When a band issues a self-titled album that is NOT their debut album, it usually means one of two things. Either the band has changed their style a bit or the band feel the music is definitive of their career thus far. Tasmania's Psycroptic have released their self-titled album and I suppose it falls into the later bucket. The album is not a departure from their standard technical death metal so they must feel (as most bands do!) that it is their best record so far.
I had high hopes for the album based on the first single "Echoes to Come" which has a great hook to go along with the band's very heavy sound. Unfortunately, I don't think the whole album stands up to that song. Sure, the album has other excellent tracks like "A Soul Once Lost" or "Cold," both of which have strong riffs and enough changes between those riffs to keep it interesting.
The problem is that things tail off right after that. "Setting the Skies Ablaze" is very derivative both lyrically and musically. The songs that follow are very similar and don't have enough hooks to catch your ear. Don't get me wrong, the band can absolutely play! They are as tight as ever and certainly this is one of their heaviest releases. For me, just being heavy doesn't cut it. The songs should be very unique to each other.
I suppose you could argue that the "sameness" makes the album flow better but the stakes are higher if only because Psycroptic self-titled the album. The bottom line is Psycroptic are a great band and great musicians but the songs aren't consistantly great. It's a good album by a band that could take over the world if they stretched out more.
UPDATED: I was so wrong with my original review. Like many albums that are technical, they need more time that I had to spend with this album initially. After more listens, the riffs and melodies come out more and the songs most certainly are NOT the same. And I do think, Psycroptic can take over the world if people listen and don't snap to judgement like I did.