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Spastic Ink - Ink Compatible CD (album) cover


Spastic Ink


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.94 | 78 ratings

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4 stars First-rate shred tech from the Jarzombek crew, even Jason McMaster's slightly tortured vocals work which couldn't have been easy considering the mind-numbing calculations going on here. And guest keyboardists Jens Johansson, David Bagsby and Jimmy Pitts fit right in and never overshadow the guitar. Essentially one long epic work of linear metallics broken-up by occasional strange interludes and sound effects, Spastic Ink's second album is sliced into nine tracks but plays beautifully as a singular piece of modern progmetal; stylish, highly intricate, at times approaching the sort of complexities heard in 20th century classical avant garde. Guitarist/composer Ron Jarzombek is helped by brother Bobby's crack drums and bassist Pete Perez, the team sounding just like brothers who've been playing together all their lives should; seamless. A kind of almost invisible perfection only heard in other fraternal units like the Allmans, Shulman Bros., the Beach Boys, and Van Halen. 'Aquanet' bleeps hello with a fax signal giving way to Jarzobek's clean, rolling glissandos and laser trills and spell-binding rhythms, all changing before you realize what's happened. This band is a machine in the best way and puts to shame most current metal acts. McMaster's rock'n roll whine is somewhere between Kurt Cobain and Rob Halford but with enough drunk swagger to know he is neither, vocalizing only where appropriate and allowing the players the spotlight as in 'Just a Little Bit'. 'Words For Nerds' chunks and hunks and makes one dizzy, featuring a bizarre middle and a perfectly kooky synth solo from the great but almost completely unknown David Bagsby. 'Melissa's Friend' expands with Satriani flavors and a slight Mars Volta influence, becoming a wide-ranging, almost Floydian journey with some lowbrow humor. Paganini-like instrumental 'Read Me' has precise programs by Ron, 'Multi-masking' wears many faces and 12-minute 'A Chaotic Realization of Nothing Yet Misunderstood' is a real accomplishment of continuous movement-- clean, beautiful, exacting and truly gymnastic.

Extreme but also showing much of the melody and myth of the neoclassical metal pioneered by Schenker, Uli Jon Roth and Yngwie, 'Ink Compatible' will appeal to a wider range of fans than your typical Behold the Arctopus CD. Surprises around every corner and well worth many good listens.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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