Behold the Arctopus – Horrorscension

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Behold The Arctopus
Horrorscension
Black Market Activities 

Colin Marston is a busy busy man. In the five years since the band formerly known as Behold…The Arctopus released ‘Skullgrid’, he’s formed Krallice and recorded four albums with them; two more Dysrhythmia albums; joined the Canadian tech-death metal legends Gorguts’ reunion; and produced a gazillion awesome albums. Well, not quite a gazillion, but that Warr guitar of his must’ve been getting either very dusty or somewhat envious. Now, with the ellipsis dropped to reveal a less dramatic take on their name, Behold The Arctopus have dropped ‘Horrorscension’, with legendary Flying Luttenbachers drummer Weasel Walter enthroning the drummers’ stool for his first BTA-recorded appearance since replacing Charlie Zeleny. 

Covering six songs inside twenty-eight minutes (with the final track making up over a third of that time), and with some terrific artwork to boot, ‘Horrorscension’ is one of the wildest rides you’ll embark upon this year, despite occasionally feeling a bit hit and miss. Founder members Marston and Jim Lerner get every pinch, squeal, drone, crunch and moment of majesty out of their Warr guitar and regular guitar respectively, with Walter driving the tempo to sublime effect. Despite their experimental nature, Behold the Arctopus do manage to retain structure throughout most of this album, which makes it a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Walter said upon joining the band that the new material would be more extreme, and there’s no denying you want to headbang at times, as it sounds so powerful, despite its distorted and twisted forms. ‘Monolithic Dimensions’ is crushing from all aspects, and ‘Horrorsentience’ is a fantastic slab of progressive experimentalism, particular through a Walter-driven march-of-doom dirge towards its conclusion. ‘Deluge of Sores’, the album’s most straightforward track, a thrashy number with Marston providing some delectable low notes amidst a solo-of-sorts from Lerner, and a fine example of ‘Horrorscension’s extreme pedigree.

With experimentation ultimately comes indulgence, and there seems to be too much self-indulgence going on with Marston and Lerner occasionally tapping the cr out of their respective guitars – guilty as charged on ‘Putrefucktion’, killing the momentum they had going – but for the most part its just about restrained enough to actually appreciate what’s going on – if you can get your head around it. Although it’s far from the perfect article, ‘Horrorscension’ is a welcome return from BTA, enough so to warrant a more immediate return, should Marston find time in his already bloated schedule to weedle out slightly more frequent output. 

Peter Clegg

Buy ‘Horrorscension’ here

Stream ‘Disintegore’ below:

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