‘Violate Consensus Reality’ still holds up one year later as a forward-thinking album that sees Psychonaut push at the envelope of the contemporary European progressive/post-metal scene.
The album engages the senses in a way that is quite rare for concept albums, it is raw and brutal; unlike the lofty anthologies of yore with their endlessly repeating motifs and needlessly complex song structures. It stands in a long tradition of activism in music, yet also deconstructs this tradition by taking its loud and admonishing tone and providing it with a thoughtful base rooted in philosophy and spirituality. Vocalist/guitarist Stefan de Graef explains that the band have“always been interested in religion, spirituality and philosophy, [they’ve] meditated together, had long discussions about the nature of life, and we share a common vision.”
“By no longer subscribing to the notion that we are all separate beings in a separate world that is dead and pointless, we embrace the vision of a new civilisation that is rooted in the idea that we are part of a living, sacred universe,”continues de Graef, before likening the present, fractured state of the world to“islands on oceans, designed to bear unpredictable wrath”, an image that became the foundation of the album and it’s eponymous standout single.
Whether accompanied by punishing tech riffs and pounding, high-octane drums on the album version or by the delicate drones, majestic vocal harmonies and effervescent flute-work of this special acoustic rendition, that ‘Violate Consensus Reality’ continues to your breath away is certainly something worth celebrating.