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The Nerve Institute - Architects of Flesh-Density CD (album) cover


The Nerve Institute


Crossover Prog

3.63 | 32 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This is the first official Nerve Institute album although M. Judge (who is Nerve Institute) has released other albums under different names. I streamed this album and I was unaware when first listening to it that I was listening to a one-man-band project. That goes to show just how talented Mr. Judge is. He wrote, played, produced, etc. just about everything on this album himself, with maybe a little bit of help here and there. The music is generally hard to describe as there is so much going on in every song. The use of many different instruments makes for a full sound. The guitars and drums are sometimes very jazzy. Sometimes the guitars are more metal sounding and electric pianos are used often.

Throughout the album you can notice the sound of digital glitches, usually at the beginning or end of a song. The song titles seem to based on different languages. There is a very eclectic mix of styles on this album and the music constantly changes, going from one section to another yet nothing ever seems forced or boring. "Horror Vacui" opens the album with overdubbed electric pianos before some call and response vocals. Gets both rocking and melodic afterwards. The melodic parts with acoustic guitar are my faves. Cool altered electric piano near the end. "Prussian Blue Persuassion" may be the catchiest song here. Nice violin(?) in this track. Features some fusion-y guitar playing. An abrupt tempo change arouind 6 minutes as the music starts to get more intense and dissonant. Some folky Mediterranean/MidEastern inspired music here and there. Skronking sax at one point.

"Tooth & Flea Korowod" has some great keyboard sounds. This almost has a Mars Volta vibe at the start. Gets intense and almost math-rock-y in the middle. Some backwards effects at points. Lots going on and never a dull second. "La Jalousie" begins creepy and spacey sounding with some quiet talking. Then it gets loud and rocks out. Love the robotic altered vocals here. Great electric paino in this song. Great drumming as well. "Hadassah Esther Cruciform" opens with some cool experimental techno sounds and more digital glitches. Switches immediately to a Phish type vocal song. Then it gets instrumental with some great playing. The vocal part returns. Cool Mellotron-like sounds in the middle, followed by a great section with marching drumming and nice piano chords. Just drums and guitar soloing for awhile.

"Bande the Ossuary" opens with the sound of bells and then vocals and jazzy playing. There is a main melody here on guitar and/or keyboards which is fantastic and gets reprised again. Nice mix of electric and acoustic guitars. Some awesome guitar soloing in the middle. Gets avant and noisy for the last minute or so. For a one-man-band recording this is fantastic. The sound and production is top quality. The compositions are well done and keep the prog spirit alive for 2011. This is definately 'prog' but it is not retro or derivitive. This may just be my favourite prog album of 2011. This is way too recent for me to give a 'masterpiece' rating to...but it may end up becoming one. If you like your modern prog adventurous and unpredictable, then this is the album for you. A solid 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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