Taste the Nation certainly tries.

Film

Performing Race in James Whale's 'Show Boat'

There's a song performed in James Whale's musical, Show Boat, wherein race is revealed as a set of variegated and contradictory performances, signals to others, a manner of being seen and a manner of remaining hidden, and it isn't "Old Man River".

Music

The Greyboy Allstars Rise Up to Help America Come Together with 'Como De Allstars'

If America could come together as one nation under a groove, Karl Denson & the Greyboy Allstars would be leading candidates of musical unity with their funky new album, Como De Allstars.

Music

The Beatles' 'Help!' Redefined How Personal Popular Music Could Be 55 Years Ago

Help! is the record on which the Beatles really started to investigate just how much they could get away with. The album was released 55 years ago this week, and it's the kick-off to our new "All Things Reconsidered" series.

Music

Porridge Radio's Mercury Prize-Nominated 'Every Bad' Is a Wonderful Epistemological Nightmare

With Every Bad, Porridge Radio seduce us with the vulnerability and existential confusion of Dana Margolin's deathly beautiful lyricism interweaved with alluring pop melodies.

Music

​​Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Builds Identity From Afrofuturism

Beyoncé's Black Is King's reliance on Afrofuturism recuperates the film from Disney's clutches while reclaiming Black excellence.

Reading Pandemics

Colonial Pandemics and Indigenous Futurism in Louise Erdrich and Gerald Vizenor

From a non-Native perspective, COVID-19 may be experienced as an unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. Yet from a Native perspective, this current catastrophe links to a longer history that is synonymous with European colonization.

Music

John Fullbright Salutes Leon Russell with "If the Shoe Fits" (premiere + interview)

John Fullbright and other Tulsa musicians decamped to Leon Russell's defunct studio for a four-day session that's a tribute to Dwight Twilley, Hoyt Axton, the Gap Band and more. Hear Fullbright's take on Russell's "If The Shoe Fits".

Music

Roots Rocker Webb Wilder Shares a "Night Without Love" (premiere + interview)

Veteran roots rocker Webb Wilder turns back the hands of time on an old favorite of his with "Night Without Love".

Film

The 10 Best Films of Sir Alan Parker

Here are 10 reasons to mourn the passing of one of England's most interesting directors, Sir Alan Parker.

Music

July Talk Transform on 'Pray for It'

On Pray for It, Canadian alt-poppers July Talk show they understand the complex dualities that make up our lives.

Music

With 'Articulation' Rival Consoles Goes Back to the Drawing Board

London producer Rival Consoles uses unorthodox approaches on his latest record, Articulation, resulting in a stunning, beautiful collection.

Film

Paranoia Goes Viral in 'She Dies Tomorrow'

Amy Seimetz's thriller, She Dies Tomorrow, is visually dazzling and pulsating with menace -- until the color fades.

Music

MetalMatters: July 2020 - Back on Track

In a busy and exciting month for metal, Boris arrive in rejuvenated fashion, Imperial Triumphant continue to impress with their forward-thinking black metal, and death metal masters Defeated Sanity and Lantern return with a vengeance.

Books

Isabel Wilkerson's 'Caste' Reveals the Other Kind of American Exceptionalism

By comparing the American race-based class system to that of India and Nazi Germany, Isabel Wilkerson makes us see a familiar evil in a different light with her latest work, Caste.

Film

Anna Kerrigan Prioritizes Substance Over Style in 'Cowboys'

Anna Kerrigan talks with PopMatters about her latest film, Cowboys, which deviates from the common "issues style" approach to LGBTQ characters.

Music

John Fusco and the X-Road Riders Get Funky with "It Takes a Man" (premiere + interview)

Screenwriter and musician John Fusco pens a soulful anti-street fighting man song, "It Takes a Man". "As a trained fighter, one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned is to walk away from a fight without letting ego get the best of you."

Books

'Run-Out Groove' Shows the Dark Side of Capitol Records

Music promoter Dave Morrell's memoir, Run Out Groove, recalls the underbelly of the mainstream music industry.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.