CRYPTA "Echoes of the Soul"
I was definitely a fan of NERVOSA for many years and quite enjoyed their brand of SODOM/DESTRUCTION-ish thrash metal, so when news broke of a tear in the ranks of the band it was news that was a little disheartening. But with the news that both sides of the tear would carry on I was at least hopefully for the future. Having heard - and being somewhat disappointed - by the latest offering from NERVOSA with something of a supergroup assembled around her, I was having a little bit of doubt of what would happen with Fernanda and Luana's new project, CRYPTA.
Lead-off tune "Starvation" puts those fears to bed right from the moment play is pressed. This is awesome, old-school death/thrash in the same ballpark as bands like VADER, SKELETAL REMAINS, MASSACRE, and SINISTER, and you immediately pick that up from the very first riff-heavy offering on this album. At times the riffs plod in that headbang-inducing way not unlike what dominates the first minute and a half of "Under the Black Wings" or "Death Arcana," but the band is still able to effortlessly transition back into the 1-2-1-2 blast beats and d-beat thrash patterns to get a mosh going. Guitarists Tainá and the ever-busy Sonia Anubis blaze all over this record with those riffs and tasty shred-licks a-plenty, with both bring decidedly different styles to the table. Bottom line, if you enjoy this style of death metal from back in the day, they are literally bringing everything you loved about that style very faithfully. Album-closer "From The Ashes" is probably the absolute best representation of all of this, with classic blasts, tremolo-picked riffage, gallops, and goddamn hooks that reel you in on these choruses!
The mixjob is also rather superb with style-appropriate, scooped-mid guitars and the right amount of air around it. It's not a sterile tone with zero reverb like you find on a lot of modern records...it has just the right amount of chilly cavern ambience blended in, creating a more than fitting backdrop for Fernanda's blackened shrieks. About the only real detriment about this record in my opinion is the mixing of the drums. These tones would be far better suited for slam death metal or some more progressive thrash, and on this record they tend to ring out in such a way that takes away from the overall sonic impact. I would have much preferred a meatier, fatter drum tone to match the gut-punch the rest of the record's tones bring, but that's the slightest of grievances compared to how thoroughly enjoyable this record is.
All around, this is a stunning debut that like Fernanda and Luana's previous band pays a ton of homage to those that came before, but not in a copying-for-the-sake-of-it kind of way. More like it holds those influences in high reverence and tries - and succeeds - to find it's own place in that style. Very well-done!
-Thrash-head, Metal is Life!!!