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Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States

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Psyopus biography
Psyopus, from Rochester, New York, is perhaps the most daring band in technical progressive metal. The sheer sonic abuse from guitarist Chris Arp's off-timed fret board tapping combined with the schizophrenic sense of melody and harmonics separate Psyopus from other metal bands of its ilk. The intent of this band is at times to annoy the listener but to do so with good taste from the quality of their many memorable compositions.

The singing style of the band from former vocalist Adam Frapolli is a kind of aggressive shout that often builds into a piercing shriek at a moment's notice. The bass playing by Fred DeCoste is just as complicated as the guitar work, seeing as he tends to follow along with Arp and skillfully inserts his own unique fills to add to the swirling vortexes that are Psyopus' tracks. Drum work is similarly stunning. Jon Cole, drummer on Psyopus' second record entitled Our Puzzling Encounters Considered, had the speed to keep up with Arp and DeCoste's relentless shredding and the dexterity to fill the time with many creative cymbal accents.

It is important to give credit to this band for succeeding in not only making strangely beautiful, extremely intense music, but also having a completely unique sound in doing so. It seems to many that no other band has a direct influence on Psyopus. It is a challenge to find a band that utilizes the extreme use of the guitar whammy bar and eight-finger board tapping. This band is perhaps one of the few true shining lights in modern progressive heavy music. As the band motto proudly exclaims: "We rock you almost as much as we annoy you!

Written by Chad Coup

Why this artist must be listed in :
Approved by the PMT

3003, demo (2003)
Ideas of Reference, studio album (2004)
Our Puzzling Encounters Considered, studio album (2007)

Psyopus official website

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PSYOPUS Videos (YouTube and more)

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Odd SensesOdd Senses
Metal Blade 2009
Audio CD$1.57
$0.01 (used)
Our Puzzling Encounters ConsideredOur Puzzling Encounters Considered
Metal Blade 2007
Audio CD$4.56
$0.80 (used)
Black Market Activities 2004
Audio CD$38.78
$1.39 (used)
Our Puzzling Encounters Considered by Psyopus (2007-02-19)Our Puzzling Encounters Considered by Psyopus (2007-02-19)
Metal Blade Records
Audio CD$59.57
Ideas Of Reference by PsyopusIdeas Of Reference by Psyopus
Audio CD$40.05
Odd Senses by Metal Blade (2009-02-17)Odd Senses by Metal Blade (2009-02-17)
Metal Blade (2009-02-17)
Audio CD$23.99
Odd Senses by PSYOPUS (2009-02-17)Odd Senses by PSYOPUS (2009-02-17)
Metal Blade
Audio CD$32.12
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PSYOPUS discography

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

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

2.73 | 10 ratings
Ideas Of Reference
2.60 | 13 ratings
Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
2.44 | 8 ratings
Odd Senses

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

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

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

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

1.00 | 1 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ideas Of Reference by PSYOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.73 | 10 ratings

Ideas Of Reference
Psyopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Well, what do we have here? This is mathcore metal at its most extreme. In fact I believe this is extreme metal's version of free jazz with Christopher Arp's wild frenzied manic guitar scales at a million miles an hour with Fred DeCoste's equally fast bass often backing it up with some kind of bop equivalent going on at times. Adam Frapolli's vocals are intense and as crazed as anything i've ever heard. Maybe this could be described as Meshuggah meets Elliot Sharp, Zeena Parkins and maybe Sun Ra with some Unexpect thrown in for good measure. It's just out there! Let's not leave out Greg Herman's drumming that is equally on par with the rest of the band changing jazzy drum rolls to blastbeats and back in the matter of nanoseconds. Whew! This is exhausting stuff.

Guitarist Christopher Arp demonstrates on "Death, I" and "Imogen's Puzzle" by slowing it down a bit that there is indeed some kind of jazz / metal fusion going on here. Whether these scales and chord progressions are made up or a hybrid of something is beyond me but there is definitely a pattern here and not just random noise. I am a warped individual and I actually like this as I am attracted to the furthest extremes that music has to offer. You know you got something wild if it makes Mr Bungle seem closer to Barbara Streisand than this! This kind of stuff is reserved for those special moods as I surely could not listen to this too often as it lacks diversity but as a short burst of extreme intense energy it delivers quite effectively.

