Sep 052017


(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. Continue reading »

Sep 152015



(DGR reviews the new EP by the French band Psygnosis.)

Psygnosis are a band whom we’ve crossed paths with before. They’re a multi-talented group of Frenchmen whose music plays heavily with the experimental while also fusing death metal, -core, and industrial elements into their overall sound. Their music ranges into the epic, with tracks easily lasting longer than eight minutes, and between the band’s two EPs and two full-length releases, they have grown impressively good at telling a story.

2014’s Human Be[ing] saw the band at their best up to that point, interweaving film clips with dramatic passages of music and heavy, thundering sections of metal. They often used ambience in their favor, leaving whole sections of their songs feeling empty but for a couple of guitar and synth notes and occasional whispered vocal lines echoing out into the ether.

Since Human Be[ing], though, the group have gone through some lineup changes. They’ve seen the full exit of their vocalist and have made a shift toward instrumental music, adding a cellist in their vocalist’s stead to pick up the melodies that were once provided by human voice, and freeing the cellist to come to the forefront with his own creations. A cello has been present in Psygnosis‘ music before, but the recently released EP AAliens is the first time the band have recorded with their new lineup, with new music, and with said cellist at the forefront. Continue reading »

Apr 022014

(In this post DGR reviews the unusual new album by the French band Psygnosis.)

Sometimes, when seeking out new music a name just happens to grab you. Such was the case with French group Psygnosis. Whilst doing the usual random band/Facebook surfing I spotted the name and saw that there was a new release out — allowing us to have the combination (if the music was good) of being relevant as well as getting to yell at people to check out a new band. While, sadly, not the developer of the beloved Wipeout and Colony Wars games, Psygnosis are an experimental death metal band — a really young group (in terms of releases) with scant little to their name, and what they have released has been free.

The band have a heavy electronic element as part of their sound, but not in the sense of some random conflagration of rave synths finding their way into the midst of things like some shoehorned-in musical experiment turned Lovecraftian horror. Instead, the band are playing with the multi-headed hydra of the current death metal scenes, combining many genres into one — like much of what the Subliminal Groove record label’s slate of artists are beginning to do. They are also a four-piece, meaning that things are kept relatively sleek as well.

At the end of March Psygnosis released a new disc known as Human Be[ing]. It’s a fascinating album, with many different things happening at once and pulling in many different directions, utilizing the dead space between musical notes to the fullest while being stitched together by furious blast runs and various multimedia samples, like a futuristic and industrial-fueled Frankenstein’s monster. Continue reading »