Given how inherently difficult it is to play at all, let alone to write good songs with, it’s not just forgivable when tech death bands take the odd misstep, it’s almost inevitable.
So Psycroptic’s stumble into mediocrity here should not, in the long term, be held against them. And in truth, album six from the Tasmanians does show the odd glimpse of the quality they are undoubtedly capable of.
There are some tidy hooks in the vocals, the performances are slick and characterful, and their virtuosity is firmly on display. The problem is that it never quite blossoms. The odd nice bits of jazzy groove or evil atmospherics are rather too infrequent, and the small breaks of thrashy simplicity can’t cover up the overall lack of violent impact you expect with this level of pace, distortion and aggression.
If Psycroptic’s last album was Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale, this is A View To A Kill: well put together, suave, sophisticated and with much to admire, but seriously lacking in pain, less memorable, and you know those involved can do better./o:p