Man, this one I've been waiting for!!! US prog-metal trio Spastic Ink has been one of my demo-fav bands. The album is everything I hoped for. Mostly because it's actually the demos, cleaned and put on CD. As a musician I'm so incredibly impressed I just felt like throwing my guitar into the garbage-bin when I heard it. These guys are among the best musicians I've ever heard in the prog-metal genre. I must however point out, this album is NOT for people with weak nerves. The music is extremely complicated and represents the direct opposite to bands like Ten, Guns & Roses etc. OK, "A Morning With Squeakle" starts out very melodic and nice, but quickly changes into the ultra-quirky instrumental madness that is this band's brand-mark. The band consists of Pete Perez on bass and brothers Ron and Bobby Jarzombek (guitar + drums). If you like the kind of progressive metal WatchTower did on "Control And Resistance", but adding more twists and taking away the vocals, you'll definitely love this. The booklet describes the story behind each song and some also a short fictive story that describes what "happens" in the song, something you rarely find on an instrumental album. The songs then. Well, I guess you have to be a fan of progressive music to even put this CD into your player (if you're not a musical masochist, that is). The music is extremely progressive, containing approximately 80% mathematics and 20% melody. The instrumetal interplays feels so extremely calculated, with every drum-beat, every guitar-note and every bass-tone thorougly put in it's place, not a tenth of a second too late or too early. I just sit down and get flat out impressed by the way they perform the music. Well, I actually do enjoy the music as well. Despite the overblown technique there are highly enjoyable melodies as well, like the song "A Wild Hare", which is a musical interpretation of the film "Bambi", changed from string and horn instruments to fit the band's trio-format and "To Counter And Groove In E Minor", which is a classically influenced dance-groove-prog-metal-song. Not forgetting the highly melodic "Eights Is Enough". On the other hand songs like "Harm And Half-time Baking Shuffle" makes me wonder if these guys are really human and not some alien androids that eat syncopations for lunch and just disguises into rock musicians. For fans of challenging music this is a MUST!!!!

10/10

Janne Stark

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