Odd Senses

It takes a virtuosic level of instrumental prowess to make tech-metal compelling. Psyopus possess the skills, but, as the Steve Vais of the world prove, proficiency alone doesn't necessarily translate into edifying songs. Odd Senses consists of sonic bursts of varying speed haphazardly sewn together. It works in spots, like on the piercing guitar squalls of "Duct Tape Smile," while "This Burning Hole" forgoes the tempo-shifting mayhem for relatively straightforward death metal. But then there's "Choker Chain," a blitzkrieg of grind interspersed with looped samples that must have sounded better in theory than it does on record. "Untitled" is 20 minutes of unfunny skits and aimless jams. Psyopus don't take themselves too seriously–and that is welcome–yet their self-indulgence is hard to swallow when no one else is in on the joke.

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