• The cover of Horrorscension

I have a theory as to why the most recent Behold the Arctopus record, last year’s Horrorscension (Blackmarket Activities), has been pretty much unanimously panned at Encyclopaedia Metallum. Well, it’s not so much a theory as it is a biased and potentially inflammatory assumption, but isn’t that what music criticism is all about?

Behold the Arctopus consists of guitarists Colin Marston (Dysrhythmia, Gorguts, Krallice) and Mike Lerner (Direwolf) and drummer Weasel Walter, a former Chicagoan best known as mastermind of the Flying Luttenbachers (though he’s also a ferocious improviser). Let’s call their music “instrumental technical metal” for the moment. Marston plays a hilariously large Warr guitar (an actual builder’s name, not a sideways reference to the “air” and “earth” basses in Magma), whose layout of six melody strings and six bass strings, designed for fretboard tapping, permits him to execute two simultaneous lines. Under “Band Interests” on Facebook it says, “Notes, many notes.”