[Review] Polyphemus – Zazen

Polyphemus is an instrumental Progressive Metal band from Phoenix, Arizona who have released one EP and one full-length. “Zazen” was released on May 27, 2022 and contains 6 tracks ranging from 3 to over 12 minutes in duration, with solid and elaborate sounds, with very accurate cover art. The opener “Heuristic I: Cognitive Dissonance” is the first of two parts, characterized by an introductory first half with electronic sounds and effects. In the second part it develops with heavy guitar riffs and a granite rhythmic session that is enriched with tempo changes. By connecting to the previous “Heuristic II: Manifest” it opens with a solid sound, technical interlacing of guitar and orchestrations. The rhythmic session is granite and full of tempo changes, with virtuous passages that alternate with others where the orchestrations give a symphonic and pompous touch to the Prog Metal sounds of the song. “Pandora” was the first single from the album and released as a stand-alone in 2019, featuring elaborate storylines and continuous tempo changes. The sound alternates softer parts of Progressive Rock with accelerated ones that explore the harder sounds of Prog Metal enriched by intertwining heavy riffs and virtuous inserts. A background with Ambient sounds and guitar arpeggios characterize the intro of “Voyage,” with melancholic atmospheres and continuous tempo changes. In continuous evolution, between virtuosity and soloist inserts of fine workmanship, the compositional and executive technique of the band is enhanced. A mixture of softer and accelerated Prog Metal passages where the band intertwines lead guitar parts, pompous orchestrations and the sound of the sax in the central part. A concentrate of technique and power, which contains all the facets that make up the sound of the band. Even the last two tracks, like the first, constitute a theme divided into two parts, starting with “Reconstruct I: Enigma.” Intricate textures of guitar and keyboards over a rhythmic session with continuous tempo changes are the main ingredients of this piece, full of virtuous passages. Here too the band offers a Prog Metal with Djent features, with a rhythmic session full of polyrhythms and syncopated rhythms, complex riffs characterized by virtuosity and variations. The longest track on the album “Reconstruct II: Evolve,” which exceeds 12 minutes, concludes the final theme and the album, continuing to explore the more Djent side of Prog Metal. The rhythm is tight, with tempo changes and continuous accelerations, heavy riffs and virtuosity on the guitar, with the orchestral bands that give a pompous touch to the sound. In the central part with a change it is transformed with guitar arpeggios with mainly acoustic features, and then increases the intensity and closes in a musical crescendo, returning to the harder and Metal sounds. An entirely instrumental album that showcases and enhances both the compositional and executive technique of the band, skilled in mixing Prog Metal and Djent. Continuous tempo changes, virtuosity and intricate passages, with a pompous touch given by the orchestrations make this album original and with personal traits. A listening recommended for lovers of the most intricate sounds of Prog Metal, with quality ideas inside, which enhance the band’s technique.


01. Heuristic I: Cognitive Dissonance (03:01)
02. Heuristic II: Manifest (03:07)
03. Pandora (04:32)
04. Voyage (08:29)
05. Reconstruct I: Enigma (05:13)
06. Reconstruct II: Evolve (12:06)


Connor Seddon / Composer, Rhythm Guitar
Nathan Hatch / Composer, Lead Guitar
Morris Heilman / Production, Drums

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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