The Tipton twins (Jasun and Troy) have been around the prog metal world for quite a while now. Zero Hour always seemed like they would be the next big thing but it just never happened. Troy was then sidelined with an injury and Zero Hour was no more. From the ashes arose not one, but two bands. One band, Cynthesis, was the more “traditional” prog metal band. While the other band, Abnormal Thought Patterns, was an instrumental prog band.
“Altered States Of Consciousness” is the second full-length from ATP and it shows that the brothers and drummer Mike Guy are still incredibly talented and can craft a dynamic and powerful set of songs. “Altered States Of Consciousness” starts by ATP dipping their toes into the djent pool with the opening riff of “Distortions of Perception,” but it’s not a total djent affair as the song changes and morphs into something Joe Satriani SHOULD do but can’t get out of his own way.
The most interesting number is “Nocturnal Haven” which actually is on the album twice! The first version is the only song with vocals, performed by Between the Buried and Me vocalist Tommy Rogers. The song also has guitarist Jeff Loomis trading solos with the guys. The instrumental version might appeal to those who wanted an all instrumental album but for me, it’s really cool to have Tommy Rogers singing for the band if even for just one song.
Another special guest is bassist Michael Manring who contributes some amazing playing to Synesthesia. The song owes much to freeform jazz as well as blistering metal. “Delusions” is one of my favorite tracks because it shows the dynamics of ATP, heavy riffs along with very mellow melodic breaks.
In a perfect world, Abnormal Thought Patterns would be as famous as Animals as Leaders or Scale the Summit or any of the more popular, yet for me, not as talented instrumental prog bands. Hopefully with the help of Tommy Rogers and the others, people will take notice of “Altered States Of Consciousness” and the Tipton brothers will finally get the larger audience they have always deserved!
1. Distortions of Perception
2. Nocturnal Haven (with Tommy Rogers and Jeff Loomis)
4. Synesthesia (with Michael Manring)
6. Nocturnal Haven (instrumental version with Jeff Loomis)
7. Subliminal Perception
Playing time: 43:01
Release date: 29 June, 2015
Label: Lifeforce Records