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Behold...The Arctopus

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Behold...The Arctopus Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (Re-issue) album cover
3.72 | 35 ratings | 11 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Exospacial Psionic Aura (7:31)
2. Estrogen/Pathogen Exchange Program (5:26)
3. Sensory Amusia (4:39)
4. Alcholocaust (2:50)
5. You Will Be Reincarnated As An Imperial Attack Spaceturtle (8:27)
6. Alcoholacaust (Live) (3:01)
7. You Will Be Reincarnated As An Imperial Attack Spaceturtle (Live) (8:38)
8. Exospacial Psionic Aura (Live) (7:16)
9. Sensory Amusia (Live) (5:14)

Total Time: 51:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Lerner / guitar
- Charlie Zeleny / drums
- Colin Marston / Warr guitar

Releases information

CD Black Market Activities / Metal Balde (2006)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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Buy BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (Re-issue) Music

BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (Re-issue) ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (3%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (Re-issue) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Smiles all around for these mothers, a trio that will pillage your town with a scorched earth policy and leave you dazed, shocked and giddy with metallic delights. More extreme and urgent than the F***ing Champs but not as minimal or repetitive as Orthrelm, BtA bring the extreme-tech and raise it to heights previously unattempted, utilizing highly organized but frantic riffage that careens, lurches and frightens with equal amounts of precision and lunacy. Also evident are hints of Don Cab-style math rock.

No point in describing each track as it simply doesn't matter with this N.Y. band of guitar (Mike Lerner), Warr guitar (Colin Marston), and drums (Charlie Zeleny)... it all bleeds into what is some of the most exciting progressive metal to emerge in the past few years. Always intense, never dark, a real talent and not to be overlooked if you can find this CD featuring five originals and four live cuts. A stunner.

Review by FruMp
4 stars Amazing tech debut.

Behold... the Arctopus are one of the most exciting new bands in the tech metal world and this great reissue of their debut EP shows us exactly why. This is hopelessly frenetic music save for a few droning breakdowns (the one in 'Exospacial Psionic Aura' is really great'). All three musicians shred in unison - although not quite mindless spam, 'Sensory Amusia' can attest to this with some great jazzy moments. 'Alcoholocaust' is probably the highlight of the album and is easily the most technical of the bunch with mind blowing atonal fretwork from the warr guitar and Mike Lerner on the more standard electric with Charlie Zeleny's blistering syncopated poly-rhythmic drums being a constant highlight.

If that weren't enough the band shows that they are the real deal by including 4 live tracks which are exceptionally faithful to the original compositions (which is what they are in reality, they are much closer to compositions than songs), one can only wonder how such musicality and technicality could be achieved on the album let alone live.

Overall this essential listening for anyone into extreme technical metal, fans of SPASTIC INK in particular will enjoy.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Oh no this is exactly what happens if you cross that fine line between really technical music that makes sense and extremely technical music that is weird for weirdness sake. The musicians are of course outstanding as they tend to be in this genre. The problem is that what they compose is unlistenable. I have nothing againt tech metal like Cynic, Atheist, Watchtower and Spastic Ink for that matter, but Behold...The Arctopus is incredibly insensitive to melody, and their music is more avant garde than metal in my ears.

If they had an acceptable production it might have helped just a bit, but the overall feel would still be bad. This album is only for the tech metal head who canīt get enough of strange time signatures and impossible to play instrumental parts. This is too avant garde for me. The 1 star is for the excellent musicianship.

Review by ProgBagel
5 stars Behold.The Arctopus - Nano Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (Reissue) 5 stars

Masters of avant/jazz/classical/metal and everything in between. For the longest time I thought this was a studio album, but upon hearing that a new album was in the works, which was going to be their first full length proved me wrong. Regardless that doesn't affect my rating of this masterpiece.

