I remember first listening to Ob(Servant) when it came out. Before that, the only technical death bands I had heard were The Black Dahlia Murder and Decrepit Birth. So with Psycroptic being one of the first death metal bands I started listening to when I REALLY started getting into the genre in 2008, there’s sort of a sentimental connection I have with the band whenever I listen to them. Since I heard their 2008 album, I’ve collected all of their releases as far back as The Isle of Disenchantment and also have had the distinct pleasure of seeing them perform on stage in late 2010 when they opened for Nile. It seems that the reason they skipped a release year (most bands release an album every other year) was because they decided to take some extra time on the road. After that, I didn’t really hear much from them other than that they were writing new material but wouldn’t be posting a whole lot of updates (like some bands like to do). Then, in January of 2012, I see on Metal Injection that a NEW Psycroptic track had been posted on their Facebook (which I DON’T have an account on!). I heard it and was blown away.
Psycroptic has been considered one of the many “tech death powerhouses”. But I think that with the release of The Inherited Repression, Psycroptic has become one of the powerhouses that provide the power to the lesser powerhouses! They’ve been improving hugely with each release. And I’m glad that they did because they left a lot of room for improvement with Ob(Servant). Although they have made all of this improvement, there are some (basically unchangeable) things about Psycroptic that have anchored them down and have made them unable to reach the list of bands that I would call my absolute favorites. But first, let’s talk about the positives of The Inherited Repression.
The themes on this album obviously revolve around the possibility of a human-caused apocalypse. You can even see this just by looking at the album cover. In this album, it seems that the technicality in the guitars have been turned down quite a bit. Maybe there are a lot of technical riffs being played by the guitars, but they’re certainly being played much slower than on previous records. But Psycroptic knew better than to let all that technicality go to waste. They decide to recycle (get it?) it and put it into the drums (as if they weren’t already technical enough). I’m serious, the Psycroptic drummer is one of the craziest drummer’s I’ve ever heard, and somehow he got the ability to be even CRAZIER? But thankfully, unlike Ob(Servant), the drummer’s chaos isn’t constant; he decides to put in a lot of color and creativity into what he plays, which pays off perfectly.
The sound production on the drums doesn’t live up to my expectations. In fact, the drums on ALL the Psycroptic albums seem to be a little too high-pitched (which probably means that they want it that way for a signature sound, which is fine). This is definitely easy for me to tolerate, especially since the bass guitar got turned up a bunch, but the fact that the kick drums sound like clicking instead of BOOMING really bothers me. Because (especially in technical death) I like to be punched by the kick drums when I’m playing my metal loud, not tapped.
Ok, here’s the thing about Psycroptic that has ALWAYS bothered me: their vocalist. I don’t like how their vocalist sounds, at all. The higher mid-range vocals he did on the majority of Ob(Servant) were fine, but it’s the yelling thing he does that bothers the fuck out of me. I’m not exaggerating at all guys, the music really helps to distract me from the vocals, but it’s still not enough! The vocals are just too atrocious for me to stand. Of course, I can still thoroughly enjoy Psycroptic’s music any time, but the vocalist makes it really hard for me to do so in many cases, and unfortunately, he does more of that yelling thing than ever before. But then again, maybe it’ll grow on me and I’ll eventually warm up to it. But after four years of listening to these guys, that still hasn’t happened.
Psycroptic has proved to me that they have what it takes to be one of the top dogs. When I saw them live, their absolutely skull-crushing performance convinced me that these tech death Aussies MEAN BUSINESS! I would give this album 16/20.