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Psycroptic: The inherited repression

31/05/12  ||  The Duff

Psycroptic hit us with their first new album in four years, the follow-up to 2008’s “(Ob)servant”. Described by main songwriter Joe Haley (guitars) as the band’s finest album to date, one might not be surprised to find that “The Inherited Repression” continues the success of its immediate predecessor by sounding close to a carbon copy.

That said, my opinion could very well change once the hooks have sunk in. After all, “(Ob)servant” sure did grow into a more focused, more aired out piece than the tech-death overflow that was “Symbols of Failure”. But where every successive Psycroptic album of the early days displayed drastic evolutionary shifts, as the band progresses down the years we find it nestling down into a very comfortable sound of its own even if it doesn’t touch on their pioneering first three records.

On “The Inherited Repression” we find the groove, the chug, tremolo and the insane runs that spring off of and into catchy, buoyant rhythms that snap you out of the reverie and return you to the headbanging 4/4 tech the band is notorious for. Once more Psycroptic are allowing their music to breathe as with “(Ob)servant”. In a recent interview, drummer David Haley stated that there were enough riffs on every track off “Symbols of Failure” to complete an entire album by the band’s present-day standards, so here we find a far more laid-back structuring, a less tense ride where catchiness and simpler arrangements allow the content to settle on an easier scale.

Speaking of David Haley, to suit the album’s more docile approach his style has been reduced to a less intense, by his standards almost minimal, degree. It suits him just fine, it’s not as if the skill isn’t apparent for all to see, but at the same time there’s a feeling he’s playing with the thought of having already paid his dues, settling down and taking it easy. While a comfortably rewarding performance, it leaves it likely that he’ll be overtaken by other stalwarts of the sub-genre bull-headedly steaming through the instrument’s possibilities. Jamie St. Merat /The World, for example.

Despite occasional moments of atmosphere that were in the past more often than not produced electronically, this time around featured as banjo playing (I think) and bass solo spots, I doubt “The Inherited Repression” will turn heads for its variation from the band’s 2008 effort. Indeed, a lot of the ideas are similar if not identical on both, so whether this can be confirmed as Psycroptic’s finest, I wouldn’t say even when projecting my views two months onward.

It’s still a great record, but where I hear once fellow label-mates Spawn of Possession running similarly repetitive album-to-album material, I find the music to be a lot fresher, so this record shan’t make an honest dent in the tech death arena come the end of 2012.

8

  • Information
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Website: www.psycroptic.com
  • Band
  • Cameron Grant: bass
  • David Haley: drums
  • Joe Haley: guitars
  • Jason Peppiatt: vocals
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Carriers of the Plague
  • 02. Forward to Submission
  • 03. Euphorinasia
  • 04. The Throne of Kings
  • 05. Unmasking the Traitors
  • 06. Become the Cult
  • 07. From Scribe to Ashes
  • 08. Deprivation
  • 09. The Sleepers Have Awoken