 Ideas Of Reference by PSYOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.73 | 10 ratings

Ideas Of Reference
Psyopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Venusfly91

2 stars What a mess this is, albeit an occasionally interesting mess. I guess it helps if you try to listen to the other mess of an album that is Dillinger Escape Plan's "Calculating Infinity", which somewhat better in the sense that there's melody there placed somewhat better in between music, even the songs are indistinguishable, but this seems to follow the footsteps of the aforementioned album. Like a lot of bands trying to follow a certain interesting concept, they tend to fail because they don't understand what to do with these ideas and worse is when the idea was pretty mediocre to begin with.

As much interesting as the drumming and the amount of impressive capabilities these musicians have here, they are tossing atonality and melody in the worse ways possible, almost like they were recording different songs and mixed them together by mistake. One time, they'll playing some jazz fusion, then they will go into atonality frenzy, then play some other scales. Worse is the lack of hooks here too. It makes most of these segments just go by just like that and become forgettable. The only thing that it succeeds is in making it kind of flow well a lot, but still, not quite pleasing.

Overall, if you dig atonality to Iwrestledabearonce degrees, more power to you, but this is just overall borrowed ideas that this band doesn't know how to use properly and end up being a rather forgettable and at times a chore. If this is their best, I don't want to figure out what else they have to offer.


 Ideas Of Reference by PSYOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.73 | 10 ratings

Ideas Of Reference
Psyopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Ideas Of Reference' - Psyopus (6/10)

Now, having listened to a lot of Psyopus' repertoire, I have become a little bit more familiar with the band's rather unique and dissonant style. My first encounter with the band found me almost repulsed. The second record I listened to was 'Odd Sense' which despite also being ridiculous in nature, had some really cool moments as well as a pleasing neo- classical composition.

Now where does Psyopus' debut full-length, 'Ideas Of Reference' stand in comparison?

Believe it or not, overall; this is the band's most cohesive and enjoyable effort, as there are actually a few moments where the band gives leave of its harsh vocals, and turns to focus in on their instrumental skills without interruption. It certainly does not have a song that truly compares to their neo classical masterpiece 'A Murder To Child' but there's enough here to please someone with a taste for the avant-garde,

For those not familiar with Psyopus' style, it's something you really have to listen to in order to understand. It's the same sort of systematic chaos that many progressive metal bands employ, taken to the utmost extreme (to the point of annoyance.) On that measure, the sheer excess and originality of the band must be lauded, but it's a bit difficult to listen to, especially at first!

'Ideas Of Reference' has some moments (and by far, my favourites) where there aren't any vocals, and the guitars take over and incorporate 'some' melody and groove into the mix. Other parts that are certainly the most accessible to the average listener are the clean (yes, clean) parts of some of the songs where Chris Arp shows he can do more than simply shred his listeners to oblivion. Still, even the clean parts are dissonant in nature, although it has the same sort of dissonant beauty that attracts some to the post-classical scene.

Despite the fact that there are things to enjoy here, I could only run through the album a few times before being forced to cut my listening sessions to a song's worth or two. As time went by however, things eventually clicked and what I found was an album that blew me away in all of the ways that other metal bands were too tame to. Theres alot of worth here, and someone willing to let go of whatever preconceptions they have of the band might find something really interesting and unique here.

 Odd Senses by PSYOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.44 | 8 ratings

Odd Senses
Psyopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'Odd Sense' - Psyopus (4/10)

I must say, since my last experience with Psyopus, my tolerance and opinion of the band has certainly improved. With the nearly unlistenable 'Our Puzzling Encounters Considered,' it's pretty easy to see why this band does not warrant a huge fanbase. Mixing chaotic, maddening guitar parts with screechy vocals, Psyopus are a band much more likely to annoy your average listener than to amaze them. The first time listening to this band, I can honestly admit that my mind wasn't as open to something so different as I would have hoped. Looking now, I still do not think that Psyopus are musically excellent, but there is something to be said for them, especially in some parts of this latest record, 'Odd Senses.'

Chris Arp, despite being quite a goon when it comes to songwriting proper, is one of the most unique guitarists in the world, and despite the fact that many listeners won't enjoy Psyopus, it would be foolish to say the man has no talent at all. While alot of 'Odd Sense' does boil down to something resembling noise, it is very structured work.

Some of the issues that transcend the band's playing are still dominant in 'Odd Sense' as well. Despite being as musically open-minded as I can, I still cannot find anything musically pleasing about listening to a loop of a woman saying 'I Love You' over and over again on the track 'Choker Chain.' As far as comedic value goes, the tongue-in-cheek nature of some of this material does have it's merit, but the appeal wears off far too quickly.

