Psycroptic - "The Inherited Repression" (CD)
"The Inherited Repression" track listing:
1. Carriers of the Plague
2. Forward to Submission
4. The Throne of Kings
5. Unmasking the Traitors
6. Become the Cult
7. From Scribe to Ashes
9. The Sleepers Have Awoken
Reviewed by Dasher10 on January 19, 2012
Four years is an eternity in the music world, and it's hard to believe that it's been that long since Psycroptic released “Ob(Servant).” Thankfully, Psycroptic has managed to avoid stagnating in the time away from the studio by putting out the band's best release to date. Let's face it, everybody who followed Psycroptic prior to them being signed felt that “Ob(Servant)” was a disappointment. But now in 2012, Psycroptic has managed to make an album that actually one-ups “Symbols of Failure” in every conceivable way, while avoiding all the mistakes “Ob(Servant)” made. “The Inherited Repression” may be debuting early in the year, but it may very well be the best metal album of 2012 by the year's end.
Moreover, Psycroptic is showing off a whole new side to the band that I didn’t know existed before. “The Inherited Repression” is an incredibly thrashy tech death album. Everyone knows that the Haleys can create an incredibly technical album full of riff salad and covered with awesome dressing, and while “Ob(Servant)” tried to balance shred with songwriting with mixed results, “The Inherited Repression” is an incredibly well written, even catchy album that really gives Psycroptic its own identity in the crowded tech death genre. They've already written “The Scepter of the Ancients” and “Symbols of Failure,” so there’s no need for them at this point to revisit the past when they're now breaking new ground in an absolutely exhilarating way. Yes, Psycroptic still show off their chops, but they're now bringing a lot more substance into their music that will hopefully gain them a whole new audience. The new Psycroptic may not be focused as heavily on shredding, but Joe Haley's riffwork is incredibly complex and intricate.
Jason Peppiatt's vocals are also improved. No longer alternating between high screams and low growls like on the last two Psycroptic albums, Peppiatt is now using a mid-range bellow more than anything else and expanding his range within that style, rather than alternating between styles as often as possible. The result is a much more focused experience that is nowhere near as disjointed as previous albums were. Also, Peppiatt no longer sounds as hoarse as he did on “Ob(Servant).” His voice sound so much healthier and more natural this time around, and it looks like he's finally found a style that's no longer emulating Matt Chalk, but is more his own. While some may claim that this is no longer Psycroptic, the band (and Peppiatt's vocal chords) are better off for it.
“The Inherited Repression” is in many ways a more diverse, thrashy and experimental - sometimes even groovy - version of Psycroptic that will get this band a lot more attention than their previous albums did, and actually gets better with repeated listens due to all the little details littering this album. While Psycroptic is now more Nile than Brain Drill, they're able to put in some seriously catchy parts to their songs, like the ending of “Become the Cult.” “The Inherited Repression” is an album that's certain to stick with me for a long time, and if the rest of 2012 is anywhere near as awesome as this, I'll be a very happy man until 2013.
Highs: Greatly improved songwriting, without losing the band's chops, Peppiatt's improved vocals, actually catchy and not just by tech death standards
Lows: Long-time fans may dislike the loss of Peppiatt's low growls
Bottom line: A change of direction for Psycroptic, albeit a very welcome one
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