Cyborg Octopus
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Cyborg Octopus

San Ramon, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

San Ramon, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Metal Progressive


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Our Picks For The Top Metal Albums Of 2016 So Far"

(Posted as the #1 Album Of The Year)

Cyborg Octopus – Learning to Breathe

I'd imagine that some of you are sick of us gushing about this band by now. Maybe you're not gushing enough? Anyway, if you're into expansive melodic, progressive metal in the realm of Between the Buried and Me this should be your jam. "How expansive?" you may ask, sensually.

Disco? check. Hardcore? Check. Classical? Check. More? Yup. - Metal Injection

"REVIEW: Cyborg Octopus – “Learning to Breathe”"

When a band throws everything into an album but the kitchen sink, creating an amalgamation of genres, themes, and ideas, it is so eternally pleasing to me, and is unsurprisingly an approach taken by many of my favorite albums of all time. The easiest example of this method is any Between the Buried and Me album, where in one song we have blisteringly heavy metal and in another song we have a slow, country ballad, as heard on The Great Misdirect. Another album that accomplishes this frenetic diversity is Learning to Breathe, the debut full-length record from Bay Area progressive metal band Cyborg Octopus. To be released on May 20, this album transcends typical genre limitations and is undoubtedly one of the most unique, expansive, and impressive debut albums of 2016.

There are a multitude of themes that are constant in the sound of Learning to Breathe. The first is their heavy base of progressive, technical metal that evokes comparison to bands as varied as Conducting from the Grave and The Black Dahlia Murder to the aforementioned Between the Buried and Me and Last Chance to Reason. Throughout all genre changes and twists and turns, this core is a constant and reliable structure to the album that allows Cyborg Octopus to expand into a diversity of styles.

“Shark Pit” is a punk rock track that sounds closer to bands such as Terror and H20 than any progressive metal band. But this is what’s so cool about Cyborg Octopus, they may not be the first band to try to incorporate so many styles into one album, but they’re a band that certainly makes it work. Track four, “Baptism of Clay” is more of a death metal track a la Decapitated, ending with a pretty sweet slam section. These diverse approaches display just how talented the members of Cyborg Octopus are, both as writers and performers. Hearing a young band this talented and ambitious makes me excited to hear what sonic territory they will explore in the future, and it is my hope they have a large, devoted fan base to watch them grow.

Another theme I enjoyed, one which is more of a calling card to the band, is their underlying video game music aesthetic. Throughout all the tracks of Learning to Breathe, there is a consistent stream of synths, dreamy tones, and some straight up cheesy (in a good way) keyboard sections. Track two, “Divine Right” is the perfect example of this theme, with the track being jam-packed with cheesy (in the best way) video game music. This is what comes to mind for me: See what I mean?

Learning to Breathe is a really awesome album. It’s an album for anyone who loves a hidden gem, but is one that I hope won’t be hidden for much longer. Not to mention, this release is great for anyone who needs a little progressive madness in their lives, and who doesn’t love that?

Score: 9/10

FFO: Between The Buried And Me, Conducting From the Grave, Native Construct

Notable Tracks: “Data_M1nefield,” “Divine Right,” “Epiphany”

Follow Cyborg Octopus on Facebook or find their music on Bandcamp! - ItDjents

"Cyborg Octopus – Learning To Breathe"

Every year there’s this one progressive metal band that suddenly delivers this completely fresh sound and changes the perception of what the genre can do. Last year it was Native Construct, before that A Sense Of Gravity, then Persefone, 2012 had Gods of Eden, and 2011 had The Odious. These bands all have a common narrative in that they both paid great respect to the core sound that is commonly associated with the label, but they also pushed it with creative influences and blended genres into their mix seamlessly. Cyborg Octopus are poised to do the same for 2016, and their debut Learning to Breathe is a brilliant exploration of styles and songwriting that delivers on several levels.

It’s not easy to evaluate a band that comes out of nowhere with a complex sound like this. Especially since every song on said debut release covers a different base in terms of sound. Cyborg Octopus seem to come at it all from a heavier angle than some of the bands already mentioned, having the root of their sound more in metalcore than old school progressive rock (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those). Between the Buried And Me also came from the same place, after all. On top of that, they build a framework of genre-bending experimentation taking from neoclassical, technical death metal, hardcore (“Shark Pit” is basically a metallic hardcore song), ska, funk and more. This might sound disjointed, but it’s all actually quite tame and well-integrated. It never feels like the band go on these wild tangents that are added for the sake of being wacky, instead they’re there because they fit the core of the band’s sound. The band has made these elements a part of their main repertoire instead of dabbling with them.

It’s easy for an artist to get lost in seemingly random influences and not have a core sound. Cyborg Octopus skirt dangerously close with that idea, as they take so much from other styles, but they’re clearly in control here. Every riff feels deliberate, blast beats escalate masterfully into slower riffs, the guitar work is rhythmically driven and full of neat ideas that all work well together. The vocals are mostly screamed, and it goes well with the progressive deathcore-driven framework the band have built. It’s really quite reductive to try to explain the band’s range of talents with words as they pack in so much stuff with many cool sections that it’s just unfair to them. Perhaps they’re not as varied as Native Construct, not as ridiculous as Gods of Eden and not as obsessively polished as A Sense of Gravity. Instead, they’re so consistent yet somehow consistently diverse that the dichotomy alone makes them intriguing – then they build great songs on top of that!

In the end, the only real issue with Learning to Breathe is that it ends too quickly. Usually, that’s a pretty good sign for an album, and it’s the case here as well. Cyborg Octopus come out the gate swinging and hitting on most counts, delivering a varied, ridiculous progressive metal delight and making a strong statement. Learning to Breathe deserves to be one of the landmark releases of 2016, and sets the band on a good path for future releases. - HeavyBlogIsHeavy


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy