Psycroptic – The Inherited Repression

Psycroptic are a technical death metal band from Australia. “The Inherited Repression” is their much anticipated fifth album (second for Nuclear Blast). I’ve been waiting to hear this one for a little while due to what I’ve been reading and the fan buzz on the internet. I’ve got their last album, “Ob(Servant)” and thought it was certainly a good album, but I’ve been a bit surprised by how rabidly people seemed to want to hear this new album. Now that I’ve got it in my possession and have listened to it a few times I understand what all the fuss is about.

I think one of the biggest assets this album has is the incredible production. The music is fast and intense and technical which is worthy of merit on its own, but there are plenty of albums like that out there that, based on weak production, only climb to the middle of the heap. But combined with a stellar production like “The Inherited Repression” an album can achieve greatness. I could weep tears of joy over the guitar tone on this album; it’s crisp and tight and you can hear all the notes while at the same time it has a nice heavy punch. The drums sound much fuller this time around; not so tight and clipped as last time.

Other than the production the other noticeable difference, and not necessarily an improvement, is in Jason Peppiatt’s vocal style. If this was the first Psycroptic album I’d heard I probably wouldn’t think anything of it; the vocals are massive and awesome and sit wonderfully in the mix. However, for those who have heard earlier material it is almost immediately apparent that something has changed. Whereas previously the vocals had a range from very deep all the way up to a higher pitched scream, this time around they mostly stick right in the middle range the entire time. Having that extra dynamic range throughout an album helps keep things interesting, so I kind of miss that, but at the same time I can’t really complain about how this album sounds. The vocals on this album fit the music just fine, but I just kind of wonder what brought on the change.

Looking ahead to the end of year best-of lists for 2012 I have no doubt that this album will be making many appearances. I know it will definitely be getting a lot of play time on my phone. Technical death metal fans rejoice and pick up the bone crushing opus “The Inherited Repression.”