In today’s long, twisting line of indistinguishable Metalcore bands, it’s nice to see a band like THE PSYKE PROJECT come around. “Daikini” is the group’s second release and it’s a quite ambitious one. Straying away from Metalcore clichés like the repetitive, palm-muted breakdowns, the melodic and emotional sections sung almost exclusively in horrendously whiney vocals and the song structures that are chaotic for the sake of being chaotic, THE PSYKE PROJECT travels a different musical path. Embracing a Post Rock-esque aesthetic reliant on layering, crescendos and climaxes, the Metalcore found here is simply superior when it comes to making better songs. There’s a noticeable influence taken from the early works of ZAO, most particularly in the vocals and the music is similar to bands such as NORMA JEAN and CONVERGE. The target audience is quite limited – THE PSYKE PROJECT isn’t going to win any new fans for the genre – but this should be a treat for the initiated.
That all being said, “Daikini” starts off solid but seems to reach an early peak only four tracks in with “Fimbul.” From there onwards, things start to get a bit monochromatic, running together and blending into a less interesting wall of noise with the occasional introspective quietness. Much later, things pick up again with “Qualia,” a 14-minute, mostly-instrumental track which, aside from the vocals coming in at around the 13-minute mark, sounds a lot like what would have happened if PELICAN had mixed the heavier, plodding sound of their earlier work with the dynamics and Post-Rock influence of their more recent material - definitely a highlight. After that we get the three parts of the “Note” trilogy, running together to form a more complete, 15-minute whole. Sadly, the three tracks end up sounding like more of the indistinguishable middle of the album, capping “Daikini” off with a rather unimpressive ending.
“Daikini” could have used a nice cardiovascular workout before its release, trimming off a lot of the unnecessary fat. With the limited dynamics of the Metalcore genre, album length can quickly turn into a deadly enemy and this one runs a lethal 72 minutes. Still, fans of the aforementioned bands should check this out, as it is a lot more impressive than most other recent Metalcore offerings. (Online November 13, 2005)