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Get rid of the vocalist already. - 57%

Visionary, September 20th, 2009

Technical Death Metal has been a heavy trend the last few years. My problem with these bands is that so many of them focus so much on being technical that there are virtually no song structures and the whole thing sounds a mess. Psycroptic manage to not fall into this problem and retains a solid structure throughout numerous tempo changes and technical guitar playing. The production is thankfully not overtly clean and retains a slight murkiness in the guitar tone. However the production falters a fair bit with the drums. The drum triggers sound extremely clicky and there is quite a lot of blasting. Why so many bands go for this obnoxious sound is beyond me. It just sounds flat, and mechanical and only hurts the music. I want to hear the bass! I especially don’t understand it in Psycroptic’s case as they went for a slightly more organic production than the typical mechanical ones of technical death bands. The other major gripe I have is the hardcore shouts. There is some use of guttural growls but about 95% of the time they are just your standard Hatebreed tough-guy shouts, and a pretty poor imitation at that. The vocalist here just sounds like he is straining to hard and almost choking his voice out. Occasionally the vocals are just squealing that should be kept strictly to Deathcore. Keep this crap out of Death Metal! Fortunately there are large sections of the music without the use of vocals.

It is a shame that there are these issues, as the band is clearly comprised of excellent musicians. They play very well and sweep in and out of tempo changes with ease. The riffs are very good and memorable for the most part. The leads get a little chaotic at times, which is what one would expect from technical death metal but do not go overboard and keep the songs focused. One of the finest guitar performances I have heard and is certainly the best thing going on here by a long shot.

Overall this is not something I can keep listening to simply because of the hardcore vocals and clicky sounding drum triggers. The drum triggers I could probably get over but those vocals are so bad that I just can't enjoy the excellent musicianship. It is a mighty shame though as everything else is top notch.