"The Inherited Repression"

(Nuclear Blast)

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

RATING: 8/10

On fifth album "The Inherited Repression" Tasmanian devils (sorry, had to) PSYCROPTIC turn in an album that is accurately described as technical death metal. Yet technicality may not necessarily be the first word that enters the minds of the newcomer. Rather it is the rippled grooves and the fundamentals of memorable songwriting that make the impact, followed by (if not concurrent with) the recognition of the cool creativity and meticulous compositional values involved. In other words, "The Inherited Repression" is a tech-death metal album that may appeal to more than just fans of tech-death metal albums.

Now let's not get crazy here; "The Inherited Repression" is no melodic death metal affair. All those epileptic-fit-inducing flashes of fury, staccato attacks, and syncopated swirls that integrated into the sound of PSYCROPTIC have allowed the act to remain somewhat of a unique entity within the realms of tech-death. Perhaps even more than the intricate performances, at least for those with a more passive ear for complexity, is the size of the chunks chucked at the listener by guitarists Cameron Grant and Joe Haley, whilst drummer David Haley contributes to the destabilization with rapid fire disorientations all his own. Add Jason Peppiatt's rabid barking (the only part here that could use a pinch more diversity) and all those standing prior to the pushing of "play" are afterwards either white-knuckled and sitting or trembling in the fetal position. Dig this: "The Inherited Repression" ain't a relaxing album.

That is not to say that "The Inherited Repression" doesn't have its quieter moments or is possessed only of a bruise-blue shade either. In the way of examples, the acoustic parts and light atmospheric on "Euphorinasia" and "Deprivation" value additive, as opposed to tacked-on afterthoughts. "Deprivation" is also the prime case of the band's grasp of groove and its ability to offer some level of distinguished song craft. The tune is the most memorable of the bunch though not the only one notable for its balancing of the complex and the tuneful.

None of that means pop or peppiness, just a knack for getting the most out of the groove and ensuring that the technicality impresses within the confines of actual "songs". It's not the same as what a band like OBSCURA does, as PSYCROPTIC is a different animal altogether, but both groups do demonstrate that the skills involved move well beyond the challenge of playing a complex chord structure. "The Inherited Repression" takes some chewing, but ultimately digests without too much intestinal turbulence. Yeah, it's damn good.


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