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Monday, November 28, 2011

Abnormal Thought Patterns - Abnormal Thought Patterns EP (2011)

Band: Abnormal Thought Patterns
Country: Pleasanton, California
Style: Progressive Metal
Label: CynNormal Lab Recordings

When it comes to modern progressive metal bands, Zero Hour has been one of my favorites for a while. While most bands have been content to just rip-off Dream Theater and Symphony X, Zero Hour took a very technical approach while combining it with catchy songs. When I first got this EP, I never even knew that they were doing a side-project, but I expected it upon first listen to be just as great as their main band, if they're still around.
What you get with this EP is essentially what Zero Hour was doing on the last album, but without a vocalist. Very technical guitar play from Jasun Tipton, Troy Tipton's fluid bass playing, and excellent drum work by Mike Guy, all done with equal parts metal and jazz-fusion. The bass playing is, in all honesty, out of this world, at times trumping the guitar play with sweeping lines. The musicianship is top-notch and memorable. In my opinion, the trio are at their best when they're not just spiraling around with sweeps and arpeggios, which at times are just a bit trying and tiring to listen to in succession. Electric Sun, the album closer, is probably the best piece on here because it doesn't fall into the trap of sounding like the musicians are just showing off and instead crafts a nice melody with a solid groove behind it.
It's solid and I enjoyed it for what it is, an instrumental progressive/technical metal album. I seriously doubt that you'll like this EP if you're not into very technical and over-the-top playing because this could be seen as an exercise in patience at times. Check it out if you like that sort of stuff, but otherwise this isn't totally essential for your collection.
Overall Score: 6.5
Highlights: Velocity and Acceleration I, Velocity and Acceleration IV, Electric Sun

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