The Psyke Project


Written by: AP on 13/05/2007 17:58:05

The past months have served quite the buffet for scenesters, but none of the courses tasted quite as sweet as The Psyke Project's third installment "Apnea" does. For weeks, this stale-eyed yellow man has been staring into my eyes the kind of paranoia that makes people gnaw their nails in anxious frustration. See, the hype that ensued from the band’s previous release "Daikini" conflicted with my conception of just what their music might sound like, judging from hearsay that had it their music took the word extreme, raped it, and moved on to murder fans in moshpits. Not exactly the friendliest profile.

But it is a true one. "Apnea" is one of the most menacing albums to come out this year. It pulls a trick on aesthetics with a clever symbiosis between avant-garde progressive passages and raw, psychedelic chaos metal with influences of math rock. The concept isn't itself particularly original, but the album's execution is. With some of the best songwriting in a while, The Psyke Project has put chaos and emotion in perfect harmony. This harmony comes to life through hypnotic introductions and instrumental sections that suddenly break into violent meshes that separate the casual ears from the patient ones.

"Apnea" has its roots in metalcore, but draws inspiration from a variety of genres, not least from doom metal. The melancholic ambiance that is the coalescence of the album makes it one of the most atmospheric releases of this kind and distinguishes it from the many bands already professing this genre. Such atmosphere allows for the sudden shifts in tempo that give "Apnea" its progressive character and justifies the borderline vocal style.

Technically "Apnea" is stunning. Today's abundant guitar wizardry is completely absent, with the two six strings having little more responsibility than providing ambiance and pleasant introductions. The Psyke Project has adopted Tool's genius bass-heavy recipe without which "Apnea" would sound far less experimental and indeed far less raw. And with Tue Madsen in production, it's a recipe for success.

With "Apnea", The Psyke Project is able to create a massive but abstract landscape that sounds dark and cold, which, when combined with the band’s taste for experimental and psychedelic elements provides the battlefield for hope versus paranoia. Throw in an album title that refers to a temporary cessation of breathing, and the album's atmosphere is captured in one word. The Psyke Project succeeds here in what most bands of this caliber don't; experimenting with odd arrangements without sounding pretentious or cliché. Like Sigur Rós and Tool, "Apnea" is an unparalleled musical experience.


Download: The Voice of Commandment, Dedication, Not In My Time

For the fans of: The Red Chord, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge

Listen: Myspace

Release date 02.04.2007


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