HGR CD Review: Psymatica

PSYMATICA – ENVISAGE (Penta Graham) Based in Johnstown, Psymatica is the studio project endeavor of former Twisted & Used guitarist Stevil Graham. Psymatica’s debut CD,Envisage, is a concept album that follows a lifetime process from birth to enlightenment, documenting how individuality and self-realization eventually triumph over societal conditioning and brainwashing. Graham brings this ambitious journey to life through a barrage of intense, progressive metalcore. Composing, performing all instruments and snarling all vocals, Graham launches furious arrangements with hammering, machine gun-like drum rhythms, attacking precision guitarwork, and surging malevolent bass work. The execution is fast, tight and tenacious; and rarely ever lets up over the course of the disc’s dozen tracks. Blasting open the album, “Nurture” examines how the conditioning and brainwashing process begins from practically the moment of birth, through repeated themes of obedience and conformity. The hyperspeed “Flesh for Food” embraces veganism, attacking the morality of killing and consuming other living beings. “Profit$y” slams forth the theme of money as the root of all evil, while “Healthscare” rages against chemical poisoning and mutation of our air, food, water and environment. Closing the disc, the title track “Psymatica” is lengthier and more progressive in scope, tying the story together as full realization and control of one’s own ideas is achieved. Engineered, mixed and mastered by Graham, Envisage sounds sharp and clear, with all the instruments defined and balanced. Graham’s vocals are jagged and raw, and the mix enables the full caustic impact of the song material to be achieved. Envisage offers cutting edge, abrasive and creative metalcore, and presents a punishing listen for fans of the extreme side of the heavy rock spectrum. (The album can be downloaded for free via psymatica.bandcamp.com, or the physical CD can be obtained through the Psymatica Reverbnation page, www.reverbnation.com/psymatica.)