Released: 2008, Nuclear Blast Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Psycroptic comes from West Hobart, Tasmania, and sarcastically or not, some have said their brand of technical death metal to be a ´riff salad´ (eh?), which basically contains some ingredients that one may like a lot, but on the other hand, loathe to the guts also.
In all honesty, I have pretty mixed feelings toward this release. I have always loved technical death metal to a certain extent, but I think the technical wankery on Psycroptic´s new release simply goes too far into complexity and absurdity for its own good. They seem to have lots of things going on in their songs all at the same time, but many of their parts just don´t get melted together well enough at all in my opinion. The final result sounds like a big mish-mash of several notes badly in disorder in the songs on their new album. Of course the album has its good and somewhat appealing moments (songs like "Slaves of Nil" and "Removing the Common Bond" are pretty insane with all the complexity and catchiness in both of them), but unfortunately these few good moments can be counted using the fingers from your left hand only - and that´s not enough, I´m afraid.
Granted, playing this hyper-technical death metal ain´t something everyone is capable of churning out due to a lack of technical skills, or just a lack of inborn talent. Psycroptic have always been very good at delivering their goods greatly to the point of musical orgasm of very technical wankery - especially on their 1st two albums that still get some occasional spins in my CD-player. But unfortunately on their latest offering OB(SERVANT), they hardly get through halfway of foreplay before I lose my bone-hard excitement toward it. Such a shame because I know for sure they can do better - and MUCH better actually, to be exact.
Also, comparing the band´s current vocalist, Jason´s vocal delivery to their previous growler Matthew, it makes me wish Matthew could have stayed in the band. Jason´s voice is less powerful, less individual and less hateful compared to Matt´s, and he obviously suffers from not being able to offer a well-fitting vocal part to Psycroptic´s songs that obviously scream for more brutality and a rawer and more bestial vocal approach.
Now when I´ve got into that right mood of ranting and groaning even more, the production could probably have been a bit crispier and heavier, too. The outcome sounds a bit too sterile to my ears, but maybe it´s not even their fault. Blame it on the former Machine Head and Soulfly guitarist Logan Mader (Divine Heresy, Gojira) if you need some scapegoat to blame.
Psycroptic can sound very damn good and entertaining at their best, but unfortunately their latest outing is so far their weakest moment record-wise during their 8 year history. I personally expected much more from it, but got much less. I can however, somehow deal with it though. Can you?