Psycroptic - Psycroptic 01Well, would you look at this? The world’s second favorite population of satanic Tasmanians have produced a work about which they feel strongly enough to imbue it with their own name. Why bands late in their career choose to do this, we may never know (looking your way, Cryptopsy), but while we can never fully understand their choices, we can always do to our idols what we as humans do best; talk about what’s wrong with them.

Except that poses a special challenge here because Psycroptic shows no pathologies whatsoever. The band isn’t out of ideas, aren’t strangers to experimentation, and still write some of the longest, most complex and most recognizable riffs on the planet. This album brings a little bit of everything, and despite the fact that Psycroptic can never be the group’s defining record (that would be Scepter of the Ancients, for the drongos out there), Psycroptic is written all over it.

With the exception of a few slouches, Psycroptic‘s songs are some of the band’s most consistent material to date. “Cold” opens with an infectious acoustic melody that hearkens back to the nylon-string madness featured on The Inherited Repression and only gets better from there. Joe Haley’s guitar work is as incredible as ever, and Psycroptic‘s leads are as complex, twisting and out-of the box as we’ve come to expect. The album’s second track “Ending” is one of the best examples of this, with a central riff that spins around and spits fire for sixteen bars or so and leads into one of the album’s catchiest choruses.

Jason Peppiatt sounds the same as ever, but his delivery is a bit more diverse than usual – “Setting the Skies Ablaze” features extremely abrasive thrash shouts rather than his usual growly-er delivery. It’s not one of the album’s better songs, but there’s enough meat around the gristle to tear into it anyway. On the other hand, “Sentence of Immortality” blows away the back half of the album with its Gojira-at-lightspeed mentality and whispered introductory verse. We’re probably never going to see Chalky-era vocal insanity out of these guys again, but over the last few albums Peppiatt has done a damn good job of giving the band that very specifically psychotic sound they need.

Psycroptic - Psycroptic 02

Not every song here is an incredible achievement; “Setting the Skies Ablaze” and “The World Discarded” aren’t the most interesting compositions on the planet, even given their extreme speed. The album is also just on par with the band’s previous output in terms of fidelity – pretty loud, but not offensive or abnormal. Joe Haley’s mix is also nothing new, putting the spotlight on the vocals and guitars, and passing over the bass almost entirely. It would be nice to know what Cameron Grant is up to, but Psycroptic have always been a very riff-focused band and the guitar work alone is interesting enough to make you forget that instruments with less than six strings exist, so I’ll once again give them a pass.

Anyone looking for 2015’s best tech-death album here is going to have to go fish, but Psycroptic is no slouch. It’s what we’ve come to expect from Australia’s foremost metal export (take note, fellow contributors, that’s “Psycroptic” and not “Ne Obliviscaris;” you know who you are) and has given me hope that 2015 won’t continue being a dried shitpile on the face of metal. It’s not quite as interesting as The Inherited Repression or as balls-out insane as Scepter of the Ancients, but it’s good to see these guys still kicking like a highly transmissible facial cancer. And that’s all I really need from them at this point.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 191 kbps mp3
Label: Prosthetic Records
Release Dates: EU: 2015.03.13 | NA: 03.10.2015

  • Jean-Luc Ricard

    Never really got into Psycroptic, but I’ll give them another go. That opening riff on the embedded track sounds like Opeth on speed.

    • Robert Turnbull

      Now that you mention it…

  • Luke_22

    I’m really digging this so far. Nice mix of groove and typical Psycroptic techy aggression. Still I miss the good old days with the insane Matthew Chalk on vocals. Scepter of the Ancients is a classic in my book. Fans of Chalk’s quirky vocals should check out Mephistopheles.

  • metalwithay

    The preview song sounds really cool. It’s not too techy where the song almost stops being a song if you know what I mean. I also have to ask, what is with all the NeO hate?

    • Jean-Luc Ricard

      Some of us think they are a tad overrated by some others of us.

      • AndySynn

        I am one of those “us” who think that way about the “others”.

        I mean, I like the band a lot, but think that a.) the first album was better, and b.) they are a bit too overhyped.

  • El_Cuervo

    To which contributor are you referring Kronos?

    • André Snyde Lopes

      I think it’s Druhm.

      • Guest

        I was being facetious.

      • El_Cuervo

        I don’t why that reply is under a guest account, I was signed in.

      • I’m just sitting here listening to Jorn albums. Leave me out of this.

  • brutal_sushi

    I can never really get into this band because of the vocals.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      boo-urns, vocals are great!

      • brutal_sushi

        I did give the featured song a go around, and surprisingly the vocals didn’t bother as much as some of the other snippets I have heard. The musician ship is nuts for sure.

    • tomasjacobi

      While the vocals aren’t a dealbreaker for me, the current hardcore-style vocals doesn’t really suit the music IMO. Call me old-fashioned, but death metal should have death growls.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    These blokes rule…this song is totally ace and go get a dog up ya

  • Takin’ a shot at NeO and talkin’ about good metal. A man after my own Angry heart.

  • Doomdeathrosh

    I dig! and I dig deep!(no pun intended). Psychroptic has proven Australia has something for everyone, with the Be’lakors, the Vyrions, the NeOs and THE Psychroptic! Thanks for the review…and for reminding me to check my bank balance!

    • Doomdeathrosh

      and yes, there is only one Be’lakor, one Vyrion and one NeO…so poison spraying on me!

  • Feeblejocks

    Actually, my favorite export by far is Sadistik Exekution. So both of you can go suck it. :)
    But I must say, that opening riff on the embedded track is pure gold. And the seamless way it transitions from acoustic to full-on melodic assault … I may just have to pick this record up. I haven’t yet bothered to listen to any of their albums after Scepter – I think this is my cue to do so.

  • Glad that Be’lakor is at the studio this year because that’ll prove who’s Australia’s foremost metal export once and for all

    • Jukka Alanen

      They’ve got nothing to prove anymore!

    • The Levitation Hex > Vyrion > Be’lakor > Psycroptic > > > > > > > > Ne Obliviscaris

      • I see your point, but as my avatar may show, I have to be partial to the band that took its name from the WH40k universe. I’m a dork like that

      • Grymm


        I do miss Alchemist, though. :(

        • Alchemist were painfully (painful to me at any rate) underrated and I was gutted when they all split up, but I’m happy enough with The Levitation Hex’s debut. Aren’t they due a new album by now? *crosses fingers*

        • Luke_22

          New Levitation Hex album should be coming out soon. Yeah Alchemist were criminally underrated and ahead of their time. Very good live act too.

  • BarryLeFreak

    Didn’t chalky move to spawn of possession?

    • Luke_22

      He was in the band for a while but not long enough to record with them.

  • Robert Turnbull

    Definitely enjoying this. Best of March so far for me and near to the top of the 2015 pile too.

  • RandomSoul

    I never got into these guys until this album. Then I went back and gave their backlog lots of plays. Now I think the new album is weak by comparison. Funny, I don’t think that’s the first time something like that has happened

  • peter panda

    STILL mad that Citadel made you feel things you cant admit to

  • Lacertilian

    “Psycroptic’s leads” ??
    Joe doesn’t do leads in Psycroptic, except for maybe the final repeating lick in the Scepter Of Jaar-Gilon.
    His riffs however, are as complex and free-flowing as other guitarist’s solos.