Distributor/Label: Prosthetic records
Buy Album: https://store.prostheticrecords.com/search?q=As+The+Kingdom+Drowns
Band Website: https://en-gb.facebook.com/psycroptic/
Dave Haley – drums
Joe Haley – guitar
Jason Peppiatt – vocals
Todd Stern – bass guitar
1. We were The Keepers
2. Frozen Gaze
5. As The Kingdom Drowns
6. Beyond The black
7. Upon These Stones
8. Monumentum Of The Void
9. You Belong here Below
It is not often that I get passed an album to review that I am eagerly expecting. My experience so far had mainly been getting some rather obscure albums from all across the world. Brutal death from Columbia, Peruvian thrash, even some operatic black metal from Italy to mention just a few. I seen this as a challenge, digging myself into some fine rabbit holes but, when I seen the album cover appear in my brief, I almost creamed my pants. Thus was the excitement levels knowing that in my grasp was such a juicy prospect.
I am the proud owner of several Psycroptic albums after all and have managed to see them live before, so I had intimate knowledge of the band and some pit experience to boot. The band have been kicking about for almost 20 years, having been started by the Haley brothers in West Hobart Tasmania in 1999. Their last and self-titled album before ‘As The Kingdom Drowns’ changed the game a bit for the band as they explored new realms of style whilst maintaining some titanic riffs and groove. Ever since ‘Ob(Servant)’ Jason Peppiatt’s vocal style has adapted as he moved away from the brutaller gutterals in favour of a harsh and powerful rasp. A fair bit more distinguishable than the early days of Matthew Chalk. Certainly it goes with the sharper tone of Joe Haley’s ever more fantastical riff style.
So now we are at the 7th album stage, a slippery slope for most and one where many bands have taken a dire left turn to their style. So have Psycroptic fell for the pull towards stagnation? Not even hardly. ‘As The Kingdom Drowns’ is another fine example of the genius and ability that this band possesses. It’s not all perfect by any means but there is everything that you could want in a Psycroptic album plus much more. They’ve brought in more atmospheric components and even some female backing vocals in tracks like the opener ‘We Were The Keepers’, the title track of the album and ‘Beyond The Black’. There is a notable stylistic difference in the atmosphere of songs like these and even ‘Upon These Stones’, taking influence from ‘Cold’ from their last album in terms of tempo and the structure of the music.