While the band tries to replicate the general sound of the early nineties brutality of death metal, the analog presentation seems to come naturally, as if something from an early Venom or Death recording. The latter also appears in Cryptic Realms‘ compositions, even how they are executed, to the point where you’d imagine the music itself were torn from a long lost Chuck Schuldiner demo tape. Rich, gritty distortions on the guitars are backed by a deeper bass tuning, an equally raw drum presence, and a heavily echoed vocal approach that walks between growling and a rougher style that is a little less eccentric compared to the aforementioned legend’s range.
“Total Demise” immediately introduces the listener to a truly brutal, though incredibly catchy, groove filled world of death from the deepest trenches. Infectious rhythms and solid drumming lead to mindless obedience as you bang your head along to the grim aural landscapes Cryptic Realms weaves that are just shy of matching early Mortician levels of violence. “Necrophagous”, however, does try to reach it with the additional synths utilized at the start, which (possibly) are torn from the score an early Italian flick before charging head first into some of the fastest material the release has to offer. This violence doesn’t shy away from the established grooves, however, taking on what sounds like an early Cannibal Corpse influence that hints at some hardcore undertones at times, such as just past the guitar solo at three-and-a-half minutes.
But, even though Eve of Fatality is heavily centered on pummeling the listener with one catchy groove after another, there are some times where the music takes on a little more of a melodic approach, and it sounds equally as commanding. “Nocturnal Desecration” utilizes the somewhat simpler drum patterns with a little extra complexity in the guitar work that lends an intimidating, haunting authority, especially at the start with some of the leads presented, as well as during the later guitar solo. And then there’s the closing “Eve of Fatality”, which is initially driven by the drums to usher in some tribal rhythms on par with that transitional period of Sepultura‘s sound into what would become their album Roots. It’s an obvious shift, but not one that feels out of place given how the song slowly shifts away from it towards the end, making the creation as a whole fit right at home with the blunt force precision of the preceding three tracks.
When it comes to capturing that nineties spirit if death metal, Cryptic Realms succeeds in just a very short amount of time as an active unit. Of course, the legacy of each member and an obvious mutual love for that style, definitely doesn’t hurt anything, either. The problem is that, while Eve of Fatality is a solid demo, it’s also nothing too invigorating. Each track moves fluidly along, are well paced, and enjoyable for what they are. It’s the lack of energy felt outside of certain spots, like half way through the title track or the various guitar solos, that ends up the most detrimental to the recording’s overall power. Thankfully the musicianship is there and, over time, there’s no doubt we’ll see a solid throwback to the style’s glory days in the near future.
01. Total Demise – 2:07
02. Nocturnal Desecration – 3:26
03. Necrophagous – 4:08
04. Eve of Fatality – 3:24
|Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10