CD Title: Soul of an Octopus
Label: RareNoise Records (2017)
Rating: Satisfying 3/5
This is a somewhat different sound for the band compared to the harsh and aggressive music on their album Inflamed Rides. Much of the music here on Soul of an Octopus takes a groovier, bluesy approach. Now thatís not to say there arenít moments of aggression itís just that it feels like those harsh tones are better balanced against softer sounds. This is an album of nine compositions all in the four or five minute range, forty-minutes in total length. It should also be stated these are master musicians, highly skilled on their respective instruments so more than anything the feeling I get while listening is this is a band that strives to play what it wants in a way it wants, all the while pushing the envelope. Fact is this is a very listenable album, with some very catchy riffs and hummable melodies, but in-between those moments you can fully expect to be thrown a curve-ball here and there. Thatís where the instrumental virtuosity comes into play. And while the songs as I mentioned are shorter that by no means takes away from their experimental nature. So as you might expect there are plenty of musical change-ups, shifting patterns and dramatic arrangements. I also come back to that ďbluesĒ influence; it seems to permeate these tunes from beginning to end but not always in expected patterns. It forms the very foundation of tunes so we hear a real groove happening and the melodies sung on top of that foundation push these compositions into a really nice place without sounding plain or ordinary. Itís that moody and atmospheric vibe that vies for attention between those more aggressive moments all making for a really intriguing contrast especially since thereís a little bit more acoustic guitar here and there. It does make for a very satisfying listen. Recommended for those looking for something thatís a little outside the traditional Prog sound while clearly full of Prog influences.