Completely electronic and entirely instrumental, Artie Appleseed’s “Unstoppable Death Machine” is an album that defies classification. Awash in tones, drones and pulses, this is not music that inspires dancing, singing along or the tapping of one’s foot.

But despite its lack of conventional musical “hooks,” the album is completely engrossing if approached with patience, an open mind and a decent set of headphones.

The opening title track sounds like the soundtrack to a film that doesn’t exist, building in intensity until you can almost picture an opening credits sequence in your head. And that’s the beauty of an instrumental record like this: You can paint any picture you want in your mind, with a sound palette provided by Artie Appleseed.

“Blue (6) Skull (15)” is eerie and foreboding in a droning, ’70s horror film sort of way, and once those church organ sounds kick in, you may find yourself peeking around the corner making sure that creepy little kid from “The Omen” isn’t lurking nearby.

Tone and tempo change abruptly on “Snow Lion,” which sounds a lot like the computerized musical soundtrack to an old Nintendo eight-bit video game, but a lot less repetitive and with much more depth than, say, the soundtrack to your old “Tetris” cartridge.

Ominous drones return on “Broken Tooth,” but the blooping, bleeping computer noises give the composition a fun, vintage sci-fi feel. Video game sounds return on “Let’s Hit the Boards,” but they’re mixed with ’80s-era synthesizers this time, giving this particular track an almost New Wave vibe.

Just when you think you’ve got “Unstoppable Death Machine” pinned down, Appleseed pulls a complete 180 and takes you in another direction. “Sticky’s Dub” starts with what sounds like a droning analog synthesizer, only to slowly morph into a subtle reggae shuffle that will have you smiling while marveling at Appleseed’s ingenuity.

Little musical surprises like this are all over this album, and listening to it is like an aural treasure hunt. Grab your headphones, settle in and let the hunt begin.

Rick Johnson is a freelance writer and radio host from Westbrook. He can be reached at:

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