There is however, one track on here that may warrant hope for the band. The closer of the album 'A Murder To Child' lacks vocals (the main problem with the band) and even heaviness. It isn't even in a metal style! I've always thought the best (and only truly enjoyable) moments that Psyopus had to offer were the ones where the band took their technical nature and transposed it onto a more musical field. The album's closer is in fact, a neo-classical composition. It is atonal and avant-garde (both qualities proper of the band) but it actually shows the band can make some good music if they put their hearts into it. The album closer is a track I would recommend to anyone who enjoys avant-garde music.

Chris Arp has said that the next Psyopus album will be something more along the lines of the musical style that 'A Murder To Child' delved into. If this is true, then there really is hope for this band. Besides the final track however, the band really isn't 'there' yet in terms of listenability and potential of enjoyment.

There is naught to do but wait for the next release.

 Our Puzzling Encounters Considered by PSYOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.60 | 13 ratings

Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
Psyopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'Our Puzzling Encounters Considered' - Psyopus (3/10)

I have just successfully completed listening to 'Our Puzzling Encounters Considered' en toute, and I am honestly having a hard time thinking right now, seeing that my mind is a little bit gone.

I like to consider myself as a pretty knowledgable and experienced metal and progressive listener, meaning I actively listen to post, traditional and extreme prog metal, and nowadays; alot of technical metal. Bands like 'Canvas Solaris' and 'Scale The Summit' are really pushing the boundaries of instrumental music, and making music that brims with both compositional and virtuosic skill. Technical music is a very involved process usually, but the music comes off alot of time as being mind-blowing and very impressive.

What Psyopus' music does is makes my brain liquify, and die away. It really does take the term 'technical' to new levels... But what it lacks is any actual music (music being something that sounds like... well, music.) There's no beauty in here, no hooks, no melodies, no real rhythms... It honestly sounds like the band could have brought a pair of dice to their recording sessions, and on the sheet paper; throw the dice at random and whereever the dice landed, a random note would be placed. Pair that with lyrics that no one can even make out anyways, and you have Psyopus.

The saddest thing about Psyopus is that they could actually be an amazing band, if they tried being a bit more musical. Any technical style of music requires alot of talent to play, and this band (with the exception of the vocalist) is overflowing with untapped talent. However, wasting such impressive skill and ability on unlistenable music just seems pointless.

I think I might have brain damage.

 Ideas Of Reference by PSYOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.73 | 10 ratings

Ideas Of Reference
Psyopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Ideas Of Reference is the debut album from american tech metal band Psyopus. Iīve already listened to and reviewed their second album Our Puzzling Encounters Considered. Our Puzzling Encounters Considered is one of those really rare albums that actually physically hurt to sit through. Constantly dissonant noisy riffing and out of this world complexity not unlike the relentless assault of a band like Behold...the Arctopus. Unlike the instrumental Behold...the Arctopus Psyopus has an screaming lead singer that sounds like he should be commited to a lunatic asylum. Needless to say that I wasnīt too impressed with that album and that the only redeeming thing I found about Our Puzzling Encounters Considered was the technical level of the musicians.

After listening to Ideas of Referance I can say that Psyopus played the same annoying style on this album. If I have to be fair I do enjoy ( boy thatīs a hard word to say when talking about this band) Ideas of Reference a bit more than Our Puzzling Encounters Considered but that doesnīt mean that this is music I really appreciate. The only moments I do enjoy ( there it was again) is the more quiet moments like Imogenīs Puzzle. A short acoustic classical inspired piece. To top the album of Thereīs the ending of Bones To Dust. I hate that. First you get about four minutes of music and then several minutes of silence before weīre put right into some noisy and utterly useless secion. Plain annoying.

Itīs funny because Iīm usually very fond of extreme metal in any forms and shapes but this is just a bit too much for me. Give me a good Napalm Death, Anaal Nathrakh or Nasum album anytime but my life is simply too short for this kind of dissonant noisy hell.

The musicianship is outstanding on the album and itīs the only reason why I wont give this album 1 star. Dissonant chromatic riffing at the speed of light and complex drums and bass. This is music only for musicians who wants to know if itīs really possible to play these things.

The production is powerful and very good IMO.

I canīt stand this modern approach to tech metal and I would love to give this album 1 star but Iīll aknowledge the extremely tight musicianship and give this one a small 2 star rating. Not recommended if you got anything that resembles ears.

 Our Puzzling Encounters Considered by PSYOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.60 | 13 ratings

Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
Psyopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Our Puzzling Encounters Considered is Psyopus second album. Psyopus plays the modern variant of tech metal which means itīs extremely dissonant chromatic guitar riffs which are generally played at the speed of light, very complex rythms, time changes that occour every second or so and an annoying singer that donīt know if he wantīs to growl, shout or make pig like screams.

