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BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States


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Behold...The Arctopus picture
Behold...The Arctopus biography
Hailing from New York City, Behold... the Arctopus looks very promising.The instrumental trio comprised of Mike Lerner(guitar),Charlie Zeleny(drums)and Colin Marston(Warr guitar,a 12 string instrument played primarily by tapping that covers the range of guitar and bass), plays intensely virtuosic and complex progressive metal with avant-garde leanings that completely avoids sounding dated or cliche.They combine the furious virtuosity of tech metal,the improvised soloing of jazz, and certain writing techniques of contemporary classical music to give their insanity a compositional cohesion rarely heard in progressive metal music.So far they have released 2 eps,"Arctopocalypse Now...Warmageddon Later" in 2003 and "Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning" in 2005.Fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan,Ephel Duath and bands of this nature will love Behold...the Arctopus.Highly Recommended.

partial source:
http://www.beholdthearctopus.com/




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
This band was approved by the Special Collaborator Progressive Metal team



Discography:
Arctopocalypse Now...Warmageddon Later, ep (2003)
Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning, ep (2005)
...

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BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS discography


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BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.81 | 57 ratings
Skullgrid
2007
3.08 | 25 ratings
Horrorscension
2012
3.83 | 4 ratings
Cognitive Emancipation
2016

BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.72 | 32 ratings
Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (Re-issue)
2006

BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.58 | 12 ratings
Arctopocalypse Now...Warmageddon Later
2003
4.26 | 24 ratings
Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning
2005
3.70 | 10 ratings
Behold... the Arctopus / Orthrelm Split
2006

BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Horrorscension by BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.08 | 25 ratings

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Horrorscension
Behold...The Arctopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars So, I was in the mood for something obscenely chaotic and heavy about a week ago, but also didn't feel like listening to my go to in this mood of The Dillinger Escape Plan. After browsing around for a bit, I read something about how this band was meant to be absolutely insane in terms of pure technicality. This seemed quite promising to me, so I decided to check out this album, thinking that such an album would be really awesome and strange. What I ended up finding was not that, as I find the majority of this album to be incredibly boring. This sounds like what happens if you take some of the worst elements from technical metal, i.e, extensive technical wankery, and then made it the noly thing going for your music at all, although to be fair, it's still better than the plethora of terrible metalcore scream vocalists you tend to find with these sorts of bands. The album honestly starts off well enough, as Disintegore's intro is really awesome, encompassing exactly what I expected from the band, literally changing time signatures every second or 2. The issue is that the rest of this album follows the exact same template, but without the anarchic streak that such aggressive, chaotic albums should have, making it simply sound like highly technical, frenetic metal and nothing more. You may be questioning why I started off this review with a needless, banal anecdote, and it's for the simple reason that I find very little to talk about with this, as there's essentially one element to it, technicality. I'll give this album 2 stars for the fact that despite the fact I find it really dull, both because of occasional entertaining memoents, and because the sheer talent of the band members is downright ludicrous, it's just that they forgot about their songwriting.

Best songs: Disintegore, Deluge of Sores

Weakest songs: Annihilvore (essentially 10 minutes of annoying dissonance)

Verdict: Honestly, the lack of variation or any particular interestig qualities of the album beyond how well played the instruments are really makes this a miss for me, however, if you're really into dissonant music that never wants to sit still for even a second, you may find this band enjoyable.

 Cognitive Emancipation by BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.83 | 4 ratings

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Cognitive Emancipation
Behold...The Arctopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Look at such a meaningful weird sleeve ... a hell crazy pic and crazy nice nasty tracks. Currently (Jan. 2019) this is the newest album by BEHOLD ... The ARCTOPUS, where are four melodic eccentricities based upon complicated rhythmic ground. The content is a bit short but amazingly deep and heavy and especially introspective, let me say. Their creation "Skullgrid" extremely with weird melodic explosion and unpredictable rhythmic development amazed me indeed, and I could not help having massive expectation of "Cognitive Emancipation" naturally. But surprisingly, such a dark matter's notified me of stabler appearance than the previous one. Wondering why.

It's just my speculation but their entire creativity might have got refined and stabilized. Firstly I've felt that not so aggressive atmosphere or non-theoretical manner can be heard as previously. Hell yeah I found out it's wrong. Through this creation they released bombastic sound impression beneath sorta downtone melodic texture. Never monotonous nor inorganic but intriguing and impressive.

Mind you, it's quite fantastic they launch drastically precise musical prescription for the audience, even if more polished. Suppose their hearts into playing music would have been perfectly synchronized and crystallized with each other. On the contrary, their power and energy to discharge such an incredible mass should be limited ... so this creation is slightly short (but smart and energetic) for a full-length album, let me suggest.

 Skullgrid by BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.81 | 57 ratings

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Skullgrid
Behold...The Arctopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Woooo ... can melody lines get such a complication like their excessive style? 'Skullgrid' was released in 2007 as the debut album of BEHOLD ... The ARCTOPUS and their superb masterpiece 'Canada', that was introduced by my progr mate, has called me upon their turf. Yes I've got knocked out completely by the track where every piece is played without any breath nor relief at all. Complex, eccentric, and concentrated melody / rhythm lines are pretty harmonized and crystallized perfectly. No distortion is here. It makes sense you can find something innovative and immersive in their sound world.

