It’s been quite some time since we’ve last seen or heard from Mr. Don Gordon and Numb – 21 long years have passed since the release of his last full-length, Language of Silence, which took the sound from his previous album, Blood Meridian, and toned down a bit of the brutal aggression and leaned more towards a sinister, atmospheric style. So, what has changed in the last two decades? Surprisingly, not much. Mortal Geometry essentially picks up where Language… left off, albeit with a little more studio wizardry and technological advancements that weren’t available 21 years ago. Gordon has often been referred to as a sound designer and he certainly earns that title with the dark and menacing aural hellscapes that he has created for this album. The most notable difference between this and his early work is that this is wholly a solo project. Yes, Numb fans, that means that gone are the guttural screaming from former vocalists Blair Dobson and David Collings; enter Gordon’s own venomous snarl. He gets right to it, showing that he definitely hasn’t softened his sound with his vocal delivery, as the album’s first three cuts start off on a great crescendo, prominently featuring him effectively demonstrating that he is quite capable on his own, while also appealing to longtime Numb fans. With its drunkenly warped electro flourishes, “Redact” proves that he has his fair share of bile to spew, following by “Hush” with what is arguably the best vocal performance on the album, while showcasing what sounds like a modern day take on the coldwave sound of the early ‘90s. Then, “Complicit Silence” gets things moving with almost six minutes of throbbing danceable beats. From there, things venture into that sound design craftsmanship that Gordon is so adept at. Four of the next six songs are instrumental, largely focusing on dark ambience and atmosphere. This certainly highlights his programming talents, but they can border on a bit mundane if you prefer Numb’s more traditional sound. For those, he peppers the second half with the very Skinny Puppy-esque “How It Ends” and the EBM-laden “When Gravity Fails.” The bottom line here is that Numb is back, to the surprise of many, with a very good – though not great – album that should quench the thirst of anyone that’s been missing Don Gordon’s unique talents. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t take another two decades to hear from Ho Chi Minh City’s best electronic artist.