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Behold the Arctopus – Hapelectic Ovetrove Award winner

Behold the Arctopus
Hapelectic Ovetrove
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 01 May 2020, 12:56 PM

BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS is a three-piece Instrumental Technical Progressive Metal band from New York, New York. They have been at it since 2001 and this is their fourth full-length album and first in 4 years. In their fist ten years, they pretty much did EPs, and Splits before lau their first album back in 2007.

Playing Technical Metal music can be a bit of a risky gamble. While it’s often fun to showcase your skills in a more complex and intricate setting, the balance between emotion and technicality tends to be incredibly tough to strike effectively. Sure bands like ESTRADASPHERE, CYNIC or WATCHTOWER could pull you in with their insane levels of musicianship, but how long will it be until you get bored of pure technicality and brutality alone? How about integrating some atmosphere, or maybe some meaningful interludes to offer some breathing room? Well, one band from New York was able to create a wonderful experience of both mind-boggling technicality and borderline-beautiful moments of progressive rock bliss; they are know as BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS.

While their music is strictly progressive metal, it’s interesting to note that every band members are associated with other genres and this is something rather important. It shows the musicianship of these guys and not akin to the genre, they can do pretty much everything. This album is one of the most musically technical album I’ve ever heard. More technical that WATCHTOWER, ATHEIST and almost along the lines of SPIRAL ARCHITECT in shear brilliance. Those are not statements to take lightly, but the sheer intricacy and complexity of each composition is absolutely mindblowing. Right from the opening track, there is often a sense of chaos and frantic energy despite how calculated each passage is.

The real shock of the whole experience is just how much emotion and beauty it all contains. The typical progressive metal wankery certainly hasn’t gone the wayside, but the difference is in how much the wankery is necessary in fitting the confines of the band’s songwriting. The way every instrument fits into the overall product ensures that everyone in the band is essential to how the music plays out., and there’s not much genuine musical excess to be heard.

This album its extremely technically impressive, atmospheric, emotional, has plenty of time for thought and intrigue, and the album does not lack in terms of variety. If you can handle the ridiculous technicality, you really should try this album, it’s a near-perfect mix of complexity, asmosphere and emotion.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Quithtion
2. Adult Contemporary
3. Telepathy Apathy
4. Blessing in Disgust
5. Forgotten Explanations
6. Other Realms
7. Perverse. Esoteric. Different
8. Hapaleptic Perspective Respect
9. Quithtion Overtrove
Colin Marston – Guitars
Mike Lerner – Guitars
Jason Bauers – Drums
Record Label: Willowtip Records


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