Psyopus
Ideas of Reference


1.0
awful

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
July 31st, 2005 | 47 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Many people, when they think of PsyOpus, will go on and on about how extreme and musically talented they are. I've often heard things like, "Total mindfuck", "incredible musicians", and "best album of 2004". This band has one obvious goal: to be the most unmatchably technical band on the planet. I won't go so far to say that they've achieved that, but they're incredibly technical, nonetheless. I also suppose that this band is a good representation of what extreme music has become over the years. Let me quickly set a scenerio for you: I love extreme music as much as the next guy. I love brutal and technical bands like Necrophagist and Wormed, tr00, raw black metal like old Darkthrone and 1349, and sometimes even odd bands that fuse genres like the Red Chord and Between the Buried and Me. But the bottom line is, this band goes to far. In their search to be technical these guys have forgotten one simple rule of music: it's supposed to sound good as well. This record is the most incoherent collection of playing I've ever heard.

This band's sole purpose is obviously technicality. These guys know their instruments, no question. You couldn't find a more explosive guitarist than Chris Arp, who I'm sure in time will get more than his fair share of recognition. His riffs are lead-driven but tied in with breakdowns, occasional clean and acoustic breaks, and even a groove part here and there. But for the most part, PsyOpus's music is built around the completely random shredding of Arp. And when I say random, I mean random. Although I'm sure DeCoste is talented tech bassist, his bass doesn't come through so well on the record. It's obvious the guitar is priority. Herman, on the other hand, couldn't stand out any better. This guy is one hell of a drummer. He doesn't stick to lightning-fast blast beats or double bass. He mixes things up with various fills and rolls. The drumming is as unpredictable as anything else in the music. When you finally top off the music with the vocals of Adam Frapolli, who sounds like he has his scortum caught in a vice, you have a sure-fire setup for one of the most exteme bands on the planet. If you're looking for pure insanity, they don't disappoint.

Here's where they lose me: the music. If that sounds like a broad and drastic point, then maybe you'll understand why I dislike this band. As I said before, melody is non-existent. I also mentioned randomness, which I can't stress enough. Variation is a good thing to have in music - but when it sounds like you had 20,000 riffs with not a single thing in common and throw them together in one song, it sounds like total trash. But then again, thanks to PsyOpus, we know you can still make a career out of that. Rhythms are also honed to a fine point, but near impossible to follow throughout the record. I never knew what the hell was going to happen next, and that frustrated me. I like music I can follow, not a sheer wall of noise that seems to have talent.

I'll say this again - I love extreme grind, brutal death metal, raw black metal, and technical music. But when you incompetently roll it all into one 50 minute CD you get something that sounds like a carnaval being ran through a meat grinder. Here and there there may be a decent headbangable flowing section. Halfway through, Mirrorrim has a nice lead guitar riff that sounded almost power metal. Anomaly had a unique guitar/bass dual that was intriguing to say the least. For 15 minutes, Bones to Dust had some good stuff strewn about, but just sounded like everything else on the album. But all in all, these guys just take it too far. This is just a wall of noise created by instruments that were intended for music. That noise may sound like actual grind or metal at times, such as the majority of Mannequin, but how long can they really keep up this exterme image?

If you hate bands that sound the same with every song, avoid PsyOpus like a fucking plague. Wait - did I say it all sounded the same? I meant it all sounded different. Actually, no...it was all the same. It's all the same, but very diferent. The problem is, no two seconds of one song sounds like the few seconds before it. There is no structure, no consistent forumla or sound. They change keys and time signatures every twenty seconds. When you listen to the record all at once, it all sounds so out of place that every song sounds as randomly thrown together with no thought as the last. The only reassurance that each member wasn't ad-libbing it in the studio spontaniously is the occasional breakdown, in which they all suddenly play together, in time, with a defined sound. Which, oddly enough, sounds out of place when you put it against the rest of the crap which has been mislabled as music.

To sum up, this record is such an obvious attempt to stand out against all the ridiculous tech/brutal bands out there that they just blend right in with the rest of them. Amidst all the extreme music I listen to, I felt the need to draw a line somewhere. These guys showed me right where to put it. Music is one thing - PsyOpus is another. Generating a wall of noise and calling it music doesn't merit any respect in my book, and it's a shame that so many people disagree and choose shock value over listenability.

Cons include:
- So random it sounds like a wall of noise.
- No melody, no structure, nothing resembling a solo.

Pros include:
- Technical - very technical.
- CD makes an excellent frisbee.

Recommended tracks:
- Mannequin
- Mirrorrim
- Bones to Dust



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user ratings (154)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Jared Floryan (3.5)
Instead of playing some Skynyrd, Psyopus tries their damnedest to excite us with their odd senses....

SubtleDagger (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
masada
July 31st 2005


2733 Comments


Great review.

I can't recall if I have ever heard of these guys, but I'm not really interested in them.

Killtacular
July 31st 2005


1314 Comments


[QUOTE=Death to Pop-Punk]Pros:Technical - very technical.
CD makes an excellent frisbee.[/QUOTE]

:lol: Great work. You get a thumb.

