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Psycroptic - As the Kingdom Drowns

As the Kingdom Drowns
by Martin Knap at 17 December 2018, 10:24 AM

PSYCROPTIC are Australia’s top Tech-Death export that would also be considered by many to be one of the most prominent Tech-Death bands – a Tech-Death Big 10 or something like that. “As the Kingdom Drowns” is one of this year’s hottest album in this genre – and some really hot Tech-Death have been coming out this year (OBSCURA, GOROD, BEYOND CREATION and a bunch of other notable releases). The last two PSYCROPTIC albums haven’t been received by all with equal enthusiasm, and some people have been suggesting that the band won’t outdo the greatness of their early albums, but this new release is one of the most inspired album that the band managed to put out in years.

PSYCROPTIC’s formula for success is basically this: although technically very flamboyant, at its core their music is very catchy and tight. Just listen to “We Were The Keepers” and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The sick techy arpeggiated riffs are balanced out with riffs that have groove and punch. And your jaw will drop when you hear the chorus – a great hook where the lead singer’s strained, a bit Hardcore sounding vocals are backed by a female choir. The voices complement each other in an interesting way and the drama of the chorus is dialed up to 11 as a result. We find female choruses in more songs here like in “As The Kingdom Drowns” – a song with a slower tempo and an ominous atmosphere, that is one of the standout songs on the album as well. But this doesn’t exhaust the list of songs with memorable hooks – there are no weak songs except perhaps “Momentum of the Void” that lacks a bit of the oomph of the other songs, but also doesn’t spoil the overall impression I haste to add. The album is short and sweet: the total playtime of the nine songs is 34 minutes. The only major complaint that I have is the compressed mastering. I understand that the high compression makes the music sound even more dense and oppressive than it is, but here it is brick-walled to the point of being uncomfortable to listen to.

That being said, this release will certainly satisfy Tech-Death fans in general and PSYCROPTIC fans in particular and I’m quite sure this will pop up on a few album of the year lists – and deservedly so.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 7


4 Star Rating

1. We Were the Keepers
2. Frozen Gaze
3. Directive
4. Deadlands
5. As the Kingdom Drowns
6. Beyond the Black
7. Upon These Stones
8. Momentum of the Void
9. You Belong Here, Below
David Haley – Drums
Joe Haley – Guitars
Jason Peppiatt – Vocals
Todd Stern – Bass
Record Label: Prosthetic Records


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Edited 26 March 2023

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