As you can probably sense this is not my favorite style. In fact I find this kind of music very annoying. The vocals are the worst but I also have a hard time enjoying the spastic rythms which are similar to the rythms played by a band like The Dillinger Escape Plan. There are also hints to a band like BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS which is a band I really canīt appreciate either. Iīm generally a big fan of tech metal/ death metal but these bands that play technical music this way simply donīt sound good to me.

There are a few redeeming moments on Our Puzzling Encounters Considered and that is of course the musicianship which is astonishing to say the least. This is very complex music and it takes some talent to play it this tight no doubt. But there are actually a couple of enjoyable songs here too. Sadly the only two songs I enjoy on Our Puzzling Encounters Considered is the two songs where Psyopus donīt sound like themselves. Imogen�s Puzzle pt 2 is an instrumental song with lots of finger tapping. Itīs more impressive technically than it is melodically though. My favorite song here is definitely the instrumental song Siobhan's Song which is really beautiful and even has classical leanings. Itīs an excellent song indeed.

Even for fans of tech metal I would think twice before purchasing Our Puzzling Encounters Considered, as it is a very hard listening experience and as you can hear on my review it isnīt neccessary worth it. Iīll rate Our Puzzling Encounters Considered 2 stars for the originality and the musicianship. If any of these things had not been top notch I would have rated Our Puzzling Encounters Considered 1 star because quite frankly I donīt enjoy this album one bit ( only the two instrumentals).

 Our Puzzling Encounters Considered by PSYOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.60 | 13 ratings

Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
Psyopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by CGH Tompkins

2 stars After listen many bands screaming, i thought that i could listen any non-doom band (the doom band make me sick, literally), i thought that i could find if they scream just because they don't know what else to do or if they scream because is part of the music.

After listen this album i realized that i was wrong: i can't listen this band, and i can't say if the screams belong to the music, or it's just that the singer can't singe properly.

The music is completely destructive, my ears hurt after listen this album, and my brain was begging for mercy.

Let's try to describe this album: the background sound is a guitar being destroyed by some maniac, the drums is what my father call aporreo de tarros (beat of cans) and i don't remember any bass guitar, and the first sound, the voice is a constant scream of someone suffering electroshock, or a lobotomy, if there're any word in the whole album, i can't said.

I like the tech, but this guys go beyond that and make some kind of hurting metal, maybe it's this is a very skill band, but what i listened was 40 minutes of scream, pain and distortion, unlistenable.

 Our Puzzling Encounters Considered by PSYOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.60 | 13 ratings

Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
Psyopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Juliovp

2 stars Devastating. That's the first word that came into my head after hear Our Puzzling Encounters Considered by PsyOpus. Their extreme tech metal leaves you breathless for like 40 minutes. BUT there are many ways a record can devastate you: one way is smashing your ears and nearly make your head explode, and the other way is by doing something extremely well. PsyOpus mix both ways but it's more like an ear-smasher album.

When you have no experience listenint to tech metal, you won't pass the 5 minutes limit, you know it's not your thing if you get wasted on the first or second song. Chaotics sounds, no melody neither structure, screams everywhere, weird sounds, literally make one run from this album. I call this sound paranoia made music.

This record is hard to enjoy and makes me thing if people who likes this type of stuff are expecting to enjoy music , maybe their expecting something more or maybe im missing something. Don't take this serious, it's just an opinion. All tracks seems to be part of a looooong chaotic song, the technical ability and shredding is something i admirey, but it sounds like a jam or a sound check.

Siobhan's Song steal my heart by the way.

 Ideas Of Reference by PSYOPUS album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.73 | 10 ratings

Ideas Of Reference
Psyopus Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Moatilliatta
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This group is very talented, and their music is very complex, but it is completely unlisenable. The sound is obnoxious, and there is really nothing the listener can take from this. It is just a rampant series of riffs that seem to have no meaning beyond the complexity. These guys clearly have the ability to be something worthwhile, but they need to work on their songwriting. Psyopus's dexterity is on par with bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, arguably the starter of the Tech-Metal/Core movement, but the latter's music has way more dimentions than the former's. Sure, Dillinger's early work was very relentless, but besides the fact that is was unprecedented, the drums had a jazzy feel to somewhat attenuate the simultaneous chaos. Ideas of Reference just sound like incessant paroxysms channeled through instruments. It is noisy and unbearable. I admire their skills, but the way they use those skills is not a way that I can appreciate or recommend. I can tolerate similar music, but there must be something there beyond technicality.
Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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