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Behold...The Arctopus

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Behold...The Arctopus Horrorscension album cover
3.13 | 32 ratings | 6 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Disintegore (03:36)
2. Monolithic Destractions (04:02)
3. Horrorsentience (06:19)
4. Deluge of Sores (02:48)
5. Putrefucktion (01:03)
6. Annihilvore (10:28)

Total Time 28:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Lerner / guitars
- Colin Marston / guitars
- Weasel Walter / drums

Thanks to ddx1 for the addition
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Buy BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Horrorscension Music

BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Horrorscension ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

BEHOLD...THE ARCTOPUS Horrorscension reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Horrorscension' - Behold the Arctopus (5/10)

Think of the perfect tech metal dream band; a shining example of everything good and great about the style. Now, take that band, and remove everything that would make them even remotely appealing to the general public, and you might get a sense of what Behold the Arctopus sound like. Suffice to say, it's not a scene for everyone, and I'm still left wondering if I could call myself a fan of what they do. As is to be expected from the trio, "Horrorscension" is an absolute mess in every musical (or non-musical) sense of the word. Like some nightmarish labyrinth, most of the chaotic ideas here lead absolutely nowhere, and a noxious atmosphere of calculated disorder saturates every minute of the album. Its artistic merits aside, Behold the Arctopus' hideously dense sound is an acquired taste that takes a few rough listens to begin appreciating, although the album never comes close to fulfilling the potential of its ingredients. The mathematics are here, but the chemistry isn't.

Really, there's no wondering why Behold the Arctopus' second album has received such a mixed (though largely negative) response. The music here generally flows in a rhapsodic form, furious tech metal ideas are barraged at the listener, pummeling away for a few seconds before Behold the Arctopus move on to the next idea in line. Although the fanatic precision and cooperation between the guitars and drums implies that each of these ideas were meticulously designed, the composition and structure seem to do everything in their limited power to convince the listener that the music is a random mess. "Disintegore" is a perfect example of this. Although there are a few ideas that initially suggest the track will develop into something cohesive and memorable, it never really goes anywhere. It's understandable for an instrumental tech metal band to lack a sense of melody, but "Horrorscension" really feels the lack of a thoughtful structure.

Of course, with this and any relatively challenging album, it takes several listens before all of its layers are truly revealed. Around the third or fourth spin, the patchy string of ideas becomes easier to overlook, and the atmosphere becomes more evident. It's strange for an album of this technical density to have any sort of atmosphere at all, but the chaotic soundscape creates an eerie vibe that I might describe as a lesser counterpart to the feeling that the similarly dissonant Gorguts presented on "Obscura". Although the screeching, frantic guitars are the most pronounced aspect of the sound of "Horrorscension", the most impressive aspect is Christopher Walter's drum performance, an equally sporadic performance that indicates a firm background both in metal and jazz.

There's little emotion in the performances themselves, but altogether, they create a dark atmosphere, although it's up to each listener whether they want to stick with it for the first few painful listens. I could draw a comparison between "Horrorscension" and a school bully who dangles a stolen lunchbox in front of little Timmy, only to snatch it away when Timmy makes a reach for it. Although there are some great single ideas here (particularly on the ten minute "Annihilvore", which seems to nod partways in the direction of black metal), they don't usually stick around for very long, and when they do, the ideas afterwards break whatever momentum you may have hoped was going to come. It's a rocky, messy, ugly album, but there's more to it than first meets the ear.

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.

Review by Tom Ozric
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"......
Review by Kempokid
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.

Latest members reviews

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 deconstruct ... (read more)

Report this review (#1530146) | Posted by Progrussia | Wednesday, February 17, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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 fl ... (read more)

Report this review (#1445270) | Posted by Insin | Sunday, July 26, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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