Coprofago Unorthodox Creative Criteria

Coprofago’s third full-length, but first to receive any kind of North American distribution, is a somewhat uneven, if masterfully played and ambitious effort — especially as an introduction to this market. Although initially appearing to be a highly technical but on the whole uninteresting Meshuggah clone, Coprofago dismiss such arbitrary criticisms by steadfastly refusing to remain consistent, which is where both the group’s strengths and weaknesses lie. Although Unorthodox Creative Criteria never outright bores the listener, there are long-winded segments — often lasting multiple tracks — where the group all but lose their metallic influence and instead opt for a smooth, progressive fusion feel more in line with Cynic’s calmest moments or even the Alan Parsons Project. While in principle this could work, the album feels unnervingly schizophrenic — perhaps even having the tracks in a less segregated order would have helped. Additionally, vocalist Pablo Alvarez is a dead ringer for Meshuggah’s Jens Kidman, which brings their polyrhythmic stuttering and ferocious down-tuning a little to close to an outright rip-off for comfort. A promising release from a talented young group, with far to go if leaving a lasting impression on the worldwide progressive metal market is their aim. (Galy)