Amalgam, the debut album by Psyclops, is a fusion of The Hunter era of Mastodon and Wolfmother’s debut with their own personal stylings sprinkled in for good measure. This makes for a listening experience that is anything but dull.
I don’t intend it as a dig to distill Amalgam down to Mastodon and Wolfmother because, from a sonic standpoint, there’s a great deal going on that doesn’t quite sound like either of those bands. However, I love the Mastodon inspired riffs that run rampant throughout this album, and the clean vocals reminded me of Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother.
This is not a bad thing. In fact, I never thought I’d be putting Mastodon and Wolfmother together on paper before listening to Amalgam. That is a feat unto itself. An even greater feat is having these sounds (and their own personal influences) meld together in a pleasing way that doesn’t sound contrived.
Psyclops have moments on Amalgam where their influences are apparent, but that’s a common occurrence for a debut album. I don’t view it as a complete detriment as the band is still creating something unique here.
The thing that impresses me the most about this album is that it gets stronger from “Social Psychosis” onward. This is not to say that the first three songs on the album are weak. “Fabricated” starts subdued and ends with a punch, foreshadowing what’s to come. “‘ “” is adept as a psychedelic rocker, and “An Arena!?!? They Have Time For Entertainment!?!?” continues this vibe in a more straightforward fashion with a rippin’ guitar solo to boot.
It’s almost as if the influences are pushed aside and we get a true look into the heart of the band after the first three tracks. It could also be that I’m a metalhead at heart, and “Social Psychosis” is the most straight forward headbanger on this album. That being said, I think “Call Off the Hunt” is the best song here and “Hot Coals” is the most experimental. “Icarus Dies” and “V O I D” keep the momentum going while simultaneously preventing listener fatigue.
Overall, this is a solid debut album from a band that will keep you on your toes from start to finish. Is it without flaw? No. Does it bleed its influences on occasion? Yes. Don’t let that steer you away. There’s much to enjoy on Psyclops’s Amalgam and from a production standpoint, it’s pro. I look forward to how this band will continue to mold their sound into a unique creation with future releases.
Favorite Songs: “Call Off the Hunt,” “Social Psychosis,” “An Arena!?!? They Have Time For Entertainment!?!?”
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