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.
Amazing musicianship, highly diverse
Catchy, memorable songs, particularly by the genres standards.
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...
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.
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.
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.
[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.
[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.
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
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....