Cryogen - Psalms of Deceit (Dark Millenium Records)

This will do to your ears what Chuck Norris did to the film industry...
Release Date: 
3 Jul 2012 (All day)

So from the teaser you may have guessed that this album is going to rock your fucking socks off. All those who believe that Mr. Norris was not a seminal force in terms of unbelievable cinema, the internet is not for you. 

Moving on from my less-than-relevant film mania, Psalms of Deceit was originally released in 2009, but this year we are fortunate enough to see a re-release, featuring some extra material (including a spectacular cover of Episode 666 by In Flames). If anyone was wondering that melodic death had, err, died, then look no further for proof that it is indeed live and kicking, and apparently very angry about it.

What first caught my attention was the superb vocal work. Opening track Faith and Suicide begins with a lengthy roar, but it wasn't just the fact that I had my headphones up loud enough for it to make me jump. The vocal work is mostly very much like Amon Amarth or Carcass; two bands who have obviously had a profound influence on these gentlemen. The screams mainly stay at a high-mid level, but there are certain points where a guttural, low bellow is issued forth, or a scream that is almost like a hardcore shout kind of scream.

This is not to say that the vocals are the outright best thing about this album. There are songs like Omega where the instrumental work is simply sublime; the guitar tones are very distorted and visceral, but thankfully not so much that it becomes impossible to hear the skill that goes into the riffs. Technicality is a heavy driving force in a lot of melodic death metal - without it the melodic element is lost somewhat, and it just becomes an unlistenable dirge. Similarly, the drum beats are very clever; they are just as technical (if not more so) than the rest of the instruments, but they manage to remain a hidden force, remaining in the background to give the music even more punch.

Bonus track Cell encapsulates everything I have just been talking about; clever guitar work, powerful vocals and pounding drum rhythms. If you ever get bored of what you're listening to these days, then get some Cryogen in you. In fact, just listen to this album.