Brooklyn natives Colin Marston and Mike Lerner on Warr Guitar and Electric Guitar formed this band. Just incase the reader does not know what a Warr Guitar is, it's a 12-string guitar which covers the range of bass and guitar. It can be played by picking or tapping, but Colin seems to use it for tapping. This instrument is commonly mistaken as a 12-string bass or electric guitar. The band put out two demos without the convenience of a drummer, so a machine was used. Drummer Charlie Zeleny was later recruited and then everything was set from there.

Describing this band in terms of sound.would be an utter disgrace, but I can give just some guidance. This band has many avant-garde and jazz leanings, as well as the implementation of classical techniques. To the untrained musical ear, this may some like random wankery garbage.but it shouldn't be to hard to decompose the music, understand the structures and compositions, then build it back up into the full song. It is to me, the most complex music ever recorded on a cd. If you know better, please message me with the band's name. The jazz is mostly orientated in the breakdowns of the songs, which is not hard to detect. The time signatures on this album is ridiculous, as I can't even make anything out, the drummer is extremely talented in keeping things in place. Since Behold.The Arctopus has been around, I haven't found a single tab on their music and it is possible there will never be one.

Normally, I don't think I could ever give an EP a 5-star rating, but the buyer will get an abundance of material. 5 good songs of length as well as a 4 song live set-list that is of brilliant quality. The production on the album is also pretty good, especially for how hectic this music is.

This album is recommended to anyone that likes things out of the norm, though generally that will detract quite a bit of listeners, which doesn't merit saying this album is not a masterpiece. I shouldn't need to recommend this to tech-metal listeners because they have probably been listening to this band just as long as I have. If you can take the overall sound of metal and are keen on avant-garde must pick this up, it is an essential EP.

This band has been big since before their first album even came out...showing how they already established themselves at the front of the extreme-metal scene.

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's fast, it's furious and it promises great things, but this slice of progressive metal is stronger on technique than content.

The sound is pretty much what you'd expect from a tech metal power trio, with guitars in overdrive and insanely fast yet absolutely precise drumming. The WARR guitar has a 5 octave range, so you get either earth pounding bass lines or synchronised twin axe shredding as required, and there are plenty of sudden shifts of tempo and time signature. There are a few reference points outside Tech metal; at times the guitar interplay recalls King Crimson circa Thrak (possibly because of the WARR guitar) while the drumming will be appreciated by fans of Yoshida Tatsuya (Ruins). The compositions recall RIO/Zeuhl power trios like Korekyojin or Ahleuchatistas with their labyrinthine twists and turns, but this is where Behold... don't quite realise their potential. Although they have a formidable grasp of dynamics and chops to match, the have a tendency to descend into self indulgent shredding and to drag things out for longer than necessary. This is particularly apparent on the two longest compositions, Exospacial Psionic Aura and You Will Be Reincarnated..., both of which have exhausted their possibilities well before they actually finish. The three shorter pieces are all much more effective, and the contrast between the drawn out drone introduction and the lightspeed finale of Estrogen/Pathogen is extremely effective.

This is enjoyable stuff if you like the manic intensity of Ruins or Korekyojinn, and if they tighten up their compositions Behold... the Arctopus could become magnificent. Cautiously recommended to fans of noisy RIO, Zeuhl and avant prog.

Review by Necrotica
4 stars Before anything else, this HAS to be said first. Brooklyn, New York is the last place you would expect to find a technical/prog band. New York, however, has covered some prog bands, and some quite successful ones at that, including Dream Theater and Spock's Beard. They've both received lots of attention, even the former getting MTV airplay. What makes Behold... the Arctopus different, though, is that they break any conventions of aforementioned two bands, and instead take a more technical route.

So before the review, be warned that this is not exactly as much an album as an E.P. with demos and live songs.

The album opens but very harshly and aggressively, signalling that this band will be very unexpected. The beginning pounds out of the gate with drums blasting, and guitars and bass/warr guitar taking the forefront. Exospacial Psyonic Aura sets the tone quite well. After the brutal opening, some speed metal riffing takes place, along with jazzy rhythms to support it all. In the middle of this song, there's a very neat jazz interlude with subdued textures. This portion of the song can remind one of the early tech/death bands such as Atheist, Death or Cynic. Don't hold your breath for too long, though, as the intensity builds back up for a smashing conclusion to a great opener.

