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Abnormal Thought Patterns - "Abnormal Thought Patterns" (CD/EP)

Abnormal Thought Patterns - "Abnormal Thought Patterns" CD/EP cover image

"Abnormal Thought Patterns" track listing:

1. The Machine Within (2:38)
2. Velocity and Acceleration Movement 1 (3:57)
3. Velocity and Acceleration Movement 2 (4:26)
4. Velocity and Acceleration Movement 3 (1:44)
5. Velocity and Acceleration Movement 4 (2:12)
6. Ulnar Nerve Damage (:51)
7. Electric Sun (5:11)

Reviewed by on December 19, 2011

"'Abnormal Thought Patterns' does two things than any excellent EP needs to do: build anticipation for an LP and leave the listener replaying it after not being satisfied with its short running length."

Jasun and Troy Tipton, better known as the founding members of progressive metal act Zero Hour, have banded together for another project, Abnormal Thought Patterns. The brothers have set their sights on an instrumental band, something they haven’t done in years. The duo are phenomenal musicians, and get to show off without the confines of a verse/chorus structure. Their first EP is 20 minutes of inhuman guitar shredding, top-notch bass leads, and the kind of technical proficiency that makes amateur musicians cry in futility at its difficulty.

Some people find instrumental music to be pretentious and bordering on an ego-stroking, circle-jerk, and that could be a complaint with “Abnormal Thought Patterns.” The Tipton brothers are showing off, like the minute-long bass solo Troy Tipton melts ears with on “Ulnar Nerve Damage,” but there is more coherency to the EP than that. The songs do flow and ebb through build-ups and moody sonic pieces enhanced by keyboards, especially on closer “Electric Sun.”

The four-part title track takes up the most time, and is the main selling point to the EP. Splitting up a song like this happens for various reasons, but it doesn’t seem forced by the band. Each part has its own identity, and puts a different aspect of the band in the spotlight. The first part has a slower pace, giving the bass breathing room to spread its groovy wings, while the third part is a moshing riff fest that cranks up the metal and leaves out the guitar wanking. It does what very few multi-part tracks can do; be compatible as a whole and find value in being separate compositions.

While Zero Hour is on hold for the time being, Abnormal Thought Patterns is enough of a pleasurable distraction to satisfy fans until they come back from hiatus. This is fast, insane, and unprocurable to the average ears music, proving that Jasun Tipton and Troy Tipton are some of the best musicians in progressive music today. “Abnormal Thought Patterns” does two things than any excellent EP needs to do: build anticipation for an LP and leave the listener replaying it after not being satisfied with its short running length.

Highs: Jasun and Troy Tipton impress with their technical work, mind-blowing solos, short enough to appease fans of metal in general

Lows: Does dissolve into a wank-fest on occasion, for all the crazy instrumental playing the drumming is pretty plain

Bottom line: An enjoyable instrumental record from Zero Hour/Cynthesis members Troy Tipton and Jasun Tipton.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)