Psy:Code – MØRKE

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/Label: Pavement Music Records
Distributor/Label URL: http://www.pavementmusic.com/
Released: 2017
Buy Album: https://psycode.bandcamp.com/album/m-rke
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/psycodedk

Band line-up:

Schou – Vocals,
SteiN – Guitar,
JezpR – Guitar,
Dag – Bass,
Gøtsche – Drums.

Tracklistings:

1. Leech
2. Ghost Of You
3. Loosen The Tight
4. Riven
5. Iskolde Ojne (Cold Dead Eyes)
6. Paralyzed
7. The Sky Is Broken
8. Introspective
9. Mountains
10. The Monument
11. In The Sound I Dwell
12. Stay Disappeared
13. The Strain

Review:

It’s widely thought that by your third album, the world’s your oyster. You’ve navigated the debut, traversed those tricky waters of the sophomore and now you’re ready to continue the rest of your life as a band with, arguably, far less scrutiny. That’s where Denmark’s PSY:CODE find themselves upon the release of “MØRKE” – three albums into their career, having toured with some of the genre’s biggest and best in SLAYER, TRIVIUM and AMON AMARTH, among others. So what’s the score for the Danes’ latest?

On the surface, it’s big, beefy metal riffs coupled with industrial elements that hark a very disturbed bastard child of FEAR FACTORY and MESHUGGAH. Meaning “darkness” in English, “MØRKE” is every bit as cold and calculating as one would expect from the offspring of those aforementioned behemoths, with the grooving riffs of opener “Leech” and “Iskolde Ojne (Cold Dead Eyes)” proving particularly icy and angular. These are the sort that will encourage a hell of a lot of movement in the pits live, but that on its own would be a little stale. No, where “MØRKE” excels is binding melodic synths and clean guitars to the nuts-and-bolts riffs.

Songs like “Riven” soar with the melodic, squealing guitar that rides atop the bludgeoning riffs below, whilst “The Sky Is Broken” sounds enormous in the choral refrain with synth and staccato riffs working together to brutal brilliance. At no point does it feel like a bolted-on facet to the sound; it works for the song and aids the memorability of the album itself. It’s a shame more bands don’t consider melody as a worthwhile endeavour – not everything has to be ridiculously heavy and dissonant. Though there’s something ever-so-slightly off about them, even the considered use of cleaner vocals works to the benefit of the album. Hell, the slight imperfections actually make it that bit more exciting to listen to.

It’s not exactly new ground, but PSY:CODE’s third album will certainly fare well in a live setting, with those big bastard riffs sounding all the more meaty with the emotional weight added in. It’s a rather heartening listen – when a band considers all their options and writes music for the song rather than going off-piste, it makes for a far more enjoyable jaunt. “MØRKE” is every bit its name, but it’s a welcome feeling. Embrace it.

Review by Lee Carter
Share
Copyright © The Independent Voice 2019