'Spastic Ink - Ink Compatible'
Review by Neal Woodall

From the twisted genius of Ron Jarzombek comes this new masterpiece of incredibly off-the-wall technical metal sure to delight fans who appreciate music that refuses to play by the rules. Just so it's crystal clear, Spastic Ink do not play traditional melodically structured compositions; rather, what they do is turn the arrangements "inside-out," mixing superb virtuoso playing with abrupt time and key changes, bizarre interludes and Zappa-like humor.

The theme of the CD is the strange and often frustrating world of computers, but you don't have to understand the references to enjoy the wild ride Spastic Ink has in store for you. Ron Jarzombek is a master guitarist, quite frankly one of the best technical players you are likely to hear.

There are many guest performances on the CD, including appearances by such progressive giants as Marty Friedman, Daniel Gildenl÷w (Pain Of Salvation) and Jens Johansson, but the core band consists of brothers Ron and Bobby Jarzombek along with WatchTower vocalist Jason McMaster and bassist Pete Perez from Riot. What you'll find is musicianship that is every bit the equal to any jazz-fusion or progressive outfit you care to name, with playing that is so intricate and tight you'll wonder how it is possible. This is one of those releases offering something new to experience every time you listen, and you will have to listen repeatedly to fully appreciate what is going on here.

A few of my favorite tracks include "Words For Nerds," featuring some of the best shred since Jason Becker stunned us with PERPETUAL BURN, "Read Me," which will likely make even accomplished guitarists feel lacking in capability, and the 12-minute epic "A Chaotic Realization Of Nothing Yet Misunderstood," a piece which pushes the envelope of progressive metal into all sorts of weird shapes.

Overall, this is music that will appeal to a select few, most notably musicians and those who are already fans of Spastic Ink, WatchTower and Ron Jarzombek; I suspect that if you are searching for something creative, challenging and different to wrap your ears around, INK COMPATIBLE will fulfill your expectations and then some.

Mind blowing...

- Neal Woodall

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