Tasmanian technical death metal devils Psycroptic are back with another short entry into their extensive catalog, 2020’s single/EP, “The Watcher of All”. Seemingly hot on the heels of 2018’s “As the Kingdom Drowns”, this EP is surely a welcome surprise. Running under eight minutes, some would say that the EP could use more content, there is also wisdom in releasing a tight and focused release, and “The Watcher of All” is exactly that.
Over the last few releases, Psycroptic has leaned further into their groove-laden structures with thrashy arrangements and their new offering is no different. “A Fragile Existence” opens with an operatic intro before leaping into an expected yet enjoyable flurry of flamenco riffs interspersed with thumpy thrash grooves courtesy of the Haley Brothers, with Joe on guitars and Dave holding down the fort with his rock solid drum lines. New to the fold is bassist Todd Stern replacing long time member Cameron Grant. Nevertheless, his bass lines definitely find themselves right at home in the Psycroptic sound. Jason Peppiatt continues his unconventional approach to technical death metal vocals, eschewing the traditional gutturals, growls, and screeches, for a more thrashy mid-frequency bark. His vocals have always been divisive among fans of the band, but on The Watcher of All, his vocals are definitely among his best yet.
The Watcher of All is a solid albeit all-to-short slab of groovy technical death metal. While the two tracks could have found their home on their previous or future records, any day with new Psycroptic is a good day.