Anyone who knows me knows I love my music to be loud, heavy but above all different! I relish bands who are comfortable and talented enough to step out of their safe zones, explore and hopefully expand upon the genres that inspired them to play in the first place. So you can imagine how happy I was to hear Cyborg Octopuses ‘Learning to Breathe‘ and finding it delivers on every one of those levels.
This 7 track album kicks off with the low-level synth opening bars of first track ‘Data_M1nefield’ before a frantic double bass kicks in as the guitars soar to compliment the keys, this tune twists and turns throughout its seven minute play time that will appeal in particular to fans of Between The Buried and Me or those who would love a heavier version of Native Construct. ‘Divine Right in D Minor’ kicks in straight after which features some amazing interplay between the guitar and keys.
The track ‘Shark Pit’ is a very different beast, a frantic thrashy punk sound reminiscent of Suicidal Tendencies or early Sepultura and highlights even further the amazing flexibility of the band, I can see this being a huge crowd-pleaser at a live gig.
The highlights of the album for me have to be the final two songs of the album. The penultimate ‘DiscoBrain!’ will bring beautiful nostalgia to lovers of the now defunct Mr Bungle, kicking off with a rock and roll guitar into a sweeping horn section before the slap-bass funks the barked vocal into full swing. Closer ‘Epiphany’ perfectly showcases the entire album by using the best techniques of all the tunes combined into an 8 minute masterpiece which seemingly floats past in seconds.
Mixing prog, tech, metal-core, death, punk in a way that very few bands have done before, the album is a refreshing change from the norm, it’s certainly not for the faint of heart, there is no easy listening here but those who like challenging but rewarding music will re-visit this album time and time again.
But the album at Bandcamp here: https://cyborgoctopus.bandcamp.com/album/learning-to-breathe and listen to it below.