Some bands change genres so smoothly that it takes a while for us to catch on. And more often than not that change sees that band mellow out to a lower key genre or sound. In the case of Seattle’s Rat King, the opposite of the latter point is resoundingly true. After several years of toying with sludge and other sounds of that ilk, the grind and death metal sounds began to take hold. Today we’re happy to premiere Rat King’s third album Psychotic Reality, in full. With nine scintillating tracks of their signature take on deathgrind, there is plenty to unpack, unfold, and enjoy.
The aggression that we’ve come to love from this band is present right from the jump as the gutsaw guitars and throat-ripping growls take the center stage with tracks like “Tortured Existence” and “Destroyer of Us All.” The atmosphere that comes from these aspects alone are singular and when the drumming and bass are added in this album wastes no time in announcing that no prisoners will be taken and blood will be shed. For all of the chaos stomping grooves can be found dotting the playlist, tracks like “Feeding off Broken Backs” and “Vermin” showcase the Rat King’s ability to balance the cacophonic grindcore side of their identity with the riff-centric death metal influences that they employ so often.
Although three years isn’t an incredibly long wait for new material, Rat King did the right thing by keeping Psychotic Reality an efficient and economical beast. With the nine total tracks totaling just under 35 minutes, there is simply no fat on this record. Given the length and total number of songs, it also becomes obvious that this isn’t a pure grindcore album by any means. Not only by an objective measurement like just how long these songs are but also atmosphere that rears its head on some of the tracks such as the epic closer “Never Born” where lots of oxygen gets churned into the sonic onslaught.
It’s been a great year for metal overall and the arrival of Psychotic Reality only enhances it further. Deathgrind is a genre that frankly needed more representation amidst the seeming thousands of metal records that have been released this year and this one is among the finest of the lot. Without further ado, here’s the entire album just waiting to drill its way into your brain. Click play and let the skullfucking begin.