Estrogen/Pathogen Exchange Program is very... interesting. The Estrogen part is mainly comprised of dark, brooding synthesizers, with some bass mixed in. Soon enough, the guitar enters and makes this song even heavier. After a long dissonant chord at 2:32, the bass and drums kick off to the start off Pathogen Exchange Program. The rest of the song is standard tech metal fare, but of course with BTA's signature style. The next song Sensory Amusia begins abruptly, just as the first. In fact, this song is very closely related to the first, for this reason and for another jazz interlude in this one too. Again, the intensity builds up, but this time a crazy fuzzled noise part comes in, and some listeners may want to avert their ears.

Then it leads to the highlight, Alcoholocaust. This song is very short, at a mere 2:50, but not to worry because there is a LOT going on in this song. It begins with a very technical riff that could remind someone of Mick Barr's work, notably with Orthrelm. After this though, it turns into one of the most melodic songs here, with melody and technicality sharing equal aplomb. When it gets to the solo, everything just gets chaotic, with Mike Lerner's wild guitar parts going all over the place, while bassist Colin Marston provides a good backbone. It then just goes for a melodic conclusion. Great song.

Finally, we get to the last studio track, You will be Reincarnated as an Imperial Attack Spaceturtle. Phew, long name! Anyway, this song is the longest one here, clocking in at 8:27. Once again, a melodic prog metal riff strikes first, but soon gets intensely technical. The interesting part about this song is the "Pause, start, pause" method they use in the middle, when they keep stopping their playing for a short period of time. A nice bass solo also accompanies this song in a 4/4 spot. Plus, there is another break just for Mike Lerner when he does 9 arpeggio chords.

The last four tracks are just live versions of these songs minus "Estrogen...". These are ok live, but they have much worse quality, and it would've been great to hear some new material by the band, instead of a rehash. However, Skullgrid, their first full album, came out already, and apparently has new songs.

Again, while this is a short album/long E.P., it provides quality work from a growing band. Sure, there are some rough patches here and there(especially on Sensory Amusia), but it still does not take away from how great this band's potential is.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

Latest members reviews

4 stars What do you get when you take a three piece free form jazz band, give them metal instruments including a 12-string bass, and tell them to write the most technical music they can? The answer is Behold.. The Arctopus, who have created quite possibly the most complex music ever created. Not only ... (read more)

Report this review (#219710) | Posted by topofsm | Thursday, June 4, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Extremely technical, aggressive, and completely instrumental progressive metal. Most songs are dominated by the Warr guitar, which is kinda of like a souped-up Chapman Stick. This CD is actually the original NNCS combined with Arctopocalypse Now...Warmageddon Later and some live stuff. Clever t ... (read more)

Report this review (#140409) | Posted by Pawned Heart | Monday, September 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have two words for you WARR GUITAR! ah man it makes the band. When i hear these guys i think Hella, Lightning Bolt mixed with speed metal rage. Its awesome. This album is sure to pelase anyone who is a math metal fanatic of maybe even an avant garde enthusiest who like to metal out. People fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#127776) | Posted by fungusucantkill | Friday, July 6, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars one of the most spastic avant garde ventures into metal music i have ever heard. Phenomenal sound and musicianship from a three piece. Think of rush on speed, crack, lsd, and heroine all at the same time. ... (read more)

Report this review (#115082) | Posted by Yontar | Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Wow. I was surfing online for instrumental prog metal when i came upon this gem. Man, How lucky I am. Behold... The Arctopus is a fantastic 3 peice consisting of guitar, drums, and Warr Guitar (a tapping instrument reminicent of the chapman stick) that can be more aptly classified as Jazz m ... (read more)

Report this review (#108178) | Posted by xjester | Saturday, January 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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