Psycroptic
The Scepter of the Ancients


4.5
superb

Review

by dUSK USER (19 Reviews)
March 19th, 2006 | 99 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Psycroptic's second studio album was what cemented them firmly in the place of Australia's greatest extreme metal band. However, this is not to that the album is only a masterpiece by Australian Technical Death Metal standards, but by those held worldwide. Unfortunately, I don't think the album gets the recognition it deserves. With songs that range from being brutally heavy, to sounding like utter chaos, this album should have something for all fans of the genre.

Each member of the band does an outstanding job on The Scepter Of The Ancients. Dave Haley puts in a superb effort on Drums, with pounding double bass throughout the album, slowly only occasionally. After listening to a lot of Cryptopsy, I feel as though there might be a small lack of snare though, but perhaps I'm expecting too much. Not being a Drummer I can't really say how good he is, but he is certainly up their with the best of them, so I'll just recommend that you give Skin Coffin a listen.. Don't expect another Flo Mounier though.

The guitar and bass might be my only downfall with The Scepter Of The Ancients, which I feel is slightly too low in the mix. I can't help that they would only be more impressive if they were slightly louder. Otherwise, they put in another outstanding effort. If anyone has heard Psycroptics first release, it is similar stuff, being incredibly fast at times, and remaining devastatingly brutal. They do however, show a little more diversity, particularly with the increased use of Pinch Harmonics, which only adds to the albums flavour. The Colour Of Sleep and Cruelty Incarnate provide excellent examples of what to expect from the duo.

Matthew Chalk has become one of my favourite Death Metal vocalists, thanks to his performance on "The Scepter". He shows a superb range, with deep, aggressive growls, face paced shrieks and spine tingling screams, all of which he manages to fit into a single verse. There is rarely a moment he is not doing something. Lyrically he fits the mould of most Death Metal vocalist, with the majority of subjects focusing on Death. However, if you're focusing on the lyrics to this album, you're completely missing the point of it. It's sad to know that after this release, "Chalky" won't be heard working with Psycroptic again.

So overall, the album is something to behold. Combining incredible musicianship, with the ability to write catchy, memorable songs is something Psycroptic have managed to do better than many other Death Metal bands. The album is mixed very well, (even though I've said that the Guitar and Bass could be slightly louder), with all instruments working very well with each other. The Scepter Of The Ancients is certainly worthy of a listen.

Pros
Amazing musicianship, highly diverse
Brutality
Incredible vocals
Catchy, memorable songs, particularly by the genres standards.

Cons
No solos
Indistinguishable vocals (again, you're missing the point if this is a problem)

NB: This is my first attempt at a non track by track review, so any advice or tips on how to improve would be appreciated. Go easy on me...



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user ratings (267)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Apocalyptic Raids
March 19th 2006


810 Comments


Awesome album. It's about the only tech-death I like.

great review.

Tyler
Emeritus
March 19th 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dang, I was actually going to review this tomorrow! Oh well, great review. I'm surprised there's no mentions of Matthew Chalk's unique belching.

dUSK
March 19th 2006


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I read a couple of other reviews from various artists (including Psycroptic) before I did this one, just to get me started with the writing style. His belching was mentioned some of the others, and I didn't want to draw too much influence from the other reviews, so I left it out. I did however, try to stress how versatile the man is.

And you can still post your review, btw.

Blindguardian
March 19th 2006


186 Comments


I've heard really good things about this, if I'm into to Necrophagist, would I find this to be similair?

dUSK
March 19th 2006


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've never heard any Necrophagist, but from what I've read, yes. They seem to get compared a lot.

Ad Absurdum
March 19th 2006


44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album rocks. The band I feel is good, but what really makes it great for me is the vocalist, very unique and very good. I had no idea he wasn't going to be doing anything else with them.

I don't really think Psyrcoptic are very similar to Necrophagist though. Necrophagist seem to be much more guitar driven, and I personally think that Psycroptic are a much more versatile, interesting example of tech death.

As for the review, it was really good. These type of reviews are much more informative than track-by-track reviews I think.

Confessed2005
March 19th 2006


3314 Comments


Tech-death bands interest me greatly so I might see if I can get any tracks off this to preview.

dUSK
March 20th 2006


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

http://www.psycroptic.com/main/index.php?page=releases

If you go to that page, so can download the first track from the album, The Colour Of Sleep.

[QUOTE=Ad Adsurdum]The band I feel is good, but what really makes it great for me is the vocalist, very unique and very good. I had no idea he wasn't going to be doing anything else with them.[/QUOTE]

He just seemed to lose interest in the band for some reason. It happened just before they went on their first European tour, so their new vocalist, Jason Peppiatt filled in. When they got back to Australia, Chalky joined them again for a little while, before they asked him to leave, and Peppiatt became the full time vocalist. He is almost as good.

Ad Absurdum
March 21st 2006


44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[quote=G_Mac07]He just seemed to lose interest in the band for some reason. It happened just before they went on their first European tour, so their new vocalist, Jason Peppiatt filled in. When they got back to Australia, Chalky joined them again for a little while, before they asked him to leave, and Peppiatt became the full time vocalist. He is almost as good.[/quote]That's good to hear, it definately would be difficult for a new vocalist joining the band, having to live up to the expectations made by Chalky.

Stoic
April 17th 2006


161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Such an incredibly catchy album with dozens of riffs and changes within a song. Hardly a moment goes by without being impressed m/

Tyler
Emeritus
May 11th 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=Ad Absurdum]That's good to hear, it definately would be difficult for a new vocalist joining the band, having to live up to the expectations made by Chalky.[/quote]

Luckily, while not quite as impressive as Chalky, the new vocalist definitely holds his own.

On the topic of Necrophagist;

While it is likely that a fan of one band will most likely like the other, they are not all too similar. Necrophagist, as stated above, are a more guitar oriented band (while they feature amazing bass and drums, guitar is the focus). Necrophagist focus more on solos while Psycroptic focuses on the total package.

Knuckleheadz
May 31st 2006


36 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome album. The dude's voice is absurd.

OnTheySlay
June 12th 2006


3 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The vocals totally groove.

ChainsawMyLife
August 22nd 2006


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The band is definitely up towards the top of the genre. Its nice when a band with obvious talent and technical ability doesn't feel the need to throw solos into every song. Showing reserve and working towards the greater good of the song are lost arts, which are being revived by this band.

On a fun note, theres an amazing mashup of Psycroptic's "Cruelty Incarnate" with Beyonce's "Naughty Girl" and some Behemoth at www.myspace.com/lordunfortunate. Fans of the band might enjoy it.This Message Edited On 08.22.06

bobohed
October 3rd 2006


20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album, one of the best I own and one of my favorite bands. Their talent and ability is rediculous, and their drummer is out of this world. Amazing band with 2 amazing albums (although I don't think Peppiat is very good at all, but who cares when the rest of tem play like they do). If they would only tour the U.S....

dUSK
October 4th 2006


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They have a couple of US dates coming up, I think. I'm actually seeing them again for the 4th time this year in under 24 hours.

Pebster49
August 9th 2007


2992 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, these guys are awesome, the vocals are insanely gutteral, and the guitars are awesome even without solos.

foreverendeared
November 2nd 2007


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album crushes

pabs
January 15th 2008


1 Comments


superb, the fact that their from Australia amused me.but then again the absence of guitar solos is a factor.

Tyler
Emeritus
January 16th 2008


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lots of things but he faults the lack of solos despite how technical it is so that guy is clearly a moron anyways.



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