Released: 2011, CynNormal Lab Recordings
Formed by founding and core members of San Francisco’s progressive metal act Zero Hour, Abnormal Thought Patterns is a progressive metal trio consisting of brothers Jasun and Troy Tipton (both also of Cynthesis) and Mike Guy (Zero Hour) and Jasun’s friend Richard Sharman. The debut EP is an entirely instrumental affair, which immediately courts a limited fan base while eliminating other potential listeners. Released at the end of November, the album was mastered by Dillinger Escape Plan knob man Alan Douches on the band’s own record label.
Abnormal Thought Patterns’s brand of metal is a mix of mathematical formulas, and progressive melodies tweaked for maximum complexity. The album opens with “The Machine Within” before moving into “Velocity and Acceleration”, a four part sequence of progressive showmanship. If you can get past the obvious self-importance of the thing and the indulgent wankery, there are some memorable and upper register melodic riffs scattered throughout the album. Credit the band with at least keeping this condensed, as 7 songs clock in at only around 20 minutes, a near perfect running time for this type of music. Notable moments would be the bass solo track of “Ulnar Nerve Damage” and the almost conventional and welcome closer, “Electric Sun” clearly the anchor of the album and potentially, the only one that could probably have succeeded had vocals been added.
Being an instrumental album, there is not much more to say. Personally, I become bored with instrumental metal albums, but I can appreciate talent and focus when I hear it and this album has that. Fans already know if they like this style of metal or not, and with a solid production and obvious musicianship, it certainly deserves consideration for lovers of instrumental progressive metal.