Neuraxis The Thin Line Between

Neuraxis The Thin Line Between
Quebec technical death metal outfit Neuraxis have come into their own. On The Thin Line Between, their fifth full-length and first for Prosthetic, they have two new members: vocalist Alex Leblanc and guitarist William Seghers. Drummer Tommy Mckinnon has only been with the band since their last album, 2005’s Trilateral Progression; guitarist Rob Milley and bassist Yan Thiel remain the only guys standing from more than one disc ago. But the band’s sound remains intact, more solid than ever. "Wicked” chugs along like Floridian death metal from ’92 then gets technical, with hi-hat closed and beat staggering, like Cynic or Atheist. "Versus” is somewhere between blasting death and spiralling tech, with a great opening riff that’s going to have tech-heads drooling. But it’s not all musical madness, as the band have focused their melodic thrash edge, evidenced on tracks like "Dreaming the End” and "Oracle,” until they throw in the inevitable "quick-tech-now!” sections. Some guest vocalists help out Leblanc, not that he needs it; his powerful bellow does just fine. But who’s going to say no to Luc Lemay’s growl? The Negativa and ex-Gorguts front-man adds a bit of Quebec metal history to this disc, which is helping to propel the prolific province’s scene into the future.

What does the strange album title mean?
Milley: In general it’s an album about duality: the confrontation of opposite ideas or concepts. Being caught in the middle, having to make a choice and the feelings involved — fear, uncertainty, depression, anger. The thin line between is about this conflict and the quest for balance.

In general you guys have toned down the technicality over time. Do you agree?
I feel that we worked a lot on creating some very technical parts throughout our last four albums. We had more of a mindset this time around to focus on writing good songs instead of showing off our technique. I don’t want people to get the wrong impression though — the new stuff is still highly challenging and demanding to play.

You’ve got Luc Lemay singing guest vocals on two songs. That must feel pretty good.
Dude, I still have a hard time realising that Luc did some guest vocals on the album. I love his vocal style and he’s definitely someone that Alex, Yan and myself have looked up to since we were younger. No one sounds like Luc; every time I hear his vocals on the new album I get goose bumps. (Prosthetic)