"As the Kingdom Drowns”

By El Chief

Psycroptic’s latest release proves that the Tasmanian group are no longer interested in being pioneers of tech metal. Those wishing the band would return to their “The Scepter of the Ancients” dominance will be forced to look for that type of excellence elsewhere. 

But those who are intimidated by the intricacies of nuanced metal will be in for a treat. The opening riffs and growls on “We Were the Keepers” sound like they belong in an alternate timeline, one where Trivium didn’t decide to become boring sellouts and instead focused on honing the promising sounds displayed during the “Ascendency” recordings. Psycroptic then doubles down on their push for melodic metal supremacy by crafting a pscyho-crazy choir-type chorus, as if Muse decided they wanted to be real guitar heroes instead of being torch-carriers for the middle-aged dad crowd.

The big knock on “As the Kingdom Drowns” is that the songs quickly run out of steam. There are moments of brilliance, like the hyper-fast picking that pushes “Deadlands” into a lightspeed start like a Judas Priest track or the several nods to Decapitated and their super-syncopated grooves. But, to sophisticated purveyors of extreme metal, Psycroptic’s latest effort will be one that gathers dust in the record bin.