By Michael Orpen
With their second EP “Vile Emergence”, Joliet Death Metal band “Cryptum” delivers a brooding, brutal, beatdown of an EP. From their first explosive opening on “Torrent of infinite time”, Cryptum makes their presence known. A breath of fresh air that they bring to the table includes their lack of samples. All too often, modern death metal bands waste time with long-drawn-out movie clips or sound bytes that diminish the quality of the recording. Cryptum doesn’t do that.
The guitars are low and crunchy and are accompanied by an aggressive rhythm section. These two components find a perfect marriage in the last moments of the album. The breakdown at the end of the titular song is grinding and simply put, awesome. The snares have an interesting industrial tone to them that keeps the percussion interesting. The vocals also add another layer of brutality to this EP. The sonic base layer that is provided by the vocals and musicianship is furthered by the sheer musicianship of the band.
Lead guitarist Carlos Santini makes his solos short and sweet, which only adds to the overall sonic impact of the track (for example the title track). In addition, drummer Kyle Pooley keeps the back end anchored with a mixture of thrash drums in conjunction with typical blast beats. While both of these styles are common, using a mixture of the two styles on one track keeps everything interesting. Speaking of interesting – the riffs are fantastic. They have an almost frantic, progressive quality to them. They’re clearly drawing on various different subgenres, from thrash metal to hardcore.
Cryptum is just one band in a wave of new and exciting metal bands coming out of northern Illinois. Filled with the gore and Lovecraftian mysticism of death metal and the attitude and aggression of thrash metal, Cryptum is a band that is finding its stride with every new release and this EP is most definitely worth the listen. This is a great sophomore ep release, with it being a huge improvement from their debut in terms of production. However, the band is still clearly trying to find their feet and their own sound. I cannot wait to know what that final sound will be and I recommend keeping an eye on them.