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Album Review: CRYPTA Shades Of Sorrow

8.5 Reviewer

Crypta is able to blend a clear love for classic death metal with a modern sound. This band reminds me of death metal's glory days in the late '80s but in a way that isn't just all about nostalgia. Rather, it's a clear appreciation for the roots of the genre but mixed with a very modern sound. Crypta is one of the most exciting (and hardworking) bands in the greater metal scene and Shades of Sorrow will further solidify their mark.

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Featuring former members of Nervosa, this Brazilian-based death metal band has a sound that goes far beyond their short resume. It's hard to believe this is just the band's second record as it's very polished with solid production and stellar songwriting. Indeed Shades of Sorrow does sound a lot like their first release a couple years back in terms of sonics… but frankly it's better and more mature.

You've likely already heard "Lord of Ruins," which features a killer video to complement one of the best death metal songs released thus far in 2023. There's groove, melody and lots of angry guitars. Lira's vocal performance is also spot on – not mention that beefy bass line as well.

One of the things that stands out to me on this record is the musicianship. Bassist (and vocalist) Fernanda Lira is quite impressive and her instrument is featured prominently in the mix. Lira's bass meshes oh-so-harmoniously with with Luana Dametto's drums and this is readily apparent on tracks like "Poisonous Apathy" and "The Outsider."

Guitarists Taina Bergamaschi and Jessica di Falchi are also impressive. The technical precision and prowess is evident in cuts like the aforementioned "Lord of Ruins" and "Trail of Traitors." These women shred and shred hard with a tremendous tone. The Chuck Schuldiner influence is apparent, and while some lonely Youtube commenters seem to take offense to it, I look at it as a positive. The dueling leads on "Lift the Blindfold" are just so well crafted and the band makes ample use of dual leads throughout the record.

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Crypta is quickly becoming one of my favorite bands in the death metal genre. This is one of those bands that takes me back to days of my youth. The songwriting is stronger than their earlier work and the sonics show an appreciation for those who have come before them. Also, much credit also needs to go to Daniel Bergstrand, who mixed this record brilliantly. Having listened to this on a variety of different mediums, this might be the best mixed record of the year.

Overall this is a no doubt, first-day buy. 13 tracks that will make you a fan after the first listen.

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