Already tremendous is the weird combination of a mammal skull and digitally formed cubes. The first titled track is quite short but powerful and intensive as the very first call of theirs. Just felt as if Janus Stark met Yoshiharu of Le Silo. Imagined all of them might play together under such a nervous and sensitive condition, for the 90 seconds. The twin guitar explosions are incredibly gorgeous precisely based upon the chilling, outstanding rhythms created by the drum genius. Their soundscape is not so metallic but splendidly technical and extreme. It would navigate your massive expectation for a rock novelty.

'You Are Number Six' has less brilliance nor motivative potential in kinda shoegaze playing situation (maybe) but notifies you of dramatic repetitions and critical intentions. Wondering how long they could create such a musical perfection. Melodic, rhythmic seriousness in 'Some Mist' or speedy madness in the following 'Scepters' sounds amazing, attractive too. Minor details aside, their play should show you another fantastic sound appearance along with complicated but completely synchronized instrumental ritual managed by them all. Brilliant.

 Horrorscension by BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.08 | 25 ratings

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Horrorscension
Behold...The Arctopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Why, why do so many extreme tech metal bands feel the need to contrast their technicality with gore humor. I mean, one joke is enough, we get it, you are not taking yourself too seriously. But an entire career of disintegore and putrefakction (song titles)? Come on. Anyway, this is a deconstruction, or, in less fancy terms, destruction of music. What sounds like a rehearsal, a technically nearly impossible hyper-fast metallic flurry of notes with only a brief slowing down. No vocals, great. Reasonably well produced. And this basically the end of the review. Because there is no more. No melody, no direction, no sense, Sometimes tech metal grows on you on repeated listens, like Spiral Architect's lone album. This one doesn't. Its just an amusing curiosity.
 Horrorscension by BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.08 | 25 ratings

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Horrorscension
Behold...The Arctopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Behold The Arctopus - Horrorscension.........says it all, really. The music presented here by Tech/Death Extreme instrumentalists Colin Marston (WARR guitar) Mike Lerner (Guitar) and Christopher 'Weasel' Walter (Drums) is a lesson in over-the-top technical proficiency and ultimate chaos, yet remaining tight, coherent, and ridiculously dissonant and uncompromising!! Not music for the faint-of-heart, I tell you. Opening with a track titled Disintegore - shredding guitar, rumbling WARR guitar in bass range, and stuttering stop-start outbursts of drums, one is likely to shake their head in disbelief. These guys annihilate the listener with a pummelling barrage of relentless noise and ridiculous time sigs (questionable, as the music sounds so random), crushing everyone and everything in their path. More or less a vehicle for NYC's premier Death-Squad of Colin Marston and his Menegroth studio, home to many Extreme underground Metal acts, local and far, where Marston's understanding of the rules and how to break them get a chance to express themselves without any constriction. We get 6 tracks, clocking under a half-hour, where Colin states he did have another piece or 2 for this release, but time ran out and he was more than satisfied with the unusually short running time of this slab of sonic concrete. Sometimes less is more, Y'know. Don't expect any respite from Lerner's guitar fury, the soul- crushing double-pedal work of Weasel, and God-knows-what from Marston and his 12-string beast, the most 'ambient' or moment of relief, comes at the end of Horrorsentience, where we hear a minute of a Mellotron sample. Yep, a 'tron !! Gotta love the 1 min. Putre[%*!#]tion, a freak-out with 380 mph double-kick. I guess I'm fairly new to this part of the PROG World, so I'm mightily impressed, maybe you, fellow readers can be too. Had it not been for fellow reviewer Atavachron, this, disgustingly attractive punch-to-the-face, may never have been unleashed. At least he reached one reader !! And the cover art, love this cover design, great colours. Even better as 12" x 12"......
 Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (Re-issue) by BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.72 | 32 ratings

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Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (Re-issue)
Behold...The Arctopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

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)

 Horrorscension by BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.08 | 25 ratings

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Horrorscension
Behold...The Arctopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Insin

1 stars Behold the Arctopus has been described as "soulless technical death metal," and as their second album Horrorscension opens with Disintegore, this proves to be true. It's a song that feels like an intro or an overture, as if at any second it will break into a recognizable song structure, into a flowing work of progressive genius. But it doesn't? And the whole album is like this.

Horrorscension is ever more flat and pointless than Behold the Arctopus's first album, Skullgrid. Any actual appeal possessed by their debut has degenerated into a complete disregard for good songwriting. There is nothing on here besides bland, mindless tech death, and almost never is there a change in pace, the usage of dynamics, nothing on here that makes the music actually enjoyable. It gets really annoying to listen to after a while, the riffs and solos utterly forgettable and a lack of vocals (not that I have a problem with instrumentals) adding to the mechanical, robotic emotionlessness of Horrorscension.

