Psycroptic – The Inherited Repression (Nuclear Blast Records)

Sunday, 24th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

At the forefront of the technical death metal movement, Tasmania’s Psycroptic strike in the same manner as current-day Decapitated, meaning they’re every bit as note-happy, but more listenable than they were in their early days. Age will do such a thing to a death metal band, and the tricks the band once rolled out in their The Scepter of the Ancients period probably wouldn’t fly here. The end result is a snappy, kinetic affair that is more accessible than one would think given the band’s brash tech-death history.

The guitar/drum tandem of the Haley brothers (Joe and Dave, respectively) is the foundation for Psycroptic, with the pair often finding unique ways to team up for a daring tech run or blistering plunge into the depths of death metal’s most complicated realms. But for all the band is worth on the musical level, it is the album’s groove-laden portion that perhaps land the hardest, like on “Forward to Submission,” a song that is basically a clinic for Joe Haley to demonstrate his sterling riff abilities.

Singer Jason Peppiatt keeps the band out of banal death metal territory, meaning he is brutal but understandable, with a bark that leans more on the hardcore side of the fence. Should the man have gurgled his way through the album’s nine songs, the end result would be drastically different, yet the marching orders he directs on the furious “The Throne of Kings” and closing “The Sleepers Have Awoken” are convincing enough for any true death metal believer.

Perhaps Decapitated and Psycroptic are going to usher in a new era of brutality for death metal; one that willingly incorporates the brashness of modern metal but holds true to their roughshod foundations. It’s a slippery slope to navigate considering how vast death metal as a whole is, but on The Inherited Repression, Psycroptic made live a lot easier for themselves.

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