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OCTOPUS

Progressive Metal • Chile


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Octopus picture
Octopus biography
Chilean instrumental act OCTOPUS got started in the year 2001, formed by drummer Cristóbal OROZCO and bassist Braulio ASPÉ. Guitarists Sebastián LAVÍN and Fernando DAZA joined in, and then the foursome was ready to fulfill their broadening vision of rock. All four musicians had academic training at the Projazz School of Music. A CD demo comprising 4 tracks was released in the following year: it was recorded in one day on a stage environment (without an audience). After LAVÍN left, he was replaced by Jorge BENAVIDES. At the time, the band's repertoire had been augmented, and with the new ideas brought in by the new guitarist, the band eventually went to the studio to record their official debut CD, titled after the band itself - it was 2004.

In the last two years, OCTOPUS gained a cult following in their country's underground rock audiences, mesmerized by their exciting and complex prog metal offering. Concerts gradually became more frequent. In late 2005 the band was signed to Mylodon Records with an eye on their following album "Bonsai", which was recorded between Dec'05 and Feb'06, released in mid 2006. Their Myspace blog is very recurrently visited, with public accolades from big names of the worldwide progressive/experimental scene.

Especially recommended to fans of prog metal (DREAM THEATER, LTE, CANVAS SOLARIS), experimental prog with an attitude (GORDIAN KNOT, BOZZIO LEVIN STEVENS, BILL RIEFFLIN) and the harder side of current South American prog (TRYO, AUTÓMATA, QUAKER, EXSIMIO).

- Cesar Inca



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Approved by the prog-metal experts team.



Discography:
Octopus, studio album (2004)
Bonsai, studio album (2006)

OCTOPUS Videos (YouTube and more)


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OCTOPUS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

OCTOPUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 9 ratings
Octopus
2004
4.09 | 28 ratings
Bonsai
2006
3.90 | 10 ratings
Into the Void of Fear
2013

OCTOPUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

OCTOPUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

OCTOPUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

OCTOPUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.93 | 14 ratings
Coda
2008

OCTOPUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bonsai by OCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.09 | 28 ratings

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Bonsai
Octopus Progressive Metal

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

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!

 Coda by OCTOPUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.93 | 14 ratings

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Coda
Octopus Progressive Metal

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Coda is a strong EP that goes into even more technical directions then the preceding full length album Bonsai.

Each of the 4 tracks are challenging and adventurous compositions, with math-metal rhythm guitars and outstanding soloing, but I can't say that the changes with Bonsai are all for the good. A first minus comes from the production. The band must have opted for a more common metal sound with harsh and loud medium frequency levels and little or no dynamics. It's quite disappointing after the powerful and natural sound they had. Another remark concerns the addition of vocals. Most tracks are still instrumental but the vocals on Zeitgeist for instance make the band sound too similar to Meshuggah and makes them lose some of their uniqueness.

Coda is a good item for fans but not your place to start if you want to discover this talented band.

 Coda by OCTOPUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.93 | 14 ratings

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Coda
Octopus Progressive Metal

Review by insomniak

5 stars i think they are great, i see them on the "sala scd" and they play "beautiful". all they music are great, the bass is good but it complicated to hear it but it not mean that it bad, the guitars are great, and the drum was rec with a program like meshugga !!!!!, and in live Cristóbal Orozco play better than in this cd(in my opinion), i think they are one of the best band of chile. i only want see octopus in live again, they play great, on live, in studio, in everything. i have the luck to have a band where the guitarist is disciple of Fernando Daza, i have luck to talk to Braulio Aspe. but in the end that is a very good album, a MASTER PIECE
 Bonsai by OCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.09 | 28 ratings

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Bonsai
Octopus Progressive Metal

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!
 Coda by OCTOPUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.93 | 14 ratings

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Coda
Octopus Progressive Metal

