Symbols Of Failure
Van Dieman's Land metallers deliver crushing third effort
Tasmanian (Australia) extreme quartet, Psycroptic, have come a long way in a short time. After forming in 1999, an intense writing process over a three month period resulted in their debut release, The Isle Of Disenchantment, which would see the light of day in 2001. The album's reception and consequent live shows to support it, started the ball rolling as their fan base grew. Psycroptic returned in 2003 with their second album, The Scepter Of The Ancients, which was self financed and released like it's predecessor. Once again, the album was very positively received and the band's momentum continued to grow with extensive touring and high profile shows in their home country and a string of dates in Europe in 2004 supporting death metal legends, Dismember. Prior to that tour, vocalist Matthew Chalk chose not to take part, but guitarist Joe Haley, bassist Cameron Grant and drummer David Haley could not pass the opportunity up. They recruited vocalist and long time friend Jason Peppiatt who would become the band's new front-man. Their third album, Symbols Of Failure, is not only their first with Peppiatt but their first after signing to Dutch label Neurotic Records.
Instantly noted as the opening strains of Alpha Bleed assault your senses is the excellent production of Symbols Of Failure. It's crisp, clean and razor sharp. Shortly after this, the next realisation is the upping of the complexity of the riffs and songs themselves. Finally, as the vocals kick in a mere eight seconds into the track, the picture of Psycroptic 2006 is completed by Peppiatt's vocal attack. The punishing Missionaries Of A Future To Come and the ferocious riffing of Merchants Of Deceit (just listen to the devastating brutality of the track around the 2'25” mark!) are a ruthless one-two punch with the later of the two offering a little more breathing space than the former. Minions: The Fallen is possibly the most accessible track to this point and whilst some might think that means that the Psycroptic boys have eased off on the gas pedal. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The technical wizardry of Joe Haley's riffs combined with brother David Haley's inhumanly precise drumming and the rumbling of Grant's bass work can't be faulted throughout the aural assault of Repairing The Dimensional Cluster and the blasting ferocity of the crushing Epoch Of The Gods. The slow, grinding beginning to Our Evolutionary Architecture soon makes way for a relentless barrage of blasts behind Peppiatt's guttural expulsions and the accessible but no less extreme An Experiment In Transience delivers another punishing blow of extreme metal before the album is rounded out with the flurry of Cleansing A Misguided Path.
Psycroptic have really upped the ante on this one. If you were impressed with the growth between The Isle Of Disenchantment and The Scepter Of The Ancients, you will be flawed with this one. Every element of Pyscroptic has improved. The song writing and the musicianship is first class and it's enhanced by the crystal clear production. This is the finest example of extreme metal to come out of Australia to date and will surely be the release that will elevate Psycroptic's status on the global stage of technical death metal.
(Neurotic Records/Stomp Distribution)