Album: As The Kingdom Drowns
Review by Sam Radojcin
With their vast back catalogue and storied career so date, Psycroptic have established themselves as a driving force in the Australian and world metal scenes and in turn, they don’t have to prove themselves in anyway, but they have just delivered their 7th full length album entitled As The Kingdom Drowns, a musical output that demands to be heard.
Right as the album opener "We Were The Keepers" begins, you know that Psycroptic mean business and aren’t here to mess around. It demolishes all in it’s path like a tornado with pure unbridled ferocity, technicality and groove underpinned with an gothic-like orchestral / symphonic element flowing through. You think that element like might not work, but Psycroptic continue to throw in curve balls and it works without a doubt.
When looking As The Kingdom Drowns as a whole, it’s as if Psycroptic chose the strongest elements established in their last 3-4 releases, applied them to where they are now musically and combined them into a one whole dynamic entity.
Of course, one their most prominent elements on display is technicality and it’s on full display in "Frozen Gaze" and "Momentum Of The Void" with Jason Peppiatt delivering one of his finest, yet ferocious vocal performances like a man possessed, "You Belong Here, Below", and "Deadlands", a track that would induce the picking hand of the world’s best guitarists to wither in fear, but for Joe Haley, it’s just a walk in the park.
That said, for all the technicality, there is an absolute abundance of groove to counterpoint especially in the pounding hammer of "Directive", "Beyond The Black" and the title track "As The Kingdom Drowns" with it’s grandeur.
However, the biggest surprise is a track entitled "Upon These Stones". This is a complete 180 without compromising anything they have done in the past. It begins with a atmospheric / cinematic, almost post rock feel alongside Dave Haley hammering an epic drum intro, that is a precursor to a manifestation of pure Psycroptic musical euphoria going from heavy to mellow, dark to light and all in between. Words cannot describe this track, you have to hear it to truly understand it’s majestic nature. Prepare for your jaw to hit whatever surface is under you.
As The Kingdom Drowns is a pure testament to the fact that Psycroptic aren’t afraid to evolve their musical exploits and further raise the bar to which they constantly set. It’s rare an album can be almost perfect on all levels, but As The Kingdom Drowns is the exception to that rule.
9.5 out of 10.
As The Kingdom Drowns is out November 7th via EVP Recordings / Prosthetic Records