"Ideas of Reference" (Black Market Activities; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Psypous are an entirely new entity to me – I had no idea what to expect other than I was beginning to become familiar with the Black Market Activities label as one that catered to a more hardcore crowd. As far as I can tell, Psyopus are not like the average band to be heard on the Black Market Activities label.

Luckily for me, my love for all things technical and progressive have allowed me to appreciate bands like Psyopus. Psyopus’ diverse source material allows their music to appeal to fans of extreme metal who like a fair degree of complexity in their listening experiences. So, it goes without saying that one can lump Psyopus into the “math-metal/calculus-core” genres. “Ideas Of Reference” will need multiple listens to fully comprehend, let alone appreciate. 

However, Psyopus brings a certain flair to their sound that almost defies direct comparison to other groups. And therein lies the reward – the effort required to absorb Psyopus’ “Ideas Of Reference” results in a unique listening experience and sometimes that’s all we can ask for.

With “Ideas Of Reference,” Psyopus incorporate a lot of prog-metal elements into their songs – actually, the songs on the disc reminded me of the way Spiral Architect wrote their songs although one would never ever compare those two groups. Imagine, if you will, a brand of technical metal that embraces chaos without ever losing sight of the song that’s all held together with the groove of hardcore breakdowns; that’s a decent idea of what Psyopus bring to the table. Psyopus deliberately stray far enough away from the ‘formula’ that defines this particular brand of technical metal to make it sound fresher than most bands of their ilk and still perform the ‘formulaic’ parts exceedingly well to warrant high praise.

Fans of Dillinger Escape Plan and Meshuggah will love what Psyopus have to offer with “Ideas Of Reference.”

“Ideas Of Reference” was produced by Doug White and Psyopus.

Psyopus: Adam Frappoli on vocals, Christopher Arp on guitar, Fred Decoste on bass, and Greg Herman on drums.

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"Ideas of Reference" (Black Market Activities; 2004)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Psyopus is a Rochester, NY based quartet whose static structures provide sonic salvation for those that crave experimental metal. "Ideas of Reference" liberally borrows from bands like Candiria, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Mr. Bungle, yet the guys in Psyopus strive (and succeed) to go a step further by making the extremes a bit more extreme than expected. 

For example, take "Death, i...", a jazzy improv number from the onset that turns itself into a screaming, chaotic speed metal grindfest. The rest of the nine-track album follows suit, as Psyopus throws convention out the window and meshes the craziest parts of extreme metal together for an uneasy, yet undeniably interesting listen. 

Psyopus: Adam Frappoli on vocals, Christopher Arp on guitar, Fred Decoste on bass, and Greg Herman on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 15:32:20 -0400.