SPASTIC INK — Ink Compatible — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

SPASTIC INK - Ink Compatible cover
3.12 | 12 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2004

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Aquanet (8:10)
2. Just A Little Bit (4:42)
3. Words For Nerds (5:22)
4. Melissa's Friend (7:08)
5. Read Me (4:16)
6. Multi-Masking (8:11)
7. In Memory Of... (6:50)
8. A Chaotic Realization Of Nothing Yet Misunderstood (12:11)
9. The Cereal Mouse (1:20)

Total Time 58:13


- Bobby Jarzombek / Drums
- Ron Jarzombek / Guitars
- Pete Perez / Bass

- Marty Friedman / Guitars
- Dave Penna / Drums
- Michael Manring / Bass
- Jimmy Pitts / Keyboards
- Jason McMaster / Vocals
- Jeff Eber / Drums (track 8)
- Ray Riendeau / Bass
- Sean Malone / Bass
- Doug Keyser / Bass
- Jens Johansson / Keyboards
- Daniel Gildenlöw / Vocals (track 4)
- David Bagsby / Keyboards

About this release

Released by Eclectic Electric. Japanese edition (released by Avalon Online) has the following bonus track:

10. A Quick Affix (4:40)

Thanks to Lynx33 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Conor Fynes
'Ink Compatible' - Spastic Ink (8/10)

With Spastic Ink's 1997 debut 'Ink Complete', brothers Jarzombek and bassist Pete Perez left quite a mark on the tech metal scene. Being able to charge their viciously impressive playing with intelligent and complex composition, Spastic Ink immediately set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd, leaving a dedicated fanbase hungry for more. Seven years later, a few things changed with the band's sound on the second record 'Ink Compatible', but the tongue-in-cheek nature of the album coupled with its technical brilliance make it nothing short of a great follow-up to the original.

'Ink Compatible' shows the sound and direction of Spastic Ink growing more mature, although the eccentric charm of guitarist Ron Jarzombek is still here, through quirky guitar solos and odd voiceovers. To one as yet uninitiated with the music of Spastic Ink, the band takes progressive metal to very technical heights, and features incredibly complex arrangements, albeit at the sacrifice of well-rounded music. Although I was always impressed by the arrangements of Spastic's msuci the first time around, it always felt as if the compositions lacked cohesion as complete pieces. On 'Ink Compatible', there has definitely been a marked improvement on that front. Instead of the songs feeling like individual collections of jaw-dropping riffs and musical ideas, 'Ink Compatible' has pieces that take the form of actual songs; all to the band's benefit.

In most ways, 'Ink Compatible' is an improvement over its predecessor, although it certainly takes some extra time to grow in light of the added complexities to composition structure. However, I do not necessarily choose this album over the first. The biggest reason for this is certainly the use of singers here, which as one may have expected from a band as technical as Spastic Ink, does not work in the band's favour. Although there are some great singers like Daniel Gildenlow (of progressive metal titans Pain of Salvation) at work here, the vocal melodies never sound inspired, and instead tend to distract from the real delight here, being the excellent instrumentation. Some of the voiceovers wear thin quickly as well; one can only hear interludes about hillbillies' views towards personal computers so many times before deigning to skip over it!

Perhaps there isn't as much of the same charm this time around for Spastic Ink, but the album is certainly a step above 'Ink Complete' in terms of its writing and- in some cases- musicianship itself. Spastic Ink finally sounds like a full band effort here as opposed to the debut, which sounded closer to being a Ron Jarzombek solo album. An excellent album by any stretch, although it is more hit-and-miss than what I've previously heard from Spastic Ink.
While Spastic Ink is certainly comprised of some competent musicians, the album Ink Compatible is mostly technical fluff. After an hour of listening to nothing but odd chromatic guitar runs and unusual atonal synth atmospheres, things can get pretty tiring. Even guests like Marty Friedman and Daniel Gildenlow do little to add variety to the mix of the endless technicality.

Spastic Ink's sound is certainly progressive metal, but the type of metal it's based of is mainly technical thrash. Jason McMaster's Voivod-esque shouting tends to drag down the sound and make it sound dated to the 80s, even though Ink Compatible is a 2004 release. The bass and guitar running together have an odd sound when playing together, and create sort of a Zappa- esque atmosphere, though heavier. Add in the endless odd time signature and occasional weird synth layers, and you will have a pretty good idea of what kind of ride you're in for.

There isn't much more to say about the album. To make it simple the over-the top technicality and wierd technology theme, this basically sounds like the unwanted child between a Satriani- esque shredder and Voivod, and the mix really doesn't do much to set them apart as a defining technical band. There is more interesting Technical prog metal out there to interest the metalhead.

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  • tapfret
  • vikt73
  • Lynx33
  • luanpedi
  • Anster
  • progpostman
  • cannon
  • muerte_inoxia
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