Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: Psycroptic, Releases of the Week, Unearth
Psycroptic – (Ob)servant
Psycroptic are a technical death metal from Australia and they are quickly gaining global recognition. While it is almost impossible not to realize their music is extremely difficult to play, Psycroptic do not mindlessly tech out on their instruments; instead, they rely on smart riffing and groove to push their songs forward. This move alone allows for Psycroptic to stick out in a scene where virtuosity often kills the flow of a song.
Many don’t realize that these Tasmanian devils have been around since 1999 and have put out three other full-lengths; however, (Ob)servant is their first on Nuclear Blast Records and their best produced by far. Dave Haley’s drum work is crystal clear and mind-blowing as usual. He plays fragmented blast beats and intricate polyrhythms with ease. Seriously, this guy is a beast. Vocalist Jason Peppiatt has also majorly improved, incorporating a range of menacing gutturals, shouts and everything in between. Oh, and did I mention that the guitar-work is absolutely ridiculous? Take a listen to “The Shifting Equilibrium” and hear for yourself.
(Ob)servant is, hands down, one of the best death metal releases of 2008 and offers a nice alternative to uninspired fret-board doodling. Psycroptic are well aware of the power of strong song arrangement and chord progression, using these elements to set them apart from the competition. If Psycroptic were a religion, I’d suggest that you become very (Ob)servant… or ignore my pathetic attempt at a joke and just pick up this album now!
Unearth – The March
Unearth are phenomenal musicians, there is no doubting that. Time and time again, they have proven that the fusion of metal and hardcore is still relevant if executed correctly. 2006’s III: In The Eyes Of Fire showcased a thrash-oriented approach as guitarists Ken Susi and Buz McGrath focused on soloing and speedy riffing. This natural progression highlighted the chemistry between these skilled musicians and confirmed the fact that Unearth can play very, very fast.
Produced by Killswitch Engage guitarist, Adam Dutkiewicz, The March is an album that will please metal and hardcore fans alike; technical guitar leads, heart pounding double-bass drumming and unrelenting breakdowns are present throughout. The opening track entitled “My Will Be Done” is a prime example of how tightly Unearth have honed their craft.
Despite the fact that Unearth constantly inject life into what’s left of the metalcore craze, they often fall victim to repetition and fail to change up their song structure. That’s precisely why The March doesn’t seem to have much lasting power. Unearth’s fourth studio LP is sure to excite mosh pit fanatics and air guitarists everywhere, but it’s a shame that a band this talented is not exploring any new ground.