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Cripta Oculta - "Eros Dos Dolmens Esquecidos" (CD)

Cripta Oculta - "Eros Dos Dolmens Esquecidos" CD cover image

"Eros Dos Dolmens Esquecidos" track listing:

1. Eros dos Dolmens Esquecidos
2. Soterrados pela Chama Ancestral
3. Pelos Deuses…pela Terra Lusitana
4. Lagrimas da Europa

Reviewed by on July 27, 2010

"Fans of old Darkthrone and Mayhem will definitely enjoy 'Eros dos Dolmens Esquecidos,' but even if you aren’t, I suggest you give a listen to this obscure metal album."

Cripta Oculta is one of the best-kept secrets on the Portuguese black metal scene. Formed in 2004, they only released a few demos before they became one of the most respected black metal bands on the scene. They are one of the few bands that can combine a unique source of influences and still stay true to their own roots.

There’s only four tracks on the whole album, but each clock in anywhere from nine to fifteen minutes long. Each one differs from the other and the lyrics mainly seem to be themed heavily with the notion of ancestral honor, war and death, and pride for their Lusitanian roots.

I’m not very familiar with this band or their history, but just from listening to this album, they seem to be very tight with their instrumentation and vocals. It has the aspects of older black metal influences, but manage to make it their own. The recording and production leaves something to be desired though. On the first track, the guitar is way too loud and the vocals sound somewhere off in the background, as well as the drums. It sounds like they were trying to get that raw sound earlier recordings had back in the seventies and eighties, but it doesn’t really seem like they accomplished it. The second track, “Soterrados pela Chama Ancestral,” comes across a little more balanced and carries some nice chugging guitar riffs with more rhythm.

The third track, “Pelos Deuses…” is the longest track on the album, clocking in at around fifteen minutes. It engages the listener with brutal force, but also with an undertone of an even darker and more haunting melody. The track is very atmospheric, with keyboards in the background and the vocalist sounding a lot more dynamic than he does on any of the other tracks. “Lagrimas da Europa” didn’t really do too much for me. It sounded like a bunch of guitar reverb in someone’s garage to be quite honest, but don’t let that be a reason to pass this album up.

Cripta Oculta has that old crusty metal feel with a deep morose quality and dark melody. Fans of old Darkthrone and Mayhem will definitely enjoy “Eros dos Dolmens Esquecidos,” but even if you aren’t, I suggest you give a listen to this obscure metal album.

Highs: Haunting melodies combined with brutal force

Lows: Recording and production leaves something to be desired

Bottom line: Obscure black metal that fans of the genre will enjoy

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)