(DGR prepared this extended review of the latest album by the French band Psygnosis, which was released in May.)
I tend to approach French now-instrumental band Psygnosis with something of an art-house cafe motif in mind. Over the years, the group have slowly morphed into a project that has combined quiet, minimalistic tendencies — mostly credited to small electronics usage — with fierce blasts of heavy metal, and a love of inserting movie samples into their songs so that they become something of a story that you’re only getting a partial glimpse of.
The overall picture is usually spread throughout the whole disc, but even then it often feels like something you’ve entered into in medias res so that it isn’t just the music you’re enjoying, you’re also getting the soundtrack to a series of events that you’re not witnessing. There’s no picture except the one that Psygnosis chooses to paint, and so the music takes on a dreamlike quality, in between the heavier segments — which, as they’ve gone later in their career, have become a little bit less of the focus and more the backing foundation.
Psygnosis really nailed this formula with their release Human Be[ing] in 2014, and afterward would make a drastic change in sound, which saw their vocalist bowing out in favor of becoming an entirely instrumental group, and a cellist stepping in to take the lead spot – with the extra strings now serving to take over the vocal lines.