Psycroptic
Symbols of Failure


4.5
superb

Review

by dUSK USER (19 Reviews)
March 27th, 2006 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


Symbols Of Failure is the third release from Australian Tech Death Metallers, Psycroptic. I must admit now, that before I first heard this album I was a little skeptical of how it would stand up the The Scepter Of The Ancients. One of the things that most impressed me about TSoTA was Matthew Chalks vocals. Unfortunately, he is no longer with Psycroptic, and I didn't know if the void he left could be filled.

My doubts were completely unfounded, and after 40 minutes they had been smashed into a million pieces. Jason Peppiatt does an excellent job as Matthew Chalks replacement. He manages to capture the essence of what Chalky has done, using a string of rapid fire burps, shrieks and screams, and the usual growls. He even makes use of inward growling on a couple of tracks, or so I'm told (for example, Alpha Breed). So, although Peppo hasn't quite managed to achieve the brilliance that was Matthew Chalk, I'd go far enough to say that he is still more impressive than most Death Metal vocalists.

So, if the vocals aren't as good as they are on previous efforts, why the hell am I enjoying this album so much" Well, it's quite simple really. The Haley brothers have lifted their game to fill the void created after Chalky's departure. Dave's drumming is again flawless. His double kick is thunderous throughout Symbols Of Failure, his snare is more prominent, sounding a little more hollow. Throw in his cymbal work, and the breath taking speeds he plays at you've got yourself one mighty impressive Drummer. This album is definately his best work, with Epoch Of The Gods and Our Evolutionary Architecture being great examples of that.

It should also be noted that Dave took over lyric writing duties for this album, although I have no idea what the subject matter is. He has however, stated in an interview they are all sci-fi based, and that they are quiet different from those seen on the first two albums. They also inspired the album art, for a further indication of what they may be about. However, like with all Death Metal, the lyrics shouldn't be the focus of the music.

Now here comes my biggest gripe with the album. Cameron Grant's bass is almost inaudible on the album, which is something that goes against what I would usually enjoy about Death Metal. It really should be louder, as it could be heard when I saw Psycroptic live, and it sounded great. I see no reason as to why it's so low in the mix, and it's one of those niggly things that annoys me about Symbols of Failure. Although, in saying that, the quality of the album hasn't really been hurt in any way. It's not really a downfall, but more of a way that it could have been improved.

The lack of the low end certainly hasn't detracted from Joe Haley's amazing riffage on the guitar though. A first time listener could even be forgiven for thinking there are two guitarists, but I can assure you, there isnít. There's no layering of tracks either, as Joe insists upon being able to reproduce the sounds he creates on an album live, without backing tracks to help. Rarely is the same riff used on the album for more than a couple of plays through, so nothing becomes stale. I think he uses the opening riff of An Experiment In Transience for 43 seconds, and that's the longest any 1 riff is heard on the album. It's all played in a manner that makes it hard to settle into any kind of groove as well, but when the opportunity arises, it's done brilliantly (Merchants Of Deceit). Some might also see the lack of solos as a bad thing, but I can honestly say that they are not needed. The music is already exciting enough.

Pros
- Excellent Musicianship
- Memorable songs
- No repetitiveness

Cons
- Bass is almost inaudible

Overall, Psycroptic have done an awesome job putting Symbols Of Failure together. The musicianship is impeccable, even if some of it is struggled to be heard. The frantic pace of the album can be a little overwhelming as well. It is more than likely that you will miss the transition from Alpha Breed to Missionaries Of A Future To Come if your not paying close attention to your first listen. In fact, Symbols Of Failure is an album that really does require a close amount of attention when listening, if you are to enjoy it to it's full capacity. It's easy to get lost in the chaos. Otherwise, Symbols Of Failure is one hell of an album that I can safely recommend to any fan of Technical Death Metal.



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user ratings (196)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Shadows (4)
...



Comments:Add a Comment 
dUSK
March 27th 2006


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Alpha Breed and Epoch Of The Gods can both be heard/downloaded for free here.

Toaster
March 27th 2006


343 Comments


Cool review. These guys have recently caught my attention, and I seriously love both this and Scepter. I'd say the latter beats out SoF just because of the Chalk factor. You might You might say he was chock-full of inventive vocal techniques.. :p

Apocalyptic Raids
March 27th 2006


810 Comments


Nice review. I still need to pick this up.

Shadows
Moderator
March 27th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Beaten again.



This albums slays though.

Confessed2005
March 28th 2006


4635 Comments


I have not heard anything but I think I will download the two songs from their MySpace and give them a shot.

Digging: Pelican - Nighttime Stories

dUSK
March 28th 2006


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They are well worth a listen. Let us know what you think of them.



[QUOTE=toaster135]You might You might say he was chock-full of inventive vocal techniques.. :p[/QUOTE]



:lol:



It's funnier because you messed up your own joke.

Apocalyptic Raids
April 2nd 2006


810 Comments


I picked this up yesterday. It's great, but a step down from Scepter.

dUSK
April 2nd 2006


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I thought that as well. Give it time, and it will grow on you. It's an album that's impossible to fully appreciate after only a couple of listens.

donteatpieontuesday
April 3rd 2006


74 Comments


australian metal rules

Confessed2005
May 14th 2006


4635 Comments


Woah the two tracks I downloaded are pretty awesome.

bobohed
September 28th 2006


20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album, one of my favorite bands with what in my opinion is one of the best albums of the year. However, I have to disagree with the comment on the vocals. I don't think they are very good at all, often it sounds like words just melt into each other and become an extended pitch-shifting growl. The instrumentals are astounding, though, and make up for the lackluster vocals several times over. As for the bass guitar comment, I have a hard time hearing the bass line in most of my cds, maybe its my radio or just me.

Vinnypants
January 15th 2007


20 Comments


This is great, but I wouldn't say there are many memorable songs on the album, the instrumentals, as bobohed said, are astonishing though

TheHamburgerman
September 30th 2007


1462 Comments


If they would cut away 5/6 of the lyrics, I would like this I think.

alaskaShane
October 3rd 2007


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is kicking my ass lately. On first listen the chops were impressive but the songs just kind of went by. Really grows on you after a few listens, though. The vocals do fall into a nu-metalish rhythm a few times...Jason Peppiatt please don't do that.

Pebster49
October 3rd 2007


3021 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is very good but The Scepter Of The Ancients is fucking awesome, the vocals are hella sickThis Message Edited On 10.03.07

donteatpieontuesday
October 4th 2007


74 Comments


I am getting drum lessons atm from dave haley and says work has started on their follow up

foreverendeared
November 2nd 2007


14677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Scepter Of The Ancients is much better but this is still excellent

Anthracks
November 10th 2008


6274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just once I wish Joe Haley would break into self-indulgent wank. He seems so restrained compared to other tech-death guitarists, which is funny considering how technical their music already is.

Digging: Kishi Bashi - Omoiyari

FR33L0RD
March 18th 2009


1474 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album to bump your energy in a training session at the gym.

combustion07
March 18th 2009


6501 Comments


Psycroptic is excellent to play anywhere.



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