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Psyence - 'Erased By Reason' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2e/dc/95/psyence-erased-by-reason-60-1464546404.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 29, 2016    
 
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At times, quite compelling and, at other times, thoughtful and meandering.

Describing themselves and their debut release as "Instrumental Progressive Rock from Offenburg, Germany" doesn't fall too far off the mark at all for Psyence. Although after a few spins, it appears maybe it might be more appropriate for them to pitch/define themselves more towards the Alt/Post Rock end of the spectrum. Not that it matters greatly as their particular challenge, of course, lies in delivering an album of instrumental pieces which is varied and maintains the interest.

The quartet, made up of Julius Münnig and Daniel Schell on guitars, Georg Meffle on bass and Julian Braun on drums, are very much a self-sufficient outfit with the record also produced by Münnig and the band, recorded and mixed by Münnig but mastered by Stefan Höger.

The music itself ranges from the brief 'IIIIII', a gathering of atmospheric ambience ending with the ticking of a clock which leads into 'Dex' – by contrast a twelve minute piece which shows the other side of the coin and allows the band to show what they can do in an extended format. Dripping water is overtaken by some heavy chunks of guitar which give an indication of their heavier Prog Metal direction. As a closing track it just about gathers together all the elements which have emerged during the course of the album.

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There's some clever sequencing it has to be said in saving what many might believe is the choice material until the middle of the album. Sensing there's the possibility of a lull after the opening couple of tracks, we get a pair of outstanding workouts in 'Eloszor' (clocking in at a healthy ten minutes) which, together with 'Psyence Fear Mogwai' (and who doesn't?) provides a highpoint slap bang in the middle of the record. The former, unlike the similarly lengthy 'Dex', opens with a much more introspective acoustic piano piece accompanied by gentle guitar before the tempo begins to pick up, threatening to take off before it develops into a King Crimson styled jerky and irregular time pattern and measured play out. The latter, like album opener 'Evoke', is a piece which builds slowly delivering a repetitive and increasingly urgent phrase.

Progressive in its ambition and in the arrangements yet with a contemporary sound, 'Erased By Reason' is, at times, quite compelling and, at other times, thoughtful and meandering. Definitely an album which sits at the outer limits from the core of Melodic and Classic Rock, yet one which will appeal to those who aren't afraid of the challenge when a band comes along and throws down the gauntlet to shift you from your comfort zone.

Mike Ainscoe

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