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Octopus Bonsai album cover
4.09 | 28 ratings | 6 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Algo Medio (6:49)
2. Ruka Pillán (6:01)
3. Pseudo Groove (7:14)
4. ON/CD (7:08)
5. Catarsis (4:36)
6. Bipolar (7:14)
7. Viento Sur (6:31)
8. Bonsai (9:17)

Total Time: 54:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Jorge Benavides / guitar
- Fernando Daza / guitar
- Braulio Aspe / bass, synthesizers
- Cristóbal Orozco / drums, sequences

Guest musicians:
- Ras / scratches (1)
- Patricio Banda / contrabajo (5)
- Nicolás Matamala / cello (5)
- Juan Canales / violin (5)
- Tomas Mühr / percussions (7)

Releases information

CD Musea Records & Mylodon Records (2006)

Thanks to CGH Tompkins for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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OCTOPUS Bonsai ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

OCTOPUS Bonsai reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With their sophomore effort "Bonsai", the Chilean instrumental quartet Octopus has just shown that an important part of the future of prog metal lies beyond the realms of the seminal Anglo Saxon lands and the spectral woods of Sccandinavia. South America is also a fertile field for ballsy prog music. This album's repertoire is an amazingly inspired catalogue of pieces ordained by the fluid amalgam of intense musical ideas craftily performed across its variations and internal contrasts and shifts in both texture and rhythm. Bands like Dream Theater (early 90s era), Spiral Architect and Fates Warning (early 90s era, too) come to the listener's mind as points of reference while enjoying the constant guitar duelling and the robust deliveries served by the rhythm section, but there is more than that in Octopus' sonic attacks: you can also find traces of contemporary KC (a factor that undoubtedly links them stilistically to their compatriots of Autómata and Exsimio), hard jazz-rock (Attention Deficit, BLS, LTE), and even some occasional fusionesque adornments that enter the spectrum to add some weird diversity. Drummer Critóbal Orozco provides a sense of solidness for the band as a whole with his performances, in which sensitiveness and power are perfectly combined. Octopus can be labelled as the South American response to Canvas Solaris, for instance. Well, now let's focus on the repertoire itself. The first four tracks are stormy, vibrant pieces in which the foursome give lessons on how to integrate different aggressions into a solid unitary blow of sound and strength. The progressive element is crucial, since there is always room for dramatic tempo shifts between motifs and artsy expansions of the main riffs. This series has a very cohesive feel, although it would be fair to give special mentions to the mysterious, somber mood incarnated in the main passages of 'Ruka Pillán' and the superlative explosion of sound delivered across the sequence of permutations comprised in 'On/CD'. After these first four numbers, comes 'Catarsis', whose intro on bass guitar arpeggios serves as a preparation for a moment of introspection. The presence of a string section and an extra acoustic guitar (played by Daza) help to build up the aura of dense melancholy. A delicatessen that only lasts 4 ¾ minutes, but indeed the tiem duration is well served. This mood is only momentary, since the explosion of extrovertive power returns with an infinite vengeance for tracks 6 & 8. 'Bipolar' and the namesake closure have to be the album's highlights. The alternations between rawer and subtler passages and the display of sonic whirlwinds find their ultimate expressions in these restless pieces of tension and energy: while 'Bipolar' is more closely related in spirit to tracks 1 & 4, 'Bonsai' incorporates traces of classic LZ and 80s KC to the fore in many crucial passages. Sandwiched between the two, 'Viento Sur' offers a bizarre mixture of Latin jazz and prog metal, a combination that may not be 100 % cohesive, but it certainly shows an interesting novelty in the area of prog metal. "Bonsai" is a top-notch prog metal opus and Octopus is a world-class group: this band truly deserves recognition from the prog- friendly audience and the average prog metal fans all over the world.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This all instrumental cd was an a pleasant surprise to me. Twin lead guitars with prominant bass and a killer drummer, what more could i ask for ? I just didn't think OCTOPUS would be this good. Now the cover art I could do without. That's just weird.

