Crannk Reviews-Psycroptic “Divine Council”

Divine Council is the 8th album by Tasmanian Tech Death legends Psycroptic. They slowly became one of the more storied Australian bands over the course of their existence and hold the crown as the critical darlings of the Australian Metal scene.

The band is powered by the brother duo of Dave and Joe Haley on the drums and guitar and their air-tight, technical songs writing has become the stuff of legend. Over their career, they’ve released some of the craziest Tech Death I’ve ever heard, but also a tonne of just straight-up good metal tunes.

The variance in their collected material has won and lost them fans over the years, (wanna which album is a long-time Psycroptic fan’s favourite? Don’t worry, they’ll fuckin tell you over and over) but one thing that’s always remained is the ability to use blindingly fast drums and insanely long, technical guitar riffs to create a driving rhythm that pummels the songs along.

5th album The Inherited Repression saw them using acoustic guitars and slower BPM’s to mix up the song structures. A lot of Tech bands will cram in as many time key changes, drum fills, and just notes on a guitar just for purpose of having them be there, Psycroptic uses their technical prowess to lock in and create a barreling rhythm that moves you with it, rather than just cramming in notes and riffs just for the sake of cramming them in.

Which brings us to the newest album. Over the course of this album, it seems they’ve found a magical way to ascribe to the “less is more” style of songwriting while still managing to cram in so much more than other bands can manage. Joe still plays riffs that contain more notes than most guitar solos, but they lock in tight with the drums and are the main of the songs, rather than just an excel use in audio pyrotechnics. Album opener Rend Asunder and 5th track, Ashes Of Our Empire, a straight-up BANGER, have monstrous long riffs that form the basis for the song but would put any bedroom shredder to shame.

Track 4, Enslavement is just about the catchiest, poppiest thing I’ve ever heard with the Psycroptic name on it, a super catchy Lil riff to open with chuggs, and some epic riffs which will have the “Symbols Of Failure is the only true Psycroptic” crowd frothing with hate but is a great track and show how far these guys have come as a band and as songwriters.

Bands that span over 20 years all have a high point, a low point, and then hit a groove where they’re happy with their sound and are content to churn out some albums and see out their career, and Psycroptic are reveling right now.

They aren’t pushing the boundaries of what Tech Death can be anymore, but that’s because they’re comfortable with where and who they are. If you don’t know who Dave Haley is, your Metal Credibility is in doubt, and you can’t hear Joe Haley play his guitar for a minute without realising this guy is a wizard, but they don’t need to flex those skills anymore now they’re Made Men and what you get is a great Death Metal album with some bonkers riffs, crazy fast drumming and catchy chorus. Don’t expect Symbols Of Failure 2 and you’ll get a great album with a bunch of great songs. 8/10


Psycroptic Links…


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