Indricothere – II Review
Before Colin Marston went on to found Behold The Arctopus, he wrote and recorded a few tracks for his solo project entitled Indricothere. Some time passed and in 2007 the debut self titled full-length of Indricothere came to be. Anyone familiar with the bands that Marston participates in, from the technical/progressive metal of Dysrhythmia, the jazz influenced Behold The Arctopus, the progressive/avant-garde death metallers Gorguts to, my personal favorite, the enthralling avant-garde black metal of Krallice, gets what the common denominator is: unreal levels of musicianship and technicality.
So in the sophomore album of his solo project, Marston is able to put together a sort of Frankenstein’s monster. The album has numerous influences from diverse genres, each of them bringing to mind a different project of the mastermind behind Indricothere. From the experimentations with the rhythmic patterns that bring to mind Dysrhythmia, to extreme metal parts that are either flirting with the death metal spectrum or the borders of black metal extremity. Therefore the best way to describe the sound of the band is simply: progressive.
Obviously the guitars steal the show in this album, and since II is entirely instrumental, they are right on the spotlight. Marston is a master when it comes to layering guitar tracks and that is why the album is so exciting. Even though the level of technicality is seriously high, the tracks will not tire you. The fluidity with which the structures of the music are changing is absolutely mind-blowing, with Marston throwing into the mix guitar riffs and leads that your brain will be unable to forget. The use of Warr guitars gives the music an extra sonic texture, making the whole listening experience even more interesting.
Even though in general I prefer live drums opposed to programmed ones, their use in Indricothere is unexpectedly good. Apart from the fact that the parts are intriguing to listen to – something rare with programmed drums – they manage to bring certain clarity to the overall sound of the album. Granted, they do sound thinner than actual drums but what they lack in weight they make up in precision.
The album does not rely so much on individual tracks, and has to be viewed more as a holistic experience. Five of the six tracks of the album follow the same path, with the progressive outlook of Marston reaching from jazz-influenced parts to extreme metal explosions, with just one song, “XI”, differentiating itself by being completely based on abstract synth sounds. It actually works as a quite nice short break from the chaotic nature of the album and ties in magnificently with the closing track, “IX”.
When it comes to progressive music, you cannot get much better than this. Indricothere’s latest work does not only include tracks of excellent musicianship and technicality, but also songs of great diversity filled with intriguing parts that will stay with you for a good long while.