Psycroptic
Psycroptic


2.5
average

Review

by Jacquibim STAFF
March 12th, 2015 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Psycroptic on auto-pilot

As cliché as describing an album via the artwork may be, the cheap illustration that adorns the cover of Psycroptic’s latest album, simply entitled Psycroptic, is a bang on representation of its content. As consumers, we are implored not to judge a book – or, in this case, an album – by its cover, but sometimes our prejudices can save us quite a bit of tedium. Album art should serve a reflection of a band’s overall concept, as well as their devotion to their craft. Of course, an idea like this should always be taken with a grain of salt, as it is by no means a reliable assessment of a band’s ability. However, seeing as Psycroptic are comfortable with dumbing-down the visual portrayal of their work, it seems appropriate that their newest album is correspondingly tame.

This isn’t to say that the band’s technical proficiency has diminished, nor is it to say that – even in light of some stylistic changes – Psycroptic no longer sound like Psycroptic. They are still masters of their instruments, utilising an array of complicated rhythms while Joe Haley’s galloping riff sections and distinctive leads steal the show once again. In fact, you could argue that the album is worth listening to just for his idiosyncratic guitar work, assuming one hasn’t heard any of Psycroptic’s previous albums, that is. The problem is that while the band are technically on point as usual, there is an everlasting feeling that the band have become self-assured in certain areas while trying a little too hard in others. Jason Peppiatt’s vocals are the most noticeable case of the latter, as he escalates the tough-guy delivery that he adopted on the band’s previous album The Inherited Repression. As opposed to being intimidating, Peppiatt’s performance is little more than distracting, to the point where it can become difficult to enjoy the instrumentation given how high he’s been mixed.

The album can be rewarding should you manage to filter out his voice, but only moderately so, due to a combination of increasingly linear song-writing and flat, sterilised production values. The ultra-compressed guitar tone saps whatever energy Haley attempts to put into the riffs, and while the drums feel a cut above a machine as far as dynamics go, they still take a back seat to the guitars in terms of performance and the vocals in terms of presence. At this point, it feels as though Psycroptic are trying to break ground with a more mainstream audience, but they’re setting themselves up to fail by merely diluting their death metal attributes instead of abandoning them entirely. Rather than an unremitting succession of high-octane riffs a la Ob(Servant), the songs predictably alternate between similarly complex riff barrages, melodic ceases and even cheesy, anthemic, vocally-driven choruses, with the most brazen examples appearing in “Echoes to Come”, “Soul Once Lost” and “Setting The Skies Ablaze”. The end result is something too pacified to sate the palettes of long-time fans, but still too harsh to sit comfortably with the masses.

In short, Psycroptic’s eponymous offering feels like the band is on auto-pilot, capable of something far superior but unwilling to do so. While there is nothing particularly offensive about it beyond the vocal performance, it simply underwhelms with regularity, teasing you with the odd moment of brilliance but amounting to very little.



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user ratings (112)
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
ComeToDaddy
March 12th 2015


1806 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First paragraph was right on point, great review man.



This was my first Psycroptic outside of Scepter, and I can't think of a better word to describe it than average. It wasn't bad, but there was just nothing to bring me back for more listens.

tempest--
March 12th 2015


20633 Comments


"they still take a back seat to the guitars" in the third para

bloc
March 12th 2015


58397 Comments


The riffs are usually pretty cool but I just can't get through a single song or album from these guys

But props because now Joe is playing an Ormsby guitar : )

Digging: Black Devil Disco Club - Disco Club

danielito19
March 12th 2015


12203 Comments


housing kerfuffles blow, good luck broe

controlled
March 13th 2015


660 Comments


whyyy do you listen to these fucking god awful bands dude.

controlled
March 13th 2015


660 Comments


no

Anthracks
March 13th 2015


6326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

What I've been wanting to hear from this band since the moment I heard them...some Joe Haley guitar solos. I know that his riffs are essentially solos in themselves, but that is something that would really light my fire.



The last couple Croptic albums have been pretty boring musically, but they were saved by Joe Haley's amazing riffs. But even he seems a bit bored on this one. There's a handful of great songs on here (Tracks 2-5 and maybe 7) but there's also some of the most boring songs Psycroptic have ever written. Echoes to Come is my least favorite Croptic song, and I hate that it's the opener.

Digging: Nile - Vile Nilotic Rites

psyclonus
March 13th 2015


153 Comments


spot-on review. they've almost become a parody of themselves. still some fantastic riffs but the crazy evil spastic frenzied aggression of their early work has gone. some of the riffs are simply lame and the vocals make me cringe, especially on Setting the skies ablaze. just awful. the first song is great though, the rest sounds like they're just going through the motions. i'd like some more brutality of old.

but having said all that, it's still somewhat enjoyable to listen to just for Joe's unique riffing style.

tempest--
March 13th 2015


20633 Comments


woah Anthracks is still alive and kicking

cryptside
March 13th 2015


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review, man. Hit some writer's block or else we'd have both reviewed this one. You nailed this one on the head though; agreed on all accounts except I liked it just a bit more.

Anthracks
April 3rd 2015


6326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Been listening to this CD in my car a lot and it has grown on me.

JasonCarne
April 15th 2015


1070 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They've written this material so many times now, yawn.

erizen826
July 3rd 2015


857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album fucking rules.

melodicdrama
August 6th 2015


62 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good review

i don't like vocals on this record

Anthracks
September 30th 2015


6326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

One of my favorite metal bands, tbh. Or just Joe Haley is one of my favorite guitarists anyway.



Inherited Repression > Isle of Disenchantment > Scepter of the Ancients > Symbols of Failure > Observant > Psycroptic

mdross95
December 30th 2015


29 Comments


^lol

Anthracks
December 31st 2015


6326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

something funny

RedRightHand
June 25th 2016


108 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I do not get the hate for this one, it's absolutely fantastic.

Evok
January 26th 2017


7747 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not overly impressed... Though this isnt bad by any means... Definitely feels like they're going through the motions here good review

Brewtality91
February 8th 2017


666 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I hate self-titled albums. Just feels lazy and incredibly unexciting. That fits this album though.





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