Release Date: 10 March 2015
Label Prosthetic Records Genre Technical Death Metal
In November 2014, Psycroptic released the first track, “Echoes to Come,” from their upcoming self-titled album. I reviewed the track here at with nothing but positivity. Now, with Psycroptic finally releasing on March 10th, is the optimism still there?
This band hails from Australia, where Kangaroos are more frightening than the flu. “Echoes to Come” leads off the album, but what follows is an astounding amount of intriguing riffs and songs with their own personalities embedded within. Psycroptic push extreme metal to the edge with the hefty amount of influences being enveloped within this entire entourage of tracks, all nine of them. “Ending” is a throw away song at best, but “A Soul Once Lost” exposes how wonderful the band’s riffs are. Consistently, the guitarist, Joe Haley, is flying around the neck of the guitar combining intense leads and interesting legato style riffs.
“Cold” exemplifies how this band can be different among straight extreme metal. The acoustic opening shines light on the different techniques used in setting up the build of exploding drums from such a soothing opening. The entire track is composed of tight drums fills and blastbeats. “Setting the Skies Ablaze” is a recall of ’80s thrash music with the pace of the song never really wanting to take a gasp of air. Sure, the chorus is a bit laid back, but how quickly the track takes off again astonishes me.
“Ideals That Won’t Surrender” mixes black metal with intensity, allowing for a distinct melody to be noticed along with frantic recurring themes. After the song shows the band being melodic, the chug riffs are introduced with decadent drums leading the way. “Sentence of Immortality” is probably the first track that stood out to me on my initial listen. It took seven songs, but the vocals are not expected because they are more of a chant rather than the harsh screams that have been dominant in the previous six tunes. Mix that with -like riffs and I am hooked.
I guess that is where I am both disappointed and amazed by this album. Before the above track I was just listening to the awe factor of the instrumentals without distinguishing the tracks. Listening from front to back left me with a sequencing of stellar musicianship without a way to explain how to tell them apart. The more I listened, the more each track had a specific motif I could focus on, but at first listen it all blended together.
Psycroptic have released an album with a hefty amount of metal influences. One problem for fans might be distinguishing one track from next. A few will catch the ear while the rest are one long headbang. Be sure to pick this up March 10th for some whiplash to the neck.