PsyOpus - _Ideas of Reference_
(Black Market Activities, 2004)
by: Brian Meloon (8 out of 10)
Rochester's PsyOpus have released their first full-length album, following quickly on the heels of their two-song demo [CoC #67]. Their music has changed little from the demo, and in fact both songs from the demo are on this album. Their style is dissonant metalcore, in the same general style as The Dillinger Escape Plan or Ion Dissonance, but it also incorporates some influences from Lethargy (US) [CoC #51], Gorguts [CoC #33], and late '80s guitar spankoff -- in particular, Richie Kotzen. The guitar work on this album is truly phenomenal, displaying a wide variety of original lead and riff styles and switching effortlessly between them. The drums and bass are equally impressive, simply by staying synchronized with the guitars. The vocals don't do much for me, though: they're done in a shouted style that neither adds to nor detracts from the music. However, although I expected to really enjoy this album, something about it just doesn't work for me. I think there are two related reasons for this. The first reason is that there isn't that much that is really memorable or catchy. There are some great riffs, but the large majority of the album is just splattery, dissonant, and chaotic. Unfortunately, this chaos doesn't really seem controlled, which brings me to the second point: their sound lacks tightness. That's not to say that the musicianship is sloppy, it's just that they're not attempting the type of tightness that death metal bands achieve. Combining this lack of tightness with their frequent use of dissonance makes listening to this album a rather tiring experience. Obviously, fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan and their artistic brethren will probably not have these objections, and this should be a fine addition to their collections. However, death metal fans who expect a certain level of tightness may find this too chaotic and unfocused for their liking, and it should go without saying that there is nothing here to interest those who require hooks or melodies with their music.


(article published 31/8/2004)

3/2/2007 J Smit 3 Psyopus - Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
10/30/2003 B Meloon 5 PsyOpus - 2 song demo
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