As far as Australian extreme metal bands go, it’s pretty hard to argue that anybody has done it more successfully than Psycroptic in their almost two decades of domination.
In their early releases the majority of fans were in awe primarily with the ferocity and speed of Dave Haley’s drum attack, and the originality and technicality of brother Joe’s guitar virtuosity. As their career has matured however, so has their approach to their overall songwriting and production. This latest album ‘As The Kingdom Drowns’ has managed to see them delve into areas they haven’t explored as much in the past, and does so with massive impact.
Backing choir style vocals you would expect to hear far, far away from a death metal release are already getting your emo feels flowing from the first track. All while Peppo crushes your ears with his gut wrenching delivery as per usual. This of course, is after Joe has initially melted your face with his intricate and slicing guitar work he has become renowned for over the years. The album explores elements of the epic, the ambient, the speed thrash metal world, and even the jazz fusion and blues influences they have.
Nothing on this album is done in any half arsed manner, and long-time fill in bassist Todd Stern’s recorded debut has knocked it out of the park. The bass on ‘As The Kingdom Drowns’ is prominent, musical and tasty. And while we’ve always known Joe is a super gifted guitar player, some of his finest moments are on this release notwithstanding the guitar solo he finally decided to lay on ‘Deadlands’.
Psycroptic has always been about moving forward, and this album will bring them to an even more prominent stature worldwide I would expect. Professional and pummeling.
Reviewed by Chris McEwin