Reviewed: December 1999
Released: 1999, Independent
Psychotron are yet another great underground band from Germany. It seems like there is an unending supply of great metal talent coming from this country. Psychotron claim to combine melodic power metal with aggressive thrash metal and that’s exactly what they deliver. In a couple of places in their music (not so much the vocals) I am reminded of Blind Guardian’s earlier, rawer material. The vocals don’t reach the heights of say Gamma Ray nor do they get vicious and black like Witchery. The CD layout is above average for an independent band. There’s a full color 16-page booklet with lyrics and several very cool live pictures. Unfortunately, the production of the CD was a bit below what other indie bands manage to deliver. The mix is good but it’s the overall sound…too compressed, or something, sounding a bit weird. That aside, these guys have some incredible potential!
The fist track on the CD after the haunting intro is “Psychotron”, and no, this is nothing like Megadeth’s song of the same name. The track begins with some pretty cool sweeps on the lead guitar. The drums on this track pound from beginning to end never letting up, great stuff. The momentum is somewhat diminished on the second track “This Illusion” which is a semi-ballad, somewhat sleepy but the lead guitar on this one is very impressive! Other highlights is “Alternative Suicide” (very thrashy), gotta love the screams at the end of this one. Neat drum patterns are found on “Eternal Stream.” There’s a cool doubled vocal part about 3/4 the way through this song. “Belief” and “The Crossroads” are two of the CD’s better tunes – in fact there’s no songs on here that are throwaways. The last song on the CD is very different. It’s called “Autumn Suite In Dark Red Minor.” Although this is an instrumental and an acoustic track, it really shows that someone has taken the time to study classical guitar. It’s very well articulated and melodic.
If I had to pick one ingredient from this band that impressed me the most, it would be the lead guitars. I am assuming that this is provided by both guitarists (Matze Braun and Andi Konstandaras). These guys really have their shit together. Don’t worry, this is not some egotistical shred-fest, this is just great lead playing backed by a band that is thrashy, melodic and 100% METAL!
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