Psychotogen


Perverse And Unnatural Practices
(Bring Out Your Dead - 2001)
A side-project by Pessimist members. The first few tracks are mostly derivative Cannibal Corpse-esque brutal death with jagged rhythmic, repetitive riffing, sudden changes, and a focus on delivering a series of constantly changing brutal riffs rather than any kind of song structure or development. The growls are deep phlegm-filled gruff barks and growls, once again derivative of many other brutal death metal bands and nothing stands out for the most part. But there are glimpses, which increase in quantity as the album progresses, of their more so-called 'technical' side that will appear in the next album, with sudden strange time-signatures or jagged jazzy riffing and sudden acrobatics for their own sake, both on bass and guitar, and, one or two surprisingly free-form guitar solos. There are also some raspy Donald-Duck secondary growls, and a short experimental instrumental 'Psychotogen'. These save the album from being a completely generic-sounding brutal death band of which there are a dime a dozen. But they are still scarce and secondary to the generic sound, and serve mostly as transitional sounds and spice, without being incorporated into the music, as if they often want to jazz it up but didn't develop it within the basic death metal sound that inspired them. The production is muddy, and this is most definitely a debut of a band that hasn't found its sound yet.
The Calculus of Evil
(Crash Music - 2003)
The promise of the debut comes out in full force on this one: The more free-form experimentation with brutal death metal, some unusual complex acrobatic riffing and odd time-signatures in the vein of Atheist/Cynic, dual Deicide-esque growl/rasp vocals, some segments of thrash and doom metal, some acoustic Spanish guitar turned up to eleven, or even a keyboard & drums instrumental, or Slayer-esque backing vocals if they feel like it. Death metal remains the core though. However, it's pretty chaotic for a listen from start to end, and it feels more like them letting off steam and experimenting with whatever catches their fancy rather than on making it cohesive. As with the debut, composition isn't their strong suit, opting for many (often surprising) changes throughout the song rather than focusing on song structure, build-up and musical flow. The first two tracks are good, pretty cohesive progressive-death-metal for fans of Atheist and the like, except it's more brutal, with especially challenging time-signatures on the second track, and if the whole album were similar it would probably be a very good album. But then it's mostly chaos with many individual interesting segments and riffs that don't add up to much. They seem to have no sense of the song or album as a whole. Technically impressive, compositionally poor.



The Last Exit 1996-

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