Published Jun 10, 2020Progressive metal instrumentalists Behold the Arctopus have unleashed their seventh recording of playfully weird, progressive compositions titled Hapeleptic Overtrove. As mind-bending, atonal and polyrhythmic as their previous work, the new record finds Behold the Arctopus definitely re-upping their avant-garde street cred.
This latest outing features the usual incendiary Warr guitar wielding from Colin Marston and capable six-string virtuosity from Mike Lerner but with significant modifications to Jason Bauers' percussion rig. Bauers doubles down on eccentricities by excluding high hats, crash and ride cymbals and instead replacing them with almglocken, wooden planks, metal pipes, broken stacks, bells and chimes. To further abandon any sense of rhythm, mallets are used instead of sticks, but somehow everything works together in an almost ramshackle, neoclassical way.
Hapeleptic Overtrove is as combustible as Frank Zappa, Edgard Varèse, Pierre Boulez and Cynic with a light twist of djent juiciness from groups like Periphery and Veil of Meya or even the jazziness of the Faceless. It's a splatter painting of influences that once again prove that Behold the Arctopus continue to find their groove by essentially abandoning groove altogether.
The words "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever" from the legendary mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap serve to best underscore what Behold the Arctopus have put forth on this latest outing. Sonically formless, not unlike Jackson Pollock's controversial paintings, Hapeleptic Overtrove is an acquired taste but, at the same time, should entice listeners to debate the validity of artistic expression. (Willowtip)