Psychotron - Open The Gate 2004 Indy Release - reviewed by: EC
Track Listing1. Intro 2. Open The Gate 3. God Nihil 4. The Ticket (To Insanity) 5. Meine Holle 6. Private Hell 7. Beauty Of Sadness 8. Closing Doors 9. Lightbringer 10. Necromantia (Welcome To The Dead) 11. Instrumental
Who knew that Dave Mustaine's robotic thrash thriller "Psychotron" would be lifted from the classic "Countdown To Extinction" album to become a band moniker. But shall it be said, shall it be done. Germany's newest thrash machine are called Psychotron, and have self-released their newest record "Open The Gate", which marks the group's second effort, and a follow-up to the critically acclaimed debut, "Chaos Cosmic Time".
I have always wanted to get my head-hunting paws on this band, with my intent to track down the "new wave" of German thrash. While I was shelling out the cash for genre leaders like Delirious and Perzonal War (formerly known as Personal War), Psychotron continued to get rave reviews for their debut and live performances. Many compared the band's sound to Annihilator and Megadeth, but incorporating that teutonic power metal sound into the mix. So it was with open arms that I embraced this new treasure, a brand new record and my first sampling of this much talked about group.
Upon first listen to "Open The Gate", it was completely NOT what I was expecting. Psycotron border over the top, raging at full speed in much the same fashion as your local death act. Gone are my thoughts of smooth, calculated riffs with power and persuation. Gone are the ideas of power meets thrash with an emphasis on classic. Gone are the ideas that these guys could be the next big thing. "Open The Gate" certainly isn't a bad record. It has some positives, from the great packaging to the tight, precise sound one could expect from a thrash band. My main beef is with the songs. They really don't seem to get in any kind of rhythm, focusing much of their time switching gears from death thrash to technical power. They seem to do a one time main event with this record, combining Floridian death metal with Floridian power metal, an odd combo on paper and on disc.
Vocalist Matze M. mixes his throat rumblings up, going across the page from growls to clean, gothic vocals. Guitarists Huissel and Braun team up to assault in full thrash mode, but also do some strange patterns and timing changes that totally forget the idea of catchy tunes and the importance of hook. The production could have been better, but considering this is an indy release, the album doesn't sound bad. My favorite cuts of the record are the title track, with it's Warhead/Testament speed, and "Necromantia", which seems to be one of the few songs that care about catchiness.
Perhaps I am being too harsh on the group, and that could simply be the fact that I have misread the reviews of this band. I was expecting something totally different and got the exact opposite. I don't see any comparisons to Annihilator or Megadeth, instead the band for me sound like death metal, with those fast tempo changes and wall of sound riffs. Not really my thing, but could be revolutionary for a death head looking to go a little less serious.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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