Brutal tech death bands are the surgeons of the metal world: immersed in blood and guts but with a need for mechanical precision that few jobs require. A shaky hand leaves permanent impact.
Natrium wield their scalpel with a bit of a tremor, not for lack of ability but lack of decisiveness and direction. Vertigo of Abjection is overloaded with starts and stops, and with each brief pause comes a crossroads at which their compass is seemingly guided by chance.
The title track and album opener provide examples of what's done right here, falling somewhere between Suffocation and Cryptopsy. Followup "Drowning in Inertness" attempts to channel the same power but falls behind with a bit of a lag on the drums, which sound slightly off time and underpowered — a problem that also plagues the outro of album closer "Phosphine Embrace" (though its underlying melody is a nice surprise).
It's a damn shame, because the track spends most of its four-minute runtime nailing the rollercoaster formula they worked to refine over the seven tracks prior. The burst fire of "Synthetic Whimpers" harnesses half-stops to energetic effect and sudden full stops in the vein of Beneath the Massacre's "Nevermore."
Unfortunately, "some of the time" doesn't really cut it with surgery. Though Vertigo of Abjection slices, oftentimes it does so with a dull blade. (Ultimate Massacre Productions)