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domenica 21 febbraio 2021

Crypts of Despair - All Light Swallowed

#FOR FANS OF: Brutal Death Metal
Even though the Lithuanian scene is not one of the most well-known ones, it has always delivered some interesting bands. Personally, I had some previous experience with some black and doom metal bands, but this time is the moment to discover one of those obscure bands that plays a clearly more brutal style. Crypts of Despair is a four-piece founded almost twelve years ago, though the band required almost a decade to release its first effort entitled 'The Stench of the Earth'. This was a self-release with a good quality that made possible that the always prolific underground label Transcending Obscurity Records showed interest in them. So, thankfully we did not have to wait so much time and after three years, Crypts of Despair are going to release its sophomore effort 'All Light Swallowed'.

Crypts of Despair plays death metal with a modern and clearly brutal touch, although it doesn´t reach the level of relentless speed and brutality to be tagged as brutal death metal band. Anyway, the ferocity of its sound is out of discussion. 'All Light Swallowed' has a very strong production, dense and profound, which sounds totally professional and fits the style of the band. Stylistically, as said, this is a pure death metal with a modern touch as the guitars have a distinctive disharmonic touch, that makes them sound more chaotic and smashing. Here we can find two tips of vocals, deep growls combined with more high-pitched ones. Anyhow, the first ones have a greater room, but the combination of both is always an interesting touch of diversity. The album opener "Being-Erased" is a clear example of it, with maybe a greater presence of the screaming vocals in this case. This first opus is one of the fastest of the whole album, albeit it has some nice changes in the tempo, especially in the second half with the inclusion of some mid-tempo and even slower parts. This diversity of pace is a constant touch, even if we can always expect the speedy fury so common in this genre. In any case, Crypts of Despair likes to make a clear contrast between the sections full of blast-beasts and the much slower and heavy parts. We have plenty of examples like the excellent "Anguished Exhale" and "Synergy of Suffering", where the song evolves abruptly from super-fast sections to mid-tempo ones, and in these parts the double-bass sounds absolutely smashing. No one can deny that Crypts of Despair tries to extract all the potential from this formula and they actually do it in the right way, creating songs with an undeniably crushing sound and strength independently of the chosen pace. The album flows between tracks with this aforementioned formula, where the songs, whose structure maybe doesn’t differ that much, achieve a very effective combination of rhythmic changes, making this album a fun listen.

All in all, 'All Light Swallowed' is a super solid death metal album from a band that has done a good step forward in terms of production and refinement in its compositions. A refinement done to achieve a focused brutality, that will satisfy fans of modern death metal done right. (Alain González Artola)