Technical Death Metal is, for better or worse, a genre bogged down with overexerting showoffy nonsense that’s to some degree become more of a musician’s master class on technique rather than a platform for technical groove and songwriting chops. Just as with any genre nowadays, it is so cluttered with musical wankery and failed attempts at creativity that oftentimes it’s easy for the true innovators and talent to go unnoticed. Psycroptic have never really suffered from any of those shortcomings, nor have they had very much trouble being noticed. They are one of the frontrunners of modern death metal and certainly stand high above the rest of the pack laying the groundwork for all their peers to follow.
With their newest offering, The Inherited Repression, they have once again evolved their trademark sound while staying true to the roots of the music, keeping things fresh, groovy and just plain heavy. Brothers Joe (guitars) and Dave (drums) Haley have pushed this musical behemoth to even greater heights, cementing their places even further as two of the ultimate masters of their respective crafts. Joe’s guitar work, as always, is absolutely mesmerizing, combining sweeping and intricate melodies with down-tuned brutality as well as anyone could hope to. You’ll find yourself quite literally entranced when he breaks into his trademark tapping harmonic frenzies, turning technicality into an art form. Much in the same way his brother pushes the envelope melodically, Dave continues to refine his chops, keeping everything grounded in groovy rhythms while maintaining your interest with every swing of his sticks. It’s all in the subtleties with his playing; yes he’s blazingly fast, mammothly heavy, but it’s the little things that inspire: The ghost notes, the casual hits of the splash cymbals, the rudimentary intricacies that cement him firmly as a titan behind the kit.
The album starts off with a swift kick in the pants, as the slow, brooding intro to “Carriers of the Plague” slowly erupts from the speakers, quickly shifting into a up-tempo frenzy of sweeping melodies so fast your head will fly clean off. One of my favorite tracks on the record, “Euphorinasia” is a truly epic experience, leading in with a soft acoustic chorus that before you know it morphs into a crushingly heavy down-tempo groove. “The Throne of Kings” picks everything right back up and hurls you into the wall with a shockwave of speed and technicality that us long time fans have to come know and love.
One thing I definitely noticed on this release compared to their previous efforts is the increased infusion of deliberate grooves in favor of blinding technicality. I find this refreshing, as the “tech” side of things in metal is wrought with technicality > quality. The Haley Brothers know their shit and only unleash the fury when the song calls for it (and boy, when it does, make sure you’re strapped in). Aside from that, this is definitely a Psycroptic album. One of the “envelope-pushers” on the record, “Deprivation”, only veers slightly outside of the lines, incorporating odd meters and arpeggios into their signature brand of tech-death. It works, however, and solidifies these Aussie madmen as some of the best at what they do.
In summary, I feel all I really need to say is that I haven’t stopped listening to this album since I got it and it kicks more ass with each and every listen. It’s one of those albums that benefits from multiple listens to fully grasp, but doesn’t require it, as some techy albums do. It’s straight, in your face annihilation that will leave your head spinning and your ears ringing.
The Inherited Repression is out now on Nuclear Blast Records. If you’re on Spotify, you can listen to it here, if not you can check out the song “The Throne of Kings” streaming now courtesy of MetalSucks. Either way, you should definitely pick it up. You’d be a damned fool not to.
The Inherited Repression – 9.4/10
1. Carriers of the Plague
2. Forward Into Submission
4. The Throne of Kings
5. Unmasking the Traitors
6. Become the Cult
7. From Scribe To Ashes
9. The Sleepers Have Woken
Favorite Song: Deprivation