Psycroptic – Ob(servant)


Artist

Album

Ob(servant)

Label

Stomp

Year

2008

Genre

For Fans Of

Decapitated, Necrophagist, Cryptopsy

Summary

Fifty minutes of brutal, riff-laden metal from one of Australia’s best death metal acts.

Rating

91 / 100

Throughout Australian history Tasmania has endured some hardships and which would put the rest of us Aussies to shame. Following its discovery by Dutch citizens, Van Diemen’s Land as it was then known, would become a British colony for penal slaves in 1803. Fast forward a couple of centuries though and the people of Tasmania aren’t doing it quite as hard as their forefathers as they sit there smugly, one arm wrapped around a Cascade, the other around their girlfriend/sister… I kid!       

So before you ask, let me explain what they’re not doing: -They’re NOT hacking away at wild bush all hours of the day in order to pave paths inland. -They’re NOT being deported via sea, enduring scurvy and gangrene for stealing a loaf of bread and -They sure as hell aren’t being reduced to cannibalism like the convict Alex Pearce who ate 7 of his buddies on an escape trail out of a Tasmanian penal settlement. So what the fuck’s going on? 

Pyscroptic is what’s going on in Tassie and I would like to proclaim to anyone reading this review that they are doing an extremely good job of assaulting my ears. So much so, that I have had their latest disc Ob(servant) playing in my car non-stop for the past week and temporarily put any other reviews on hold.       
The music for those who aren’t familiar with Psycroptic is straight out tech death metal with hints of grind thrown in for a good mix. With regards to production, it is by my ears their best engineered cd to date, as is evident by the clarity of each instrument. If anything the guitar and drums may be slightly prominent in the mix, though with people like Joe and Dave Haley on their respective instruments I’d say it’d be understandable why this was the case – not to detract from the other members. 

By this stage in their careers it seems as if Psycroptic have superceded their freakish abilities on their instruments and have upped their playing tempo to around 250-260bpm which is by no means an easy feat! Ob(servant) the title track gets things going with blast beats and a number of seriously entertaining riffs. Jason Peppiatt’s vocals still aren’t as crisp as original singer Matthew Chalk’s though to me he was a one-of-a-kind singer who’d never be easily replaced.       

Following tracks such as Slaves Of Nil (with it’s slight Decapitated feel) and Horde in Devolution show how effectively the band have worked at creating a more attainable sound – which will go down well with live punters, though I feel some old school fans may have gripes with this decision voiced by the band – check out their youtube interview. The Shifting Equilibrium showcases one of the album’s most solid riffs at about exactly halfway through the track and is probably only matched by the supreme quality of album closer Initiate which contains all quality aspects of an album closer: an epic buildup, solid performances and a feeling of nostalgia when the disc has finished spinning!

Conclusion

Psycroptic’s best effort to date which has placed a much greater emphasis on song flow, groove and structure. One of the best death metal releases of the year.

Tracklisting

  1. Ob(servant) – 3:23
  2. A Calculated Effort – 6:30
  3. Slaves Of Nil – 6:01
  4. The Shifting Equilibrium – 4:27
  5. Removing  The Common Bond – 6:00
  6. Horde In Devolution – 5:21
  7. Blood Stained Lineage – 4:54
  8. Immortal Army Of One – 5:11
  9. Initiate – 8:00

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