If you thought the world of instrumental technical progressive metal began and ended with bands like Spastic Ink, Liquid Tension Experiment, or Planet X, wait till you get a load of Behold...the Arctopus. Up until recently this three-piece band (guitar, warr guitar, drums) had yet to release a full-length album, Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning originally being their second EP, but now re-released and expanded on Metal Blade Records. What they have committed to CD so far has been outstanding if you like ultra progressive and technical instrumental mayhem. Here you get the original three tracks plus the two from the first EP and three live versions, and it's a wild ride from start to quick finish. "Exospacial Psionic Aura" is a blazing foray into synchopated unison guitar and touch guitar madness from Mike Lerner and Colin Marston, while drummer Charlie Zeleny pounds away unmercifully. Fans of Dream Theater, Atheist, Watchtower, King Crimson, and latter day Death will love the sick stuff these guys are doing on this one. The dark and atmospheric intro to "Estrogen/Pathogen Exchange Program" might leave you in a sudden state of calm, but it ends quickly as the band comes back to life for more insane fretwork. "Sensory Amusia" is just as nuts, as the band kicks into metallic overdrive with Lerner and Marston laying down all sorts of counterpoint melody lines and frightening unison harmonies, with Zeleny delivering stunning blast beats and intricate fills. After the band settles into an almost jazzy mid-section, the band rampages back in for some brutal riffs and feedback, for an extremely violent crescendo that recalls Red era King Crimson. "Alcholocaust" is simply brutal and so fast that it's over before you know it. Things get even more complex and progressive on the 8-minute killer "You Will Be Reincarnated As An Imperial Attack Spaceturtle", which has rhythms and leads weaving around each other that are so complex it will leave your head spinning. Lerner's tone is just monstrous throughout, as is Marston's, whose command of the warr guitar is stunning to say the least. And if there is any doubt that these guys can pull these songs off live, check out the live cuts. Wow...
Take a deep breath now...you'll need it. This is some scary stuff, and now that they have officially released all of their recorded material, it's time for these guys to get back into the studio and deliver that killer full-length that we all know they have in them.
1. Exospacial Psionic Aura (7:38)
2. Estrogen/Pathogen Exchange Program (5:19)
3. Sensory Amusia (4:34)
4) Alcholocaust (2:50)
5) You Will Be Reincarnated As An Imperial Attack Spaceturtle (8:27)
6) Alcoholacaust (Live) (3:01)
7) You Will Be Reincarnated As An Imperial Attack Spaceturtle (Live) (8:38)
8) Exospacial Psionic Aura (Live) (7:16)
9) Sensory Amusia (Live) (5:14)