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Behold...The Arctopus - Skullgrid CD (album) cover

SKULLGRID

Behold...The Arctopus

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.81 | 58 ratings

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Lezaza
2 stars Behold... The Arctopus is a very, very inaccessible band for the general music listener. I don't mean this in a pompous "polo-wearing with sheet music under my arms"- kind of way, if you do not like extreme music and are unused to this type of music it can be very hard on your ears. I remember this from when I discovered this band back in 2007. I was very much into technical metal of all forms and loved atonal pieces above all; but when I first heard 'Skullgrid' I was overwhelmed, I experienced it as almost unbearable. There was no semblance of flow in the music, nothing came together and it all sounded like a horrible gathering of shred crazed guitarists(I am not a big guitar fan).

On top of all this there was the problem with the drumming. A problem that always seems to be in this genre; the drumming doesn't stand on its own. It is mostly just used as accentuation for the guitar and bass-lines. Something that to me is close to murder in how horrible I consider it. I'm all for drumming of this kind if it helps serve a purpose musically, in most good cases the drums brings it all together finding order within the otherwise chaotic structure. But with Behold... The Arctopus I feel as if there is a drummer there because "music of this kind usually has a drummer". There is just no place for him musically that warrants a person instead of a drumming machine, sadly.

So what does it sound like? If you are familiar with the genre and the prominent bands I'd say it's somewhere in the lines of a fuse of early The Number Twelve Looks Like You and Into The Moat. If you aren't familiar with the genre I'd describe it as a pair of guitarists(well, one guitarist and one warr-guitarist) who are looking to push the boundaries for what can be done within the confines of their instrument. It's chaotic, atonal, rhythmically frantic and very disjointed music. It reminds me a bit of Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring' with all its crazy rhythms and atonal passages; but metal-- If one can say that with a straight face...

When I listen to this two years later I consider it a little bit more bearable, which I can most likely credit my newly found interest in jazz and fusion for. But my initial negative experience and all the things I disliked then are still present now, just not in such a graphic fashion as in 2007.

This is a record for enthusiasts of extreme tech metal, the farthest frontier of atonal and complex pieces. I've heard that warr and guitar players consider this to be inspirational to listen to. So if you play either instrument it might be for you, I don't know.

An album only for true enthusiasts of the genre/band.

2/5

Lezaza | 2/5 |

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