Saturday, July 03, 2010

Psycroptic: (Ob)Servant (2008) Review

Metallattorney suggested I check out Psycroptic, an Australian technical death metal band, so I got their 2008 release (Ob)Servant.

They play in the vein of Necrophagist or The Faceless instead of Suffocation or Nile. Sometimes tech-death in this style gets an almost surgical, institutional kind of feeling to it, but they've managed to fuse instrumental perfection with raw intensity in the way I was looking for when I reviewed Skeletonwitch last month. The vocals are mostly hardcore yells, peppered with a few death growls, emphasizing the unrefined nature of the music.

Most of the time, they play at 90 miles an hour, and this is where they shine the most, but they do manage to play some great mid-tempo riffs now and then (see "Horde in Devolution") They even incorporate the occasional breakdown ("Removing the Common Bond"). The songs are memorable, and even though this is highly technical stuff it never feels like they're doing anything for the purpose of showing off--it all fits the songs.

Highlights include the title track and "Slaves of Nil". On the negative side, I'm not too sure about "A Calculated Effort", but the good far outweighs the bad.

The Verdict: This is highly competent technical death metal which sacrifices neither technicality nor songwriting. It's exactly what tech-death should be, and I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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