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Pseudo/Sentai - Bansheeface CD (album) cover

BANSHEEFACE

Pseudo/Sentai

 

Crossover Prog

4.02 | 17 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Bansheeface" is the 4th full-length studio album by US progressive/art rock act Pseudo/Sentai. "Bansheeface" was recorded in the period August 2013 to February 2014. Pseudo/Sentai was formed in 2007 by Greg Murphy and Scott Baker. The duo however waited until they had enough material and a drummer in the band, before they started releasing material under the Pseudo/Sentai monicker, and worked under the Patientīs Worth monicker until 2010. On "Bansheeface" the duo handles guitars, orchestration, programming, soundscapes, production, and vocals, and are helped out by Jeff Eber "The Herdsman" (Drums), Jon Ehlers "Arthropunch" (Bass), and Sawyer Schneider "Oak Sawblade" (Guitars). Colin Marston (Behold the Arctopus, Dysrhythmia, Gorguts, Krallice) acts as co- producer/engineer.

The music on the 13 track, 44:05 minutes long album is a bit hard to describe correctly, as it features many different stylistic elements. Itīs undoubtedly progressive and I hear quite a few nods toward an act like King Crimson (80s/90s releases), when things are most avant garde/progressive sounding, but itīs usually more an underlying current in the music, which is generally very melodic and at times quite catchy, pulling more in an art pop/rock direction (Iīm thinking a bit of Roxy Music and artists in that vein). Even when the band are most melodic and pop oriented, the music is still quite complex, with multible layers of sound, intriguing rhythmic playing, and a very sophisticated use of choirs, harmonies, and backing vocals to support the main vocal melodies.

So thereīs no doubt that the material composition wise is of a very high quality, featuring many intriguing and innovative ideas, but also featuring the melodic sensibility which makes "Bansheeface" a relatively accessible listen even if youīre not a hardcore progressive rock listener. A successful combination which is further enhanced by the high level musicianship which is on display all the way through the album. These are obviously not just a couple of guys who met for a casual jam and recorded the session. In other words weīre dealing with skilled professionals who meticulously have gone through each of the compositions on this album to add the right details at exactly the right moments. Some releases end up a clinical listen as a consequence of such a process, but thatīs not the case with "Bansheeface", which features an organic sounding production which pulls in the other direction and a hard rocking delivery which also provides the music with a more loose rockīnīroll feeling despite the attention to sophisticated details.

"Bansheeface" is a concept album telling a sci-fi/fantasy type tale of the goddess like creature the Bansheeface, the Likhos (odd looking creatures, protectors of nature), the selkies (half man/half seal), and the humans. The Bansheeface is plotting something evil, but is murdered by a Likho named Lution (seemingly as part of her evil plot), and war breaks out between the selkies and the humans, who blame each other for the death of the Bansheeface. In "March of the Selkies" the humans lose the war and are basically wiped out. Thatīs a simple overview of the story, which features more twists and turns and details if you investigate a bit further.

Upon conclusion Pseudo/Sentai has created quite an interesting listen with "Bansheeface". Itīs an original sounding album, which is always an important factor, but itīs the combination of melodic sensibility and experimental/progressive ideas, which makes it a real treat. The wacky sci-fi/fantasy lyrics are pretty great too if youīre into that sort of universe, but even if youīre not the album can also be enjoyed for the music and the melodies alone. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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