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Criptofonia - "Symphony from the Crypt" (CD/EP)

Criptofonia - "Symphony from the Crypt" CD/EP cover image

"Symphony from the Crypt" track listing:

1. Destruction Factor
2. Dark Memories
3. The Laws
4. Nightmare Architect
5. Cry Wolf
6. Welcome to Hell

Reviewed by on March 14, 2012

"Criptofonia has a good 80's thrash sound on 'Symphony from the Crypt.'"

Criptofonia is pretty big in its native Argentina, having put out a few releases and opening for major bands in Buenos Aires. This six-song EP, "Symphony from the Crypt," was actually released in 2008 with Spanish titles and re-released in English with a bonus cover song in 2010, a full year before the band's newest album "Revivanlos a Todos."

This band plays a style of old-school metal that harkens back to 80's power thrash. Some parts of it I like, and other factors about Criptofonia have me divided. Kicking it off with "Destruction Factor," it's somewhat apparent that the members needed to come together in better unison on this track. The timing is off and the flow is disjointed when the drums are trying to catch up to the guitars. It could be the production to a degree, but besides the nice guitar flourishes, nothing seems to mesh.

"Dark Memories" capitalizes on a better overall thrashing gallop that is commanding due to guitarist Emiliano Perez. He is one truly good thrash shredder and the pinion that holds this band together, going back and forth from rhythms to flourishes. Vocalist Fabricio Pavic is the point of contention. When listening to this and other tracks, images of Celtic Frost's "Cold Lake" flash through my mind. His style is off-key, warbly and not easy on the ears.

These vocals also languish the mid-section to the track "The Laws," with that grating "liar!" chorus, although the musical element of the song is a good accelerating rip-ride. Pavic does better when he puts some bass in it, growling through most of the ten-minute tune "Nightmare Architect." The acoustic segment to this track is very similar to "Sanitarium" and overall it's the best track on the release, except when the yowling vocals come back into play.

The original release of "Symphony from the Crypt" contained one cover song and this one boasts two. "Cry Wolf," originally from 80's band Savage, works well with Criptofonia's thrash infusion, choral vocals and the slight Latino rock spin they give to it. On this EP, Criptofonia also does an interesting cover of Venom's "Welcome to Hell," making it distinctly like thrash instead of early black metal. Emiliano's guitar leads are the highlight of this one and the previous cover, keeping the same pace as the original and adding a few wicked laughs.

Criptofonia has a good 80's thrash sound on "Symphony from the Crypt." The guitarist has a good, energetic sound that navigates its way through all kinds of signature time changes. If the band wants to take its sounds to a bigger forum, it needs to do something about that vocal element though.

Highs: Accomplished 80's thrashing sound

Lows: Vocals tend to be a bit jarring and off-key

Bottom line: "Symphony from the Crypt" is a decent release for fans of 80's thrash metal.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

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)