Album: (single, not full album) Lord of Ruins
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: May 31, 2023
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
I’ve split much of the last decade between the east and west coasts of the US. In that time, I’ve eaten a fair few breakfast sandwiches. Where am I going with this? Good question. Sometimes you wake up and you want to spice it up, try something adventurous. You want to pop something in your mouth and go “I don’t know what the hell this is, but I like it.” Cue the Seattle breakfast sandwich that stands out in my mind as perhaps the weirdest collection of vaguely breakfasty, sort-of-sandwichy ingredients I’ve experienced. The details are hazy, but aioli was involved, for sure some kind of microgreens, maybe a reduction drizzle? It was a very highfalutin sammie but it was fun to be surprised! Except when the bill came, but alas…
At other times, that kind of adventurous experience is the last thing you want. Case in point, I recall waking up quite fucking hungover on a New Year’s Day once upon a time in South Jersey. Chiffonade of pickled beetroot? I think not. More like sausage, egg, and cheese on a hard roll, coffee black. The old standby, the familiar, comfortable, and lovely thing you know like the back of your hand. No surprises! To the adventurous epicurean, this appears trite or common, but we all know there is a time and place for that kind of safety. The unknown is most desirable in contrast to the known, after all.
That’s what Crypta are offering up here on the new single Lord of Ruins – a tasty plate of good old fashioned death metal. They are not reinventing the wheel but they are doing what they do best which is honoring death metal tradition in their way with 4/4 grooves, dueling solos, and lots of Death, Morbid Angel, and Carcass influences worn proudly on their sleeves.
Lord of Ruins starts somberly with a short clean guitar introduction which begins the melodic motif before the band enters at full blast. The production is solid without standing out much: things sound good individually and as a whole. Heavy, aggressive guitars and bass alongside bright, clean cymbals and snare hits. I do appreciate the clicky bass attack that is allowed to shine through the mix, lending some gravity to the whole thing. Vocalist/bassist Fernanda Lira begins her attack shortly after the 30 second mark, delivering a rasping vocal with impressive sustain. Lira’s vocals are a touch more in front of the band than I’d prefer here, but it’s not distracting by any means. The foursome continue weaving palm-muted rhythmic breaks in between melodic phrases in a way that keeps things fresh leading up to the solo section at 3:20.
A bright and screaming lead tone erupts from the din as Jessical DiFalchi makes her presence felt. DiFalchi was introduced as a full time member of Crpyta well after the leads on the prior album “Echoes of the Soul ” were tracked, thus I do believe this is her first solo on a Crpyta recording, and it’s a ripper. It sounds like there is a bit of a flub at one point (or maybe not, who knows) but assuming it is, I respect the shit out of the fact that it’s kept in the final recording. In the current era of hacked to bits, quantized, autotuned guitar impostors, this is real playing and it’s more expressive than it would have been were it polished into a shiny fake. Solo number two attacks just as swiftly, this time by guitarist Tainá Bergamaschi. Sweeping and bending her way through soulfully before heading to an abrupt lead break straight from the Schuldiner playbook, this whole section delivers on chops and adds dynamic contrast to the overall tune without being self-indulgent.
We exit shred-land and enter…breakdown town? I’m surprised to hear a metalcore style breakdown like this from a dyed-in-the-wool death metal band, but it does fit, I can’t deny it even a little bit. From here, the main theme reprises before the tune ends just past the 5 minute mark.
Lord of Ruins sees Crypta delivering more of what they are known for, and that is no bad thing. This single is certainly a good omen for the greater album to come our way in August, however, I will say that if this is indicative of the whole record, I will be slightly disappointed at the lack of risk-taking. I’ll personally have my fingers crossed for a few weird time signatures here and there, but if “Lord of Sorrows” turns out to be safe, chances are it will still kick a lot of ass. Keep your ears and eyes peeled for the upcoming release on August 4th, and definitely check out Crypta live if you can because they rip.
Listen to Lord of Ruin on Bandcamp