By Andrew Bansal
Australian extreme metal band Psycroptic are ready with their fifth studio album “The Inherited Repression”, their first album since September 2008 and the second on the Nuclear Blast label. I got introduced to the band when they opened up for Nile on a North American tour in late 2010, and was impressed by the manner in which they presented their material on stage. They’ve taken a lot longer to write this particular album as compared to the previous four, which only raised my expectations and heightened my anticipation for it.
After listening to it a fair number of times, I can safely conclude that it has paid off for them to take time in writing this material, because the album is their most dynamic and well-rounded effort till date. Every band likes to think that their new album is the best of their career, but it often doesn’t actually work out like that once the fans get to hear it. In the case of Psycroptic, it is indeed their strongest release so far.
Having been recently introduced to bands like Psycroptic, Mournful Congregation and Impetuous Ritual, I have developed a sense of appreciation and respect for Australian metal bands. Their unmistakable passion and dedication for the music is reflected in their compositions, as is proved by “The Inherited Repression”.
The album wastes no time with intros of any kind, and gets straight into “Carriers Of The Plague”, an extremely groovy and catchy tune. Joe Haley’s guitar work is exemplary, and well complemented by his band mates. Even though it has elements that are typically found in death metal, I would say it’s a largely groove-oriented tune and should be well appreciated by fans of bands like Lamb Of God, Machine Head and the likes. In fact, this can be said about the album as a whole. It’s best described as groove-oriented death metal.
“Forward To Submission” and “Euphorinasia” keep up with the quality of the opening tune, specially the latter which is easily one of my favorite tracks on the album. The acoustic guitar intro gives it a great build-up. It boasts of killer riffs which dominate the tune and make it a true headbangers’ delight. This should definitely be part of the band’s live shows this year.
Things get a lot more technical in “The Throne Of Kings”, and I was instantly reminded of Obscura when I first heard this song. Along with the catchy grooves, this tune presents another dimension of Psycroptic’s musicianship. “Unmasking The Traitors” has a similar feel to it but is certainly heavier and has more variety in it. The rest of the album continues to offer varying degrees of technicality and heavy groove. From among these last four tunes, “Deprivation” is outstanding. Just like “Euphorinasia”, this one starts off with an acoustic piece. It’s a very dark and expressive tune, reminiscent of Gojira’s style of music to an extent. These slow, dark segments are intertwined with blistering fast ones, making it the best track on the album in my opinion. “The Sleepers Have Awoken” keeps the same vibe going, and brings the album to a close.
My favorite tunes at this point are “Carriers Of The Plague”, “Euphorinasia”, “The Throne Of Kings” and “Deprivation”. The only negative thing I would say about this album is, it’s a bit top-heavy. I feel they threw in most of the best songs in the first half of the album itself. It hits a plateau after “Unmasking The Traitors”, until “Deprivation” resurrects it again and infuses freshness into it. But may be it’s just the track ordering which makes me feel that way, because when looked at individually, each song on the album is excellent and has plenty to offer to the listener.
With the release of this album, Psycroptic look set to garner a wider fan-following for themselves in the extreme metal circles, and with the addition of some of these tunes in their upcoming shows, I think they will become even stronger as a live band, and truly a force to reckon with.
US Release Date: February 7th 2012
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
1. Carriers of the Plague
2. Forward to Submission
4. The Throne of Kings
5. Unmasking the Traitors
6. Become the Cult
7. From Scribe to Ashes
9. The Sleepers Have Awoken