PSYOPUS- Our Puzzling Encounters Considered (Metal Blade)
Why is it that so many bands who go out of their way to try to be 'unpredictable' and 'unique' and 'unclassifiable' end up being the opposite of those things? New York's PSYOPUS are another reminder as to why any band who plays spastic-freakout-weird-experimental-metal-hardcore-jazz-electronic fusion isn't automatically good (for good, see: ESTRADASPHERE). Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
is filled with neat ideas and plenty of technical skill and creativity, however it falls short in the enjoyability category. It isn't insanely fast and brutal enough to just bludgeon your confused brain with fretboard acrobatics and machine-like drums, and there isn't enough cohesiveness to make the isolated parts of the album with discernible musically ideas really stick with you. I'm not trying to knock PSYOPUS' musicianship, but I am definitely knocking the artistry. MR. BUNGLE destroy anything any of these kind of bands could ever hope to imitate anyways, so why not give it up and try writing progressive and challenging music with substance? PSYOPUS succeed when they focus themselves in their compositions and don't try to jump around pointlessly, which is what gives Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
some of its redeeming qualities. The death/grind metal thing (with token movie samples of course) has been beaten to death, yet too often PSYOPUS fall into the same trap. There's just something to do with dudes who possess a ton of musical talent wasting it making incoherent and predictable music with ironic or 'clever' songtitles that just bugs me. Anyways I will mentioned the dazzling jazziness of "Imogen's Puzzle Pt. 2" and the soothing acoustics of "Siobhan's Song" as standouts amidst the drivel, proof that when they want to, PSYOPUS can make some really outstanding music. Unfortunately they couldn't keep it up for a whole album. You want some crazy otherwordly metal that isn't pretentious and boring? Get the new CEPHALIC CARNAGE instead. Like the album cover, the pieces to the puzzle just don't fit.