Psycroptic – The Inherited Repression
Label: Nuclear Blast
Since 2001’s The Isle of Disenchantment, Psycroptic has been a reliable, if not exemplary, source of technical death metal with a groovy twist. However, since the vocalist swap of Matthew “Chalky” Chalk for Jason Peppiatt, their style has changed. With their latest release, The Inherited Repression, Psycroptic has continued their effort to jell with Peppiatt’s vocals. The finished product is a solid record, but still falls short of some previous albums.
I haven’t been the biggest fan of Peppiatt. I don’t think he is—in any way, shape, or form—a bad vocalist, but I’ve never seen him as fit for Psycroptic. However, having to fill the shoes of a guy like Matt Chalk is damn-near impossible; his gurgled, inhaled squeals and unearthly growls are legendary and a perfect fit for the Haley brothers/Psycroptic sound.
Tell me Chalk’s voice wasn’t made for this band.
Having to take over vocal duties from a guy like that is fearsome but Peppiatt has done well. The man has a very unique style and range, and it takes some balls to be a death metal singer reliant on more than just a deep growl. Peppiatt’s shouts and yells are in full effect on The Inherited Repression. They sufficed on Ob(Servant), a great album, but The Inherited Repression is different. The band embraces Peppiatt as much as he embraces them, and it’s great to hear Psycroptic find that common ground.
My favorite thing about Psycroptic now is their defined form. As a tech death band, it can be difficult to put together catchy songs without sacrificing some of the sound. But Joe Haley writes riffs that echo in your head for days, and could confuse for a lifetime. Furthermore, the guitar style that Psycroptic has created is easy to identify, which is a problem that has marred many a death metal band. “Euphorinasia” and “From Scribe To Ashes” both remind me of their first album, but are more deeply evolved. Psycroptic have not only survived a throat transplant, but clawed their way out of the Australian metal underground to become known worldwide.
The more approachable sound Psycroptic have created on The Inherited Repression is the niche this band has been looking for since Matt Chalk’s exit. Not their best overall, but definitely the best of the Peppiatt era and a worthy addition to any technical death metal fan’s collection.