PSYOPUS - Our Puzzling Encounters Considered

Psyopus - Our Puzzling Encounters Considered

11 songs
37:58 minutes
***** *
Metal Blade


In 2001, Christopher Arp tried to become the new guitarist for Limp Bizkit, and failed. I guess that can happen to anyone, but he decided to show the world anyway what a great player he is, and founded Psyopus, one of the craziest math metal / tech thrash bands I have ever come across. The songs, that most of the time have normal running times, are a platform for one of the most show-off musicians you will ever hear. Forget about recognisable song structures, the four-piece is fighting its way through forty minutes of blast speed grind jazz that let bands like Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan look like beginners, but then these two bands at least never forget to add catchy ideas into their material.

Our Puzzling Encounters Considered, the third album already for Psyopus, is technically flawless, and left me with my jaw dropped. But ultimately, it sounds like a male version of The Great Kat with a male singer (or screamer) and without the violins. This is impressive stuff to show your friends what strange music you have standing around at home, but essentially it becomes rather boring after some time, and even the instrumentals Imogen's Puzzle Part 2 (sounding like Allan Holdsworth on speed) and Siobhan's Song (overlong ballad that's going nowhere) don't add the necessary diversion.

After the regular 38 minutes, you get something more than 20 minutes of nothing before a humorous bonus track in the vein of early Mr Bungle ends the album and makes you wonder if Psyopus were not much more entertaining if they added fun to their sound. This is impressive stuff, but I can't think of many occasions where you feel like listening to such complex and complicated music. More accessible songwriting in the future should help make this band really big in the future, but right now they can only be an insider tip for proggy wankers.

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