Behold the Arctopus has even crafted a ten minute song, Annihilvore, to finish off the album. Normally I would refer to this as an "epic closer," but there is nothing epic about this. They could have cut it in half to no loss. Or gotten rid of it completely. Or, better yet, never written the album to begin with. Like the rest of Horrorscension, it goes absolutely nowhere, without structure and filled with pointless technicality. There is no evolution in any of these songs. Nothing interesting happens.

There are rare deviations from this lack of direction ? Horrorsentience slows down at the end; Deluge of Sores has a touch of actual feeling (I use the word lightly), perhaps due to its slightly upbeat riffing, and is the only song that doesn't make me want to peel my fingernails off one by one (these two minor variations are not exactly saving graces). Another thing that doesn't entirely suck is the musicianship. Songs like these have only one purpose: to show off the band members' skills, and they do, each performance sounding tight. It's not like these are a bunch of inexperienced kids who are trying to cover a highly technical song and end up over their heads. But this is essentially the only good thing I can say about this album, and being able to play a song without messing it up too badly is... you know, a basic essential of performing and recording music.

Progressive is defined as "moving forward." Behold the Arctopus's music does not go anywhere. They are not progressive, only meaninglessly technical, and the album's sole purpose is to showcase this. People who think that Dream Theater have abandoned all notions of good songwriting to show off their technicality have clearly never heard Behold the Arctopus, because that is exactly what this band does. I can only thank BtA for making Horrorscension a short ordeal.

1.5/10

 Skullgrid by BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.81 | 57 ratings

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Skullgrid
Behold...The Arctopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars And here we thought we'd have to wait about a century to hear music made by robots. So, yeah, this is pretty much the logical conclusion of tech death: just about emotionless, highly complex, blazingly fast, and might be called math death by some. And loud, of course. For what it is it's excellent, with very skilled musicians playing tech to the fullest, with plenty of new ideas. Behold... The Arctopus does not rest on any laurel here. Listening to this album is an enjoyable experience, with much to savour in ~36 minutes - tech is fast, after all. For me, the best part, even after all that, is the end of "Of Cursed Womb", where after a beat of silence the guitarist lets out one final note, rather humourously. I did say ALMOST emotionless.
 Skullgrid by BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.81 | 57 ratings

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Skullgrid
Behold...The Arctopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars What a technical extravaganza this is! This band like similar artists Psyopus are what I would call an equivalent to free-jazz only applied to metal, so I guess it could therefore be called free-metal. I understand why many would run away from this since almost all metal is at least somewhat based on the blues. Although Judas Priest began a major departure from the blues in the 70s and created modern metal as we know it, the fact is that most bands have not totally eschewed the scales and patterns that the simple blues established when rock n' roll was born. BEHOLD.. THE ARCTOPUS is a band that has totally gone somewhere else altogether. Although there are brief runs that have bluesy overtones, the song structures here are non-existent. This band simply likes to steer you into unknown territory and then kick it up to 11.

This band is only a trio but all three musicians are incredibly skilled on their instruments of choice. This is totally instrumental. Their ability to play together is staggering as these tracks sound totally random at times and the whole thing reminds me of a magnificent flock of birds that all fly together in harmony and then suddenly turn into a new direction in unison. I actually have an appetite for this insanity. I don't feel like every album or every band needs to use an established protocol to "move" me or tug my heart-strings. Sometimes I just want to take a roller coaster ride and that's what this is... a musical roller coaster ride that twists and turns and uses technical wizardry to suspend your disbelief. Although this isn't something I listen to on a regular basis, when I feel like going to the amusement park for an unadulterated adrenaline rush I find this first full album SKULLGRID to hit that spot.

 Horrorscension by BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.08 | 25 ratings

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Horrorscension
Behold...The Arctopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars These guys kick some motherf*ckin' ass, and they always have. Somehow disguising their astonishing creations behind frantic meth-head jams and brutal streetfights that explode with violence, BtA's Horrorscension is the only album I've ever heard that could cause you actual physical harm. No, really; corporeal damage that may take some time to recover from. It is a crippling record.

But that's the beauty of the Marston/Lerner chemistry-- as mercurial as things get, you know they have everything under control. What you hear is exactly what they wanted, as per 'Disintegore' with its dizzying rate of exchange blowing open holes in places you didn't know existed, happening all too quickly to get your bearings. You're gonna go down, but it's just the beginning of an un-winnable match. New drummer Weasel Walter penned - or pounded - the slightly more musical 'Monolithic Destractions' taking his bandmates on a ride of unknown distances which oh-so-subtly morphs into the title cut hiding a mellotron sample near the end. But my personal favorite here, to the extent that I can wrap my head around it, is torturously-titled 'Deluge of Sores' with Mike and Colin's neat pyrotechnics and thoughtful symmetry. The disc wraps with chiming and wild 'Annihilvore'.

BtA have never been for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, but here you really have to watch yourself or risk getting in over your head. These three will kill you. Enjoy.

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition.

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