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Chilean technical prog-metal ensemble Octopus has done it again with the spectacular (albeit too brief) "Coda" release. This mini-CD lasts less than 24 minutes and is wrapped in a beautiful digi-pack whose credits include a massive transcription of all four pieces' scores. "Coda" is a powerful exhibition of the pushy, explosive metallic force that Octopus incarnates with such musical cleverness. The shrapnel pulsations that set the pace of 'Slussen' announce the complex, heavy storm that is already taking place. The machinery constructed by the riffs and the rhythm duo state the perfect frame for the impressive guitar leads. A parallel tendency is pursued by 'Zeitgeist', albeit with a frontally somber vibe, a factor that can be clearly noticed right from the starting point. The introduction of grunting screams and samplers of philosophers discussing the epistemological problems of religion expand the rebellious note that the music alone seems to cry out. 'VI - I - VII' bears a less frantic outburst, compensated by a denser sonic elaboration. This is definitely the most versatile track in the album, including momentary space-rock elements for good effect (if only the Octopus guys had arranged a more extended space for them). The motif that gets started at the 3'30"-mark streams into a more agile section, which eventually recreates yet another thrash-influenced prog-metal jam and develops it into the conclusive climax. The album's last 5 172 minutes are occupied by the incredibly pyrotechnical 'Momentum Kriget' - this is a robust exercise on sinister prog-metal seasoned with a few jazz-rock-friendly passages and occasional Crimsonian guitar leads. The mechanically driven riff that repeats itself all the way through the long fade-out effectively carries on the wild adrenaline displayed in both this particular track and the whole album. This is a great way to end such a great mini-CD as "Coda". If only this effortt had been longer... Anyway, Octopus still rules.
 Coda by OCTOPUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.93 | 14 ratings

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Coda
Octopus Progressive Metal

Review by Proglodita

4 stars This EP is like the second part of "Bonsai", or yet better the final part. That's what I read somewhere (or heard, I don't remember), in the words of one of the members of OCTOPUS. Just like the coda of "Bonsai", but with seven strings. And that's the best definition of "Coda", joining the same ideas of the previous album, all that complexity, with heavy riffs and asymmetric rhythms, with some voices above the music, but with the seventh string present from beginning to end. The problem is that the result is not that good like "Bonsai". It's not the best ending.

It's not that good, but let me say it, "Coda" is a great album, deserving this four stars for an excellent addition to prog lovers collections. When comparing to "Bonsai" it gets this bad qualification, but when listening in the middle of the day, it is a high point.

The complexity itself is recommended, the way they play with the music, with the times and the notes, creating this kind of "anti-music". That's the idea I get when I hear, for instance, that repeated up way in 'Slussen', or that break in 'Momentum Kriget'. Just like Nicanor Parra taught us the anti-poetry, now I hear a sort of anti-music, being music, but not what we expect to hear (and we are prog addicted!).

"Coda" demonstrates the skills of this band, and the core of its music, with some OPETH influences, but keeping away the four repetitions of a motif, ending up in a particular style worth to listen.

 Coda by OCTOPUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.93 | 14 ratings

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Coda
Octopus Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars OCTOPUS seem to be getting even more complex, bringing ZERO HOUR to mind at times.This is an almost 24 minute EP of four songs. In the liner notes they thank CAST and TRETTIORIGA KRIGET.They also include 87 pages of instrumental music notes, so those who are brave enough can try this at home. Good luck with that.

"Slussen" comes out of the gate hard and fast. Absolutely ripping guitar a minute in as the band rampage all over the place.This is complex and heavy duty just like ZERO HOUR. Spoken word samples arrive 4 1/2 minutes in. "Zeitgeist" again makes me think that these guys have taken the complexity level up a notch over their last record "Bonsai".There are some guest screaming vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Vocal samples 4 minutes in that continue to the end that basically rip Christianity. Not impressed. Quotes like "Christianity just is not truth" and "Jesus did not exist" is b.s. in my mind. But hey this is about the music, and the music is excellent.

"VI-I-VII" features face smashing riffs that lighten briefly after a minute. Vocal samples 2 minutes in as riffs and odd-metered drumming continue. A relentless drum attack 4 minutes in. More vocal samples 6 1/2 minutes in as heavy guitar and odd-metered drumming continue. "Momentum Kriget" i'm sure is a reference to their Swedish friends.This is another assault of relentless power. Spoken words after 1 1/2 minutes as drums and guitars ease up before the heaviness returns again.

I like the direction they are headed in. This is very impressive.

