ALBUM REVIEW: Psycroptic – Divine Council


In the two (plus!) decades since their inception, it seems that Tasmanian death metallers Psycroptic have simultaneously had their plaudits and yet also feel like an underrated act, especially considering their ascent in their recent albums. Whilst 2003’s The Scepter of the Ancients was an early career high point, it wasn’t until 2015’s self titled effort (and first on current label Prosthetic) where they began to show themselves again amongst the upper echelon of bands in their field. If this was an arguable statement previously, Divine Council is the album that makes it a certainty.

Whilst Psycroptic are often cast within the Tech Death grouping, and whilst this isn’t necessarily an unfair identification, Psycroptic manage to go beyond a lot of their peers in what they ultimately pull off. The technicality they show is present and no less impressive but comes with a level of restraint which combines with a sharpness in song writing which makes them as equally anthemic and instant.


With the opening brace of ‘Rend Asunder’ and ‘A Fools Errand’, the album takes no time at all with setting a pace and mood; both songs being perhaps the albums most straight forward songs, with the latter showing a particularly thrash penchant. In a slight contrast, ‘Ashes of Our Empire’ showcases a comparative complexity within its guitar work yet also brings in the use of near choir-like vocals beneath the surface which helps generate an emotive tone.

There is this use of atmospheric qualities within Divine Council, such as the opening, brooding minutes of ‘Awakening’ which are subtle and provide something different to much of their ilk. However, the overarching, defining quality that this album has is that exhilarating nature that death metal still excels in providing; with the likes of ‘This Shadowed World’ and ‘The Prophets Council’ providing as much grin inducing moments, even with vocalist Jason Peppiatt sounding almost anguished in part.


Technical death metal is capable of dizzying feats of virtuosity, but it is the best of these bands that can marry this with some emotional resonance, even if it is that primal sense of euphoria; a feat that Psycroptic have once again managed. Divine Council continues the band’s trend of holding subtle levels of depth within their craft and should cement themselves further as one of the premier bands of their arena.


Buy the album here:


8 / 10