Album review: Psycroptic – Divine Council

Psycroptic provide another masterclass in technical death metal on Divine Council.

Album review: Psycroptic – Divine Council
Angela Davey

For the past 23 years, Psycroptic have been flying the flag for Australian technical death metal. Now on album number eight, Divine Council, the quartet sound more ferocious than ever. Playing as though they have a score to settle, the band’s fretboards are given a thorough working out as razor-sharp riffs abound, alongside wall-to-wall grooves and more hooks than a boxing match.

The percussion is caustic, relentlessly explosive and impossibly fast. Meanwhile the vocal layering of powerful, cleanly sung lines and bestial roars add another dimension to the otherwise endless audial pummelling. There’s a lot going on, but it pieces together seamlessly.

What’s instantly noticeable about Divine Council is its unwavering consistency – while many technical death metal bands often fall prey to shoehorning in filler and losing the listener’s attention, Divine Council is a potent grab of the mind from start to finish. At just under 40 minutes in play time it’s far more concise than the average album of the same genre, which goes a long way in explaining its impact.

There is a finely-tuned skill in being able to play with such masterful technicality and not give in to the temptation to noodle away relentlessly for 15 minutes. Psycroptic have this perfected to a fine art form, which is why after more than 20 years they sound fresher than ever. For fans of technical death metal played expertly, Divine Council is a must listen.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Necrophagist, Cryptopsy, Rivers of Nihil

Divine Council is out now via Prosthetic

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