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Psycroptic - Symbols of Failure - 2006 - Neurotic Records

Track Listing
1. Alpha Breed
2. Missionaries of a Future to Come
3. Merchants of Deceit
4. Minions: The Fallen
5. Repairing the Dimensional Cluster
6. Epoch of the Gods
7. Our Evolutionary Architecture
8. An Experiment in Transience
9. Cleansing a Misguided Path
The highly celebrated Technical Death prodigies of Tasmania return with a new album, ‘Symbols of Failure’, and a new vocalist, Jason Peppiatt. Internal difficulties led to the departure of longtime front man Matthew Chalk, whose multi-faceted pipes were the band’s foremost trademark, though his extremes were known to estrange some potential fans. Regardless, the expectations for new vocalist Jason Peppiatt were very high, and many were eager to see whether Psycroptic could turn in another work as distinctly sharp and staccato infused as their previous two, which are held in high cult esteem.

Psycroptic’s continued technical dominance is immediately obvious, from the opening of Alpha Breed straight through to the end, there is hardly a rest (either figuratively or instrumentally) to be found. The well-produced acrobatics of guitarist Joe Haley climb up and down the fret-board, laying out a continuous stream of riffs that shift and grow relentlessly; complimenting drummer David Haley (also a member of The Amenta) freely utilizes his kit’s more unique aspects to further complicate Psycroptic’s sound.

And, as for Jason Peppiatt, while he is certainly not a clone of Matthew Chalk, it is unlikely that any Chalk fans will have much to complain about. His voice is amorphous and strong in nearly every respect, from grunts and growls to screams and shrieks. Perhaps not quite as extreme as Chalk, but his ‘restraint’, if it can be called as such, makes focusing on the actual musicianship far easier.

As masterfully technical as ‘Symbols of Failure’ is, it eventually falls prey to brutal/technical death metal’s oldest foe: monotony. Were any single track to be isolated and played for a fan of the genre, it would no doubt impress and entice. Each member’s skill is undeniable, and there are indeed some quality cuts on this album, the first two tracks in particular. However, this is not a genre that lends itself to individuality, and once all strung together each track sounds rather like the next. Psycroptic is certainly original and identifiable within the technical death metal field, but within ‘Symbols of Failure’ discerning one song from another becomes rather difficult. Occasional efforts to ‘mix things up’ are made, such as the main harmonic riff of ‘Merchants of Deceit’ (more than faintly reminiscent of Necrophagist), but these small changes are not enough to make the songs individual entities.

Psycroptic, on ‘Symbols of Failure’, lay down the technical gauntlet in a very impressive manner, but their obvious instrumental mastery is not enough to carry an album, or a band, for very long. This is a strong effort, but some of their old originality and variety would be a welcome re-addition to their next album



--Etiam 10.10.06

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: PSYCROPTIC
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Ob(servant)Psycroptic
2008
Etiam2/9/2009
Ob(servant)Psycroptic
2008
Raising Iron11/14/2008
Symbols of FailurePsycroptic
2006
Etiam10/13/2006


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: PSYCROPTIC

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ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: PSYCROPTIC
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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