Psycroptic is an Australian technical death metal band. Characterized by Joe Haley's instantly recognizable guitar style and their winding, highly riff-focused songs, they have managed to work their way up to the top of the pack in their home country in addition to being a well-known act abroad.
Formed in Hobart, Tasmania in 1999 by Matthew "Chalky" Chalk (vocals), Joe Haley (guitars), Cameron Grant (bass), and Dave Haley (drums), the band initially spent a year or so perfecting their craft before self-releasing The Isle of Disenchantment
, their debut full-length, around the beginning of 2001. The album made a surprisingly large splash both in Australia and abroad, and after multiple shows and fests throughout Australia, they self-released a second full-length, Scepter of the Ancients
, in 2003. The album was met with a great deal of acclaim from numerous sources, and greater exposure was provided by Unique Leader Records, who helped distribute the album in the US and Europe. Multiple full Australian tours followed, and by 2004, they were ready to embark on their first European tour with Dismember and Anata. Chalk, however, did not feel comfortable with going on such a large tour, and Jason Peppiatt volunteered to fill in for the tour. After that tour was over, Chalk wound up leaving due to an increasingly acrimonious relationship with the rest of the band, and Peppiatt was inducted in full-time. The band signed a deal with Neurotic Records sometime around then as well, and Symbols of Failure
, their debut with the label, was released in 2006. Another European excursion with Nile followed, and after multiple tours and fests, the band signed with Nuclear Blast in 2008 and released Ob(Servant)
that same year, in addition to embarking on their first US tour by way of the Summer Slaughter. More touring followed along with the release of Initiation
, their first live DVD, in 2010, followed by the release of The Inherited Repression
around the beginning of 2012. Things have stayed stable for a while, and the band is currently recording a new EP.
- The Isle of Disenchantment (2001)
- Scepter of the Ancients (2003)
- Symbols of Failure (2006)
- Ob(Servant) (2008)
- Initiation (2010) - live DVD
- The Inherited Repression (2012)
The band contains examples of the following tropes:
- Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: The Haley brothers are or have been in three other separate bands together, and that's not even counting the acts that they're not in together. Chalk, meanwhile, has nine different groups on his resume, with Spawn Of Possession being the most famous.
- Base Breaker: Ob(Servant). Some fans love it, others see it as the album where the band's quality took a nosedive. The same also goes for Jason Peppiatt for very similar reasons; while his performance on Symbols of Failure was well-liked, a lot of fans hated his performances on Ob(Servant) and The Inherited Repression due to his adopting a very Jamey Jasta-esque hardcore shout for his vocal style.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Chalk, apparently.
- Epic Rocking: "Initiate" comes out on top at 8:00; aside from that, there's "The Scepter of Jaar-Gilon" (6:32), "A Calculated Effort" (6:30), "Carriers of the Plague" (6:07), "Slaves of Nil" (6:01), "Removing the Common Bond", and "Psycroptipath" (6:00 each).
- Land Down Under: From Hobart, and probably also one of the most famous death metal acts from Australia, if not the most famous.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: Matthew Chalk could go from a low, almost burp-like gurgle akin to that of Antti Boman of Demilich all the way to a high shriek in addition to everything between. In his other bands, he's demonstrated that he's quite a good clean vocalist as well.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: A solid 10 for the most part, occasionally dipping to a soft 10.
- Motor Mouth: One of Chalk's specialties.
- New Sound Album: Ob(Servant) was much simpler overall and focused far more on groove.
- Signature Style: A seemingly-endless array of winding, spidery riffs with a very distinctive guitar tone, along with a large amount of blasting and rapid-fire vocals. Solos are exceedingly uncommon; a few do exist, but the amount of solos that Joe Haley has done in the entirety of Psycroptic's career can be measured in the single digits.
- Special Guest: Zdenek Simicek (Godless Truth, also the founder of Lacerated Enemy Records) filled in for Peppiatt on their 2010 North American tour with Nile, as Peppiatt had just had a child and needed to sit out the tour in order to take care of them.
- Technical Death Metal: Less in-your-face than most examples and based largely around Joe Haley's extremely unorthodox and unique riffing style, which just so happens to also be extremely complex.
- Uncommon Time: Very, very common, especially given the way that Joe's riffs tend to be structured.
- We Are The Band: The Haley brothers.