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Psychotool - Rotten Paradise

Rotten Paradise
by Santiago Puyol at 18 June 2019, 11:50 AM

PSYCHOTOOL are a German Melodic Death Metal band formed in 2016. They debuted in 2017 with their self-produced EP, "Toolista", and are releasing to full length format with "Rotten Paradise". The band shows a strong influence of Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal, retaking some more classic elements of Heavy Metal as well.

The album begins with a series of apocalyptic sounds, evoking images of war with the sounds of machine guns, desperate voices, weapons and simply chaos. The music erupts abruptly and brutally, with dense riffing and noisy, complex drumming. "Bringer of Death" is a great opener which introduces the sound that the rest of the album will have. "Facebreaker" shows a more complex and slightly progressive side of the band with subtle changes in time signature as well as introducing a Middle Eastern sound into the guitar solo, vaguely evoking OPETH. "Catch the Fire" follows, with a great interplay of guitars and BLACK SABBATH-inspired riffing.

Jakob Meyer's drumming is a highlight throughout the album, and this is evident from the complexity of his arrangements in the title track, the creative use of ride cymbals in the intro to "Dirty Cash" or the way he builds tension with tom-toms in the slower paced "Degenerated Humanity". More progressive influences appear in "We Will Rise" with its swingy 6/8 time signature, or the tempo changes and crescendo-ing of closer "Crusader". "Crusader" also has the most memorable and catchy chorus of the record, being a truly fun, intense track to bring everything to an end.

"Bloodsuckers" and "See Them Die" contribute more violence and ferocity to the album, staying on the shorter end of the track length. In fact, PSYCHOTOOL does a great job of keeping track of song length, staying within a range of three to five minutes, which capitalizes on their strengths and helps them to avoid falling into a repetitive sound. The few solos that are present during the album do leave the feeling of wanting more, but we must applaud the decision of the band not to overload the album with more solos than necessary to compensate, for limitations in the songwriting department as sometimes happens.

The production, although somewhat noisy, perfectly matches the music and the mixing conveys the feeling of listening to a live band. "Rotten Paradise" is a dense album, so its length of just over 40 minutes is appropriate. Despite falling into the world of Melodic Death Metal, the band allows itself few moments of respite for listening. Some softer or slower moments might have helped, but in general, it's an enjoyable album.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Bringer of Death
2. Facebreaker
3. Catch the Fire
4. Rotten Paradise
5. Dirty Cash
6. See Them Die
7. Degenerated Humanity
8. Bloodsuckers
9. We Will Rise
10. Crusader
Lars Bunde - Vocals
Norbert Schneider - Guitar
Stefan Klein - Guitar
Rik van Eeckhoutte - Bass
Jakob Meyer - Drums
Record Label: Black Sunset


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Edited 07 December 2022

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