When the press sheet states "for fans of Gojira, Meshuggah, and Lamb of God" expectations are going to be pretty high right off the bat, so does Dark Mirror Neurons, the debut from French death metal act Livhzuena live up to the billing? Well, yes and no. I will give them credit, their approach to extreme metal is pretty damn thunderous, and if you are going to be influenced by a trio of current bands, they've picked three good ones. Thankfully, Dark Mirror Neurons isn't a spot on homage to any of the bands mentioned, but you do get the massive riffing style of Gojira, the complex rhythms of Meshuggah, and the overall aggressive nature of Lamb of God, but with Livhzuena's own spin on things. "Mars" kicks ass in a big way, with crushing riffage and some surprising hooks, and "Wave the Banner" throws in some creepy synths for ambience in what is otherwise a raging slice of industrial/tech/death metal. "Shadows and Matter" also takes the progressive approach, as the keyboards drift over acrobatic arrangements and violent vocals, while my personal favorite "Quantic Quake Monster" delivers some 'monstrous' Gojira styled stop/start riffs that will thrill any genre fan. "Void" is also a very solid example of progressive death metal, and for an even more textured example of their brand of prog, the closing title track offers up many twists and turns during its near 9-minute length.
Try as I may, the vocals of Franck just don't work for me. He's got a Tom G Warrior (Celtic Frost/Triptykon) thing going on here, which to these ears just doesn't seem to mesh with the style they are playing. Granted, it's different, but I'm just not convinced it works. Your mileage may vary however, so don't let that stop you from checking out this otherwise pretty solid debut from a band I'm sure we'll be hearing about quite a bit in the not too distant future.
03. Wave The Banner
04. Shadows and Matter
05. Quantic Quake Monster
07. Dark Mirrors Neurons