 Bonsai by OCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.09 | 28 ratings

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Bonsai
Octopus Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Bonsai by OCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.09 | 28 ratings

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Bonsai
Octopus Progressive Metal

Review by Proglodita

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's a complete masterpiece. Maybe at first I had a doubt whether giving it 4 or 5 stars, but as the months gone by, it is all so clear, and the 5 stars are here for this masterpiece. "Bonsai" is full of heavy guitar-based sound, in the way of OPETH and some DREAM THEATER, and with rhythm changes from beginning to end. The song 'Bonsai', in fact, is the most rhythmic (or normal) one, starting in 4/4 and keeping that signature for a few minutes, with some 5/4 too. But I'd say, if there's something opposite to the classic 4/4, it is this album. And so, we come to the musicians, with the ability to play what they play. That's not a big surprise considering that the four of them are from the Pro Jazz Academy. Both guitarist alternate in the solos, some of them are improvised, and Cristóbal Orozco makes an amazing job in the drums, a key factor in the chaotic rhythms in some passages.

Getting into more details, I'm going to say something about each song:

Algo Medio: Starts with a heavy riff quite difficult to follow, and that's because the guitars are playing in 4/4 while the cymbal is marking a 7/4. A dynamic song, sounding like SATRIANI in some solos ("Surfing with the Alien".), and just a couple of minutes later remembering the heaviest OPETH's "Deliverance".

Ruka Pillán: One of the highlights (and a good closer for the shows, just like the first one I attended), from the beginning playing with the times. There are a couple of very OPETH moments.

Seudo Groove: A little calmer than the previous ones, very dynamic too, with some jazzy backgrounds, even like bossa nova.

ON/CD: Starts with a drum solo while the guitar plays a riff. A heavy song, DREAM THEATER like, especially when the voices appear. It's amazing that break at the 3th minute; very confusing and dark. The title, pronounced "Once de", makes sense with the voices speaking of the 11/9 in the USA and the 11/3 in Spain.

Catarsis: After that brutal first half, here comes a breath. A mellow song, a la TRYO, with cellos and stuffs. The clean guitar comes to mind the 80's KING CRIMSON.

Bipolar: A good name for this song. It moves between heavy riffs, melodic distorted guitars and mellow, sort of bluesy sections. OPETH again appears like an important influence. There are some voices declaiming poetry, and one of those voices is Pablo Neruda. Another voice says "me encuentro en un desastroso estado mental". A bipolar song.

Viento Sur: Starts with clean guitars in some kind of cumbia, or rumba, following with the crazy-heavy-distorted-guitar section. It has an intermission with voices where again is Neruda speaking. Beautiful verse that "Entre morir y no morir, me decidí por la guitarra" (among dying and not dying, I decided by the guitar). The song close with the same section that the opening.

Bonsai: The song is divided in three clear parts. The first one is a heavy segment, with some pinched harmonics, just like through the entire album. At moments it sounds like 'El Señor de las Profundidades' by ALEJANDRO SILVA. The second part goes with clean guitars and some voices again (and again Neruda), and a section definitely dedicated to Robert Fripp and the 80's KING CRIMSON. The last part gets even heavier than the first one, with some chaotic rhythms. It ends with a 2 minute section in 15/4 (or something like that).

So, what do we have here? A great band from Chile, very skilled musicians, full of ideas, and a must have album for prog metal lovers and for all who love to break the standards of music. It has similarities with DREAM THEATER and OPETH, with 80's KING CRIMSON at some moments, but the core of the music is all original, far from a copy of any type.

My highlights? Just the half of the album: 'Ruka Pillán', 'Seudo Groove', 'ON/CD' and 'Bonsai'.

I wrote a lot, but if you buy it, it's easier to understand.

 Bonsai by OCTOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.09 | 28 ratings

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Bonsai
Octopus Progressive Metal

Review by fungusucantkill

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 "Bonsai" is their most popular and in my opinion, their best song yet. Its got the prog elements of pushing the limit on prog metal, its time changes quick, and clean. Certainly would change the minds of some anti prog metal enthusiusts. For anyone who enjoys pur Prog metal...this is a must have.
Thanks to Bryan for the artist addition.

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