:thumb:This Message Edited On 07.31.05

Shattered_Future
July 31st 2005


1540 Comments


Great review.

Are they worse than DEP? If they are, i suggest you burn every copy of this band's work...

Frisbees are awesome. :P

Shadows
Moderator
July 31st 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Much, MUCH worse than DEP. I can respect DEP at times because they fuse their technicality with some degree of melody and constant train of thought. This is just shit on a disc.

Yeah, this disc is a frisbee, nothing more.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 31st 2005


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The way you describe how you're confused by this CD makes you seem like you "don't get it" instead of Psyopus not getting it. I feel that this CD is really fun and mindblowing. It's not as tasteful as other extreme bands in the grind/math metal genres but it's certainly not clusterfuck you make it out to be. Wait until SubtleDagger gets a load of this.

joshmay
July 31st 2005


28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i agree with dfelon. this album is pretty good. i don't hear the songs as "random shredding" compilations or whatever.


they're insane live, too. i think you don't get it or like it, but you shouldn't disrespect their musicianship because of that.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 31st 2005


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hey josh, like my avatar?

Meteora3255
July 31st 2005


194 Comments


Miles Davis is an amazing trumpet player and he plays some amzingly technical stuff. Technicality doesn't require taste, Miles does it fine and everyone would "get it" and enjoy it. I have heard almost all the tracks (except The White Light and Anomaly) and all these guys are doing is hiding behind a guitarist who can shred, maybe if they added some melody to their song they could be technical and enjoyable but right now it is only random noise.This Message Edited On 07.31.05

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 31st 2005


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Actually there are three guitarists who can shred.

For the record, every piece of music has melody. It's just not that apparent on the surface. If you listen to extreme stuff like this, you can't just assume that there's going to be some high pitched singer giving you the simple melody on top of a chord progression. There is more depth than that.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 31st 2005


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And also, anybody with a screen name that is related to Linkin Park probably isn't the best person to be able to dissect and understand a technical metal album. Sorry.

Meteora3255
July 31st 2005


194 Comments


Melody is supposed to be simple and apparent that is what makes it the melody. Oh and for your information this screen name came after a trip to Germany almost 3 years before Linkin Park even announced Meteora. It is a name of a stone monument in Germany similar to stonehengeThis Message Edited On 07.31.05

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 31st 2005


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cool. So you reviewing Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water is an anomaly.

Melody is in no way meant to be simple or apparent. Some of the most beguiling, significant melodies are unique, confusing, subtle, or plain old difficult to hear. Maybe you need to listen to a band that's a little more sophisticated than 3 Doors Down to figure that out.

Meteora3255
July 31st 2005


194 Comments


actually if you had some more musical background or studied you would now that the melody is the apparent theme or idea presented in a piece of music, which the rest of the piece is based off of and drawn from. And why not check my first review for a sophisticated band, of course they may be beyond you.This Message Edited On 07.31.05

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 31st 2005


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I guess being a music major, a recorded artist, and a guitarist of ten years just doesn't cut it as musical background these days. Oh well. You just gave me a textbook definition of the word "melody." In the actual manifestation and true beauty of the idea, you are going to have to get a little more complex than what you read in a book. Furthermore, an apparent theme or idea can be hidden under mounds of shredding guitars. It doesn't have to be crapped onto the surface of a chord progression like I mentioned earlier.

Meteora3255
August 1st 2005


194 Comments


Chords don't have to be in a progression either. And recorded as who/with who and if it is APPARENT how can it be hidden.This Message Edited On 07.31.05

br3ad_man
Emeritus
August 1st 2005


2125 Comments


This band is pretty good. I agree with DFelon and josh.

Shadows
Moderator
August 1st 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Just to let you guys know, I have nothing against technicality. That was one thing I like about this band - they are very good musicians and their music takes a lot of talent. I just absolutely hate the music with a passion, no matter how technical it may be.

Dancin' Man
November 23rd 2005


719 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this band/album. One of my top 5's on both counts. Arp's sheer musical knowledge allows his shredding to sound random while actually being very refined. He just happens to break every rule about music ever. The songs I think are put together super well and the music is just so punishingly heavy. Brilliant song writers. This is a super progressive band I think. Not for the wanking reason (although they could there too) but because how many other bands can use so many leads and fills this way and still make music so heavy? The approach is really progressive and shows. And live.... live is amazing. I love this band.

lafingas14
December 29th 2005


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I have to agree with Fast Fingers on this one. The album is simply amazing. I just have to listen to the extremely technical guitar licks along with the awesome arrangement and I am blown away. It is such a shame to see all these other people putting the band down without listening to them once. All you Coheed and Cambria listeners, this music is NOT FOR YOU...just go away.

lafingas14
December 29th 2005


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I have to agree with Fast Fingers on this one. The album is simply amazing. I just have to listen to the extremely technical guitar licks along with the awesome arrangement and I am blown away. It is such a shame to see all these other people putting the band down without listening to them once. All you Coheed and Cambria listeners, this music is NOT FOR YOU...just go away.



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