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Psycroptic - Divine Council review

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Band: Psycroptic
Album: Divine Council
Release date: August 2022

01. Rend Asunder
02. A Fool's Errand
03. This Shadowed World
04. Enslavement
05. Ashes Of Our Empire
06. The Prophet's Council
07. Awakening
08. A Fragile Existence
09. Exitus

I don’t like tech-death. The reason is that I don’t like the musicians’ masturbatory playing, and I don’t like music that suffers from ADHD. But I do like Psycroptic and their latest album, Divine Council.

For those of you who don’t know the band, Psycroptic were formed by two brothers, drummer Dave Haley and guitarist Joe Haley back in 1999, and they have now released eight studio albums, including this one. Each release has a signature sound, in the sense that you immediately recognize it is Psycroptic, but there is always some kind of evolution and the band does not like putting out the same album twice. Since (Ob)Servant ( ), they have been sounding more accessible, especially to the people who find tech-death mostly unlistenable, like myself.

Divine Council begins where As The Kingdom Drowns ended, and it feels like a natural continuation. It has great lead guitar harmonies, headbangable riffs, neck-crushing breakdowns, and big hooks. Psycroptic are not afraid to let a riff or a melodic passage play for a little while, and they are not afraid to replay it further down the line of a song. As a result, the music is flowing, instead of being interrupted every five seconds because another idea kicked in. The guitar work is phenomenal as always, the drumming is crazy good, and there is a variety of extreme vocals, since Jason Peppiatt is joined by Jason Keyser of Origin fame, not on a single song as a guest, but on the entire album. Joe Haley’s wife, Amy Wiles, who first appeared in the previous album, also sings on some tracks, making Divine Council an extensively layered album vocally. Most of you probably don’t care, but even Jason Peppiatt’s lyrics about humanity’s bleak present and future are worth checking out.

Musically, it is generally very satisfying to hear how Psycroptic incorporate the -core and the thrash elements in their songwriting, which is something that results in very catchy songs. The tracks’ duration ranges from three to five minutes, which leaves virtually nothing that needs to be trimmed. The album is relentlessly aggressive and most tracks are absolutely demolishing. The opener “Rend Asunder” takes no prisoners, “Ashes Of Our Empire” is bloody brilliant, as is most of the album, honestly, and the closer, “Exitus”, is the more orchestral and anthemic highlight. Still, I’d like to point out two songs in particular that stray away from the general exercise in pummelling; “Enslavement” and “Awakening”. The former is one of the best Psycroptic songs ever with a superb progression, while the latter is a game changer for the album, introducing a slower pace and a more ominous atmosphere.

Production-wise, Divine Council is as compressed as you expect an album of this style to be. I would prefer some more presence of the bass, and I am under the impression that the synths and the female vocals could have been mixed better.

My head hurts after listening to Divine Council. Typically, this happens with tech-death albums because of the musicians’ obsession to flex their dexterity, which I personally find boring and tiring, and this is why I usually stop playing them after the first 30 seconds. This time, though, my head hurts due to my non-stop headbanging to this beast of an album.

“Burying our heads won’t solve a thing
Future generations will look down on us in shame”

Written on 25.08.2022 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments: 5   Visited by: 134 users
25.08.2022 - 19:49
Rating: 8
Great review. This is a band that I've overlooked even though I actually like tech death very much. Will be checking them out now for sure. Better late than never Now we just need musclassia to write a review about an osdm album that he actually likes
"You have the right to believe in what you want. I have the right to believe it's ridiculous." - Ricky Gervais
25.08.2022 - 21:59
Rating: 8
A Nice Guy
Technical death metal has always been a hit and miss genre for me, usually for the same reasons you stated, but this album has hit all the buttons for me. It's actually very enjoyable to listen to. The riffs are highly melodic and not just over the top technical showboating.
26.08.2022 - 17:35
Rating: 7

Written by Nejde on 25.08.2022 at 19:49

Now we just need musclassia to write a review about an osdm album that he actually likes

to be fair, I find revivalist thrash arguably even more boring, and I did review Evile's Hell Unleashed last year, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility, albeit unlikely

On-topic: Good to see you give (Ob)Servant a shoutout nik, A Calculated Effort is the song that made me pay a bit of attention to Psycroptic. I also agree that Enslavement is the standout track on this album
26.08.2022 - 17:39
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Cool intro, I feel same about that genre.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

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29.08.2022 - 00:48
Rating: 8
Somehow I'd never listened to Psycroptic even though I do enjoy a lot of tech death. From the first two seconds I could see what appealed to you - it really doesn't have the flatness of so much other tech death. It's far more dynamic and considered, to the point that you can actually appreciate the technicality for what it adds to the music as opposed to just being impressed by how much they can bludgeon you with it. It goes by quickly, too, which is often a plus for this genre.
"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

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