Psycroptic – Divine Council (Review)

Psycroptic - Divine CouncilPsycroptic are an Australian technical death metal band and this is their eighth album.

Following on from 2018’s As the Kingdom Drowns, Divine Council is a very accomplished record. Psycroptic have a sound pretty much all of their own, and on their latest release the band have executed their vision with passion and professional expertise.

Each track is well-formed and contains no filler. Psycroptic boast a level of catchiness in their music that many technical death metal bands lack, and these new songs are no different. A sharp assault of aggressive hooks and lethal melodic bite, this is an album that tears through its 39-minute running time with blistering enthusiasm. The band seem to have an endless array of thrash-infected riffs and head-spinning technical rhythms to draw from, and there are some absolute corkers here.

Despite the high level of technical skill on display, it never gets in the way of the songs themselves. Psycroptic balance complexity and accessibility very well, and manage to benefit from the strengths of both due to the sort of skilled songwriting that many bands would kill for. This is an area where Psycroptic particularly shine, as is their ability to incorporate emotive elements and mood-based feelings into their music is at a level that this sort of music is not commonly associated with. Once again this is down to the band’s impressive songwriting and their ability to shape riffs, melodies, vocals, and other key components in such powerful ways.

I’ve always enjoyed the singer of Psycroptic’s voice, and he puts in a great performance once more on Divine Council, showing what his voice is capable of across a wide range of different vocalisations. He sounds on fire. On these new songs he’s joined by the singer of Origin, who adds a brutal edge to the proceedings. The band have also chosen to enrich the album further with the emotive vocals of Amy Wiles at select moments. Top work to all.

Divine Council is a shockingly good slice of textured technical death metal. Wielding melodic accents and emotive potency like keen-bladed weapons, Psycroptic have returned with a masterclass of extremity. Whereas most death metal bands only deliver brutality, Psycroptic deliver feeling, mood, and emotive aggression.

Essential listening.

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