Saturday, March 24, 2012

Psycroptic - The Inherited Repression

Psycroptic is a band that often garners more hate than they deserve. They release pretty typical technical death metal albums with a bit of every style tossed into the mix. I don't mind that, and even though the vocal direction on Observant was a bit questionable and left a bit to be desired, I still managed to enjoy the album. Sure it's not as good as The Scepter or The Isle, but it has its own charm.

And now we have Psycroptic's fifth studio full-length, The Inherited Repression.

Despite the rather boring album cover, The Inherited Repression brings better songwriting to the table when compared to its predecessor. The technicality of the guitarwork has been amped up significantly, and the guitar tone is pretty solid if a bit on the light end of things. It is distorted enough to retain some potency without muddying up the intricacies. Tracks like "The Throne Of Kings" feature some nice leads and drumwork that shows the Haley brothers do really know what they're doing when playing together. I definitely dig the semi-flamenco acoustic intro to "Deprivation" too.

However there's one thing I have to say about The Inherited Repression, and it's something I noticed on Observant too: there is a stark lack of bass on here. In fact most of the time I feel like Cameron Grant's basslines are completely insignificant, considering they're not audible 95% of the time. They pop up occasionally on "Become The Cult" and "Carriers Of The Plague," the latter of which makes for a nice intro and is the longest track on the album.

Another thing people often complain about when it comes to newer Psycroptic is the shouted "core" vocals. They don't particularly sound "core" to me, but whatever. They are a bit grating at times on both Observant and they make their (un?) welcome return on The Inherited Repression. They are still shouted, still a bit dominant in the mix, but this time around there is some vocal layering effect added to certain parts that gives the shouts a resonant feel. I don't know whether to like this or not. It's pretty unremarkable in general but it isn't outright offensive like some people claim.

Psycroptic aren't afraid to use arpeggiated chords like it's their business either. They utilize the fuck out of this technique on "Forward Into Submission" and the intro, as well as sporadically on other tracks. It works to their advantage and is typical for Joe Haley's style of songwriting. I definitely found myself enjoying a lot of the tracks on here although I personally didn't find the album all too memorable after the first few listens. In the end The Inherited Repression feels like Observant Pt. 2 as opposed to a standalone release, and ultimately that's its greatest downfall.

6.75 out of 10


1. Carriers of the Plague

2. Forward to Submission

3. Euphorinasia

4. The Throne of Kings

5. Unmasking the Traitors

6. Become the Cult

7. From Scribe to Ashes

8. Deprivation

9. The Sleepers Have Awoken

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