Crypta – Shades Of Sorrow (Album Review)

Release Date: August 04th 2023 - Napalm Records

Crypta - Shades Of Sorrow

Where to begin with this gem of a black metal album, I would say at the beginning, for me, this happened back in 2021 when the world was gripped in a morass of enforced seclusion and music was again my only way of making it through tough times. This Brazilian tour de force of a black metal band burst onto the scene with what at the time, I thought and still do think was the greatest debut album in modern black metal, filling many of my hours with their brutally beautiful nightmares. These four amazingly talented women came together from the ashes of their former bands, like the Phoenix of legend rose from the flames and became a tempestuous beauty.

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  In Echoes Of The Soul, the listener was taken on a brute of journey through some of the most technically perfect and richly detailed extreme metal. One that just begged you to play it again and again. So When I got wind of a new album, I was so excited to see if they could keep up with the epic debut effort. Losing one of the key members, the guitar legend that is Sonja Anubis to some would be a massive blow. Not to these strong-willed South American women, it was but a small sidestep. Replaced by Jéssica di Falchi, classically trained battle hardened the perfect replacement to take them to the next level.

And taking them to the next level is just what she and the rest of the band have done Fernanda Lira on vocals and bass a force of nature that you ignore at your peril as her vocal prowess is matched only by her ability to dominate the rhythm section along with the thunderous Luana Dametto on drums. The lyrical content follows on very nicely from Echoes, Dark themes as you would expect from this form of extreme metal but where a lot of bands just use the same old tropes Fernanda Lira fills the spaces in the darkness of this album with personal and very detailed introspection. Using the talents at hand to underline the creeping coldness and suffocating anxiety that bleeds from the lyric.

We are treated to 13 tracks, with 3 of them being short pieces of interlude opening with Aftermath coming in at 1:01 and then seven songs in a well-needed breather with The Limbo

And then ends with The Closure at 0:40. Showing a sign of culture rarely heard in this often over-bloated subgenre. It’s almost progressive in its nature and really feels balanced.

The Production is something we should not gloss over as it is by far some of the best I have heard in a while often, with the extreme metal genre, you can lose some of the members in the mix.

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Not so here the separation here is a real wonder. Each and every part of the band shines through. The highlight for me is the way that the dynamic of Luana Dametto’s drums are all here for us to enjoy, from the subtle toms to the crisp and earth-shattering snare and bass. This is not overshadowing any of them the vocals are terrifying, the bass rumbles and the guitar has so many textures and layers that after several listens, I am still hearing moments that simply take my breath away.

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If I had to pick a highlight which is hard from this brilliant album, I would say at the time of writing this, it would be the Lullaby for the Forsaken. This may change, but for now, it’s the total package lyrically intense, dramatic, dark, and has some of the best head-banging riffs that a 4:30 can possibly contain.

So in summing up take this band lightly at your own peril, they are coming and like the storm leaving in their wake the detritus and destruction of a genre that so greatly needed them. If this is the future of Extreme Metal, it is in safe hands with these ladies. I cannot wait to see this album explode and bring them all the accolades they so rightly deserve.

CRYPTA: Facebook

Release Year: 2023
Label: Napalm Records
Category: Album
Country: Brazil

Reviewed by Tony Evans