"Algo Medio" opens with strange sounds before heavy riffs take over. The guitar grinds it out as the bass and drums provide a ton of bottom end. A change 2 minutes in as it calms down with tribal like drumming as the guitar solos tastefully. The guitars go from crying-like melodies to an absolute shred-fest. I'm reminded of RUSH after 6 minutes. More heaviness late. "Ruka Pillan" features more heavy riffs that are relentless. A ripping guitar solo 5 minutes in. "Pseudo Groove" is again heavy with excellent guitar. It gets lighter a minute in with prominant bass as this contrast continues. "On/Cd" opens with some odd-metered drumming as the guitars come in and light it up a minute in. Heavy riffs. Some spoken word samples 5 minutes in as heavy riffs continue. Incredible sound 6 1/2 minutes in as the guitar cries out.

"Catarsis" features some guest cello and violin. This ones a little more laid back but a nice change. "Bipolar" is back to the shredding and heaviness. This is intricate and complex. It settles down 3 1/2 minutes in before it kicks back in. Some beautiful guitar after 5 minutes. "Viento Sur" is a cool sounding song with lots of guest percussion. Guitar comes ripping in after a minute. Some great drumming follows then spoken words. Gorgeous guitar before 4 minutes. Heavy a minute later. It ends like it began with percussion. "Bonsai" opens with riffs as the guitar solos over top. They're kicking ass ! A change 4 minutes in as vocal samples are used. Some cool drumming before 6 minutes followed by some blazing guitar. More heaviness and great guitar follows. Vocal samples to end it.

Surprisingly heavy with loads of guitar makes this a must have for Metal fans out there.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the second album by this Chilean quarter and it is very close to a masterpiece...Sometimes instrumental albums are too monotomous or repetetive...Well with this one you won't ever get bored...Instrumental progressive metal of top notch with clear influences by DREAM THEATER,LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT,technical metal acts like WATCHTOWER,ZERO HOUR and SPIRAL ARCHITECT but they also add heavy doses of jazz and some avant-garde music with KING CRIMSON-ish atmosphere...The album starts with the more heavy tracks and the more technical side of the band but as it unfolds it is the jazz influences that come to surface getting the album really really interesting...Highly recommended by my side and it wouldn't be an excess if I'd say that this is the best instrumental metal work I heard since LTE came to birth!
Review by Bonnek
4 stars Bonsai is an amazing album from the largely unknown jazz-metal band Octopus from Chile. Octopus sounds like an instrumental version of Coroner's ultimate album Grin or a less extreme version of Meshuggah. They add a lot of jazzy touches and deliciously fluid twin-guitar soloing to their music.

All players are highly dexterous and apply their skills very well. Every riff they play sounds like the best choice out of a bottomless well of creative ideas. Everything is moulded into adventurous tracks that rage with energy and intensity. Beautiful jazzy solos and laid back sections provide for the necessary balance. The opener Algo Medio is all it should take to convince you of their exceptional qualities.

Unlike most metal albums this isn't a wall of sound with overstressed compression levels. Just like a true prog band, Octopus perfectly masters all possible volume levels between loud and quiet. The drums sound dynamic and acoustic, the bass is clearly audible and the guitars sound excellent, both when they are ripping and furious as when they are soothing and graceful. Technical metal with so much emotion and subtlety is a rare find and the band would deserve a lot more attention here.

Highly recommended to fans of heavy jazz-rock and technical instrumental metal in the vein of Coroner, Meshuggah, Liquid Tension Experiment, Gordian Knot or Psychotic Waltz. Given that my love for metal often gets nipped in the bud by either the sameness of the material, cheesy vocals or annoying attitudes, this one is the real treat!

Latest members reviews

5 stars Awesome. I have to thank ProgArchives and Radio Futuro for let me discover this band, one more group among the whole scene which have been developing in Chile this decade. But Octopus is a highlight, not very known yet, but they have all the tools to become a leader band. About "Bonsai", it' ... (read more)

Report this review (#135860) | Posted by Proglodita | Sunday, September 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars People underestimate South American Prog a lot. Its, unfamiliarity, novice creation, and inexperience. But this album was sure to turn heads. Sure to give a new look on how people feel about Prog Metal from South America. Bonsai, the album, and track, are excellent. Their higlighted peice "Bonsa ... (read more)

Report this review (#127844) | Posted by fungusucantkill | Sunday, July 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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