Bonsai is an amazing album from the largely unknown jazz-metal band Octopus from Chile. Octopus sounds like an instrumental version of Coroner's ultimate album Grin or a less extreme version of Meshuggah. They add a lot of jazzy touches and deliciously fluid twin-guitar soloing to their music.
All players are highly dexterous and apply their skills very well. Every riff they play sounds like the best choice out of a bottomless well of creative ideas. Everything is moulded into adventurous tracks that rage with energy and intensity. Beautiful jazzy solos and laid back sections provide for the necessary balance. The opener Algo Medio is all it should take to convince you of their exceptional qualities.
Unlike most metal albums this isn't a wall of sound with overstressed compression levels. Just like a true prog band, Octopus perfectly masters all possible volume levels between loud and quiet. The drums sound dynamic and acoustic, the bass is clearly audible and the guitars sound excellent, both when they are ripping and furious as when they are soothing and graceful. Technical metal with so much emotion and subtlety is a rare find and the band would deserve a lot more attention here.
Highly recommended to fans of heavy jazz-rock and technical instrumental metal in the vein of Coroner, Meshuggah, Liquid Tension Experiment, Gordian Knot or Psychotic Waltz. Given that my love for metal often gets nipped in the bud by either the sameness of the material, cheesy vocals or annoying attitudes, this one is the real treat!