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Album Reviews : Psychonaut – Shock ’em Dead

By on August 30, 2012

Who says metal can’t be fun? Armed with a sense of humour and an arsenal of metal and horror references, Perth’s Psychonaut have released an album that is everything heavy metal should be. “Darklord Rise!” opens in Motorhead territory and more or less is what to expect from the rest. Shock ‘em Dead! is a tribute to everything fast and rockin’. It’s full of great riffs and powerful screams, and the amount of guitar solos probably hits triple digits.

“Lemmy Von Frankenstein” features a few verses done in a rather impressive Lemmy impersonation and “False metal” is a song about writing a metal song, with lyrical nods to Cannibal Corpse and Manowar among others. The various nods to horror films are done really well with each track, despite being wrapped in the same hard rock-meets-speed metal blanket, being stylistically twisted to match the particular theme, and is littered with little sound clips and interludes. They’re not really going to surprise you – there is a wolf howl in “Wolfman”, for example – but they make the whole vibe just work.

At almost an hour in length, Shock ‘em Dead! does lose a little bit of steam towards the end. It’s actually a bit of a shame because the very groovy “WTCHD” with its doom-laden riffs is a fantastic track, but there’s only so much cheesy metal fun you can have in one sitting. And the final two tracks (“Thrash Metal Zombies” and “The Tooth of Dracula”) seem like unnecessary bonus tracks; both are live recordings and, really, “WTCHD” sounds like the end of an album.

All in all though, Shock ‘em Dead is one hell of a party. It’s catchy and the whole range of vocals, whether high, low or gang, are superbly executed. And on the live scene, with a beer in hand, the issue of length would fly out the window. 8/10

Band: Psychonaut
Album: Shock ‘em Dead
Year: 2012
Genre: Heavy metal
Label: Firestarter Distribution
Origin: Perth, Australia

Track list:
1. Darklord Rise!
2. Rosemary’s Baby
3. The Humungus
4. Knights in Satan’s Service
5. False Metal
6. Oblong Box
7. Lemmy Von Frankenstein
8. Pound of Flesh
9. Botched Alien Probe
10. Il Pianeta Delle Scimmie
11. Wolfman
13. Thrash Metal Zombies (live)
14. The Tooth of Dracula (live)


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.