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Australian death metal icons Psycroptic have waited three years to unleash upon us their seventh studio album, As The Kingdom Drowns.
This latest offering is still packed wall to wall with the phenomenal guitar antics and thundering drums Psycroptic listeners are accustomed to, but moves into a generally darker sound, exploring some new emphases in their musical approach and the outcomes are a force to be reckoned with.
Opening with the blistering leads of guitarist Joe Haley, We Were The Keepers demonstrates from the start that Psycroptic are in full flight. This more melodic-influenced track builds into an epic chorus of Jason Peppiatt’s otherworldy dark gutterals interwoven with the delicate beauty of Amy Wiles’ clean vocals, underwritten by thundering drums. Jason Peppiatt lays down a huge vocal performance on As The Kingdom Drowns, such as his savage, menacing assault on the thundering track Directive.
On As The Kingdom Drowns, Psycroptic have retained the essence of their sound while bringing some new elements to the table, with formidable results.
The haunting grandeur of Upon These Stones reveals further evolution of Psycroptic’s sound, with eerie atmospheric guitars over militantly galloping drums, exploding into a mid-pace heavy grind that seeths with quite a blackened edge. Although a significant departure from Psyrcoptic’s familiar sound, it is undoubtedly a strong, inventive new approach that makes for one of the most profound tracks on As The Kingdom Drowns. Perhaps the most pronounced example of how these ‘new’ approaches come together in excellent song construction is the title track, As The Kingdowm Drowns: an epic of several movements, from desolate to forbodingly heavy, stately progressions and flyingly tricky leads and chilling female clean vocals render this track a piece of art to behold.
For all talk of the new, however, there’s plenty of the familiar aspects of Pscyroptic on As The Kingdom Drowns. Joe Haley’s stellar guitar work is all over it and in typical style, it shreds tough. Energetic, thrashy heavy riffs and insane leads with edgy harmonics are abundant in Deadlands. Joe and David Haley weave their magic on Momentum Of The Void as the drums and guitars interact in a showcase of technical playfulness that underscores why Psycroptic are one of the most addictive bands to listen to. It is this synergy between David and Joe Haley that forms a central pillar of Psycroptic’s uncanny flow. This is embedded throughout As The Kingdom Drowns, but on tracks such as Frozen Gaze, this sense of groove amidst mindblowing guitarwork and the sheer power, precision and complexity of the percussion really shines.
On As The Kingdom Drowns, Psycroptic have retained the essence of their sound while bringing some new elements to the table, with formidable results. Darkness has spawned depth, melody has granted majesty; Psycroptic explored the epic dimensions of their sound and it suits them.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Frozen Gaze, Upon These Stones, As The Kingdom Drowns,
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Immolation, Beyond Creation, King.