Neurotech’s musical evolution has been quite an expedition so far, traversing diverse genres and sonic landscapes. But in his most recent offering, Wulf decisively retraces his steps back to the heart of cybermetal, immersing himself once again in the world that first ignited his creative spark. After pushing the boundaries of trance with NeuroWulf and exploring ambient territories with NeuroAxis, the visionary musician and producer unleashes a formidable and all-encompassing journey through the cyber realms.
Ave Neptune bursts into life with two thunderous escapades, immediately immersing the listener in a barrage of crushing guitar riffs and relentless beats. Yet, it is on “Never-ending Maze” where the expansive ambition and captivating essence reminiscent of last year’s Symphonies II resurface, as the familiar vocal melodies that resonated in The Catalyst come roaring back with even greater intensity. “Only Heartbeat” serves as a poignant interlude, allowing the listener to witness Wulf’s exceptional production skills, particularly evident in the ambient synths. This track, a desperate and devastating masterpiece, gradually builds towards an excruciating climax, evoking a multitude of emotions. It firmly divides the album into two distinct halves, with the first showcasing a notably heavier sound. As the second half commences, “Spiraling Down” sets the tone, ushering in a more industrial vibe that permeates the subsequent tracks.
“Whirlwind” showcases a captivating interplay between the rhythm section, which takes on a stilted jaunty walk, and the ethereal, almost prog-rock journey that unfolds alongside it; the combination is simply delectable, creating a dynamic and contrasting sonic experience. This track sets the stage for the slower and introspective “Inner Quest,” providing a seamless transition into a more introspective realm. Closing the album is the unquestionable highlight, “The Years of the Flood,” which embodies the essence of Neurotech in all its glory – blissfully chaotic, it captures the futuristic, vast, and frenetic nature that defines the project. Sometimes embracing a metal edge, sometimes immersing in synthphonic elements, this track is a testament to Neurotech’s ability to both blend and bend genres. Through its composition, “The Years of the Flood” shares a message of hope and perseverance with anyone willing to listen. As the album concludes, it leaves its mark with a signature key change, adding an extra touch of brilliance to the overall experience.
While Ave Neptune is a thought-provoking album that beautifully showcases Wulf’s musical vision, it’s not without its minor flaws. Some tracks may exhibit a certain level of structural repetition, and there is a noticeable reliance on the double kick drum throughout the album. However, these criticisms pale in comparison to its strengths, and don’t significantly detract from the profound impact of the music, particularly for fans seeking a return to the blistering sounds found in earlier Neurotech albums like Antagonist and Transhuman. With intricate compositions, evocative lyrics, and impeccable production, Ave Neptune delivers an exhilarating experience.