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Crypta - "Echoes Of The Soul" (CD)

Crypta - "Echoes Of The Soul" CD cover image

"Echoes Of The Soul" track listing:

1. Awakening
2. Starvation
3. Possessed
4. Death Arcana
5. Shadow Within
6. Under The Black Wings
7. Kali
8. Blood Stained Heritage
9. Dark Night Of The Soul
10. From The Ashes

Reviewed by on June 11, 2021

"After only a few tracks it's clear that each song is different. Each one serves a purpose."

When it was announced last year that Fernanda Lira and Luana Dametto had parted company with Nervosa, leaving only Prika Amaral remaining, fans feared the worst. The Burning Witches fan base also had a shock when guitarist Sonia Anubis confirmed that she had left the Swiss heavy metal outfit. Soon though, these three ladies resurfaced along with guitarist TainĂ¡ Bergamaschi under the banner Crypta, and those who had followed them could barely contain their excitement. Since these announcements, both Nervosa and Burning Witches have gone on to release superb material with new members, and now, finally, we get to hear what this fearsome four-piece has conjured up.

From the get-go, Crypta has only referred to themselves as a death metal band, and "Echoes Of The Soul" is nothing short of a sincere love letter to the genre. Harkening back to the days of creepy ambient intros and horror movie influences (in particular the classic Brazilian films "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul" and its sequel, "This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse"), "Awakening" sets the mood perfectly. From the very beginning of the album, the listener knows that they're in for a dark roller coaster ride through the depths of Hell - especially once "Starvation" kicks in, which, while not the strongest song on the record, is a perfect way to inform the listener that this will be death metal in its classic form: No frills, just boundless sonic slaughter.

Though it can be argued that a number, maybe even most of the songs have a similar theme, after only a few tracks it's clear that each one is different. Each song serves a purpose and explores different areas of death metal. While influences from the likes of Vader, Possessed, Death, and Benediction can be heard, Crypta never sails close to flat out ripping them off. There's some truly awesome melodic guitar work on display on "Echoes Of The Soul," with special mentions going to lead single, "From The Ashes," as well as "Blood Stained Heritage." The album also showcases elements of thrash metal, most notably in the songs "Kali" and "Under The Black Wings," which eases the fears of Nervosa fans that Fernanda and Luana had abandoned the genre completely.

"Echoes Of The Soul" is everything a fan of old-school death metal could want from an album, save for guttural vocals. It's intense, it's got an incredible atmosphere about it, and it doesn't stray from the bone-littered path once. As mentioned, every song offers something different, and even if not every track is to your liking, they all have a part to play on an album that ends just early enough to leave the listener wanting more, which it can be argued is the perfect length. The album doesn't re-invent the wheel, but Crypta never set out to do that. In a world where we have as many death metal splinter genres as the Inuits have words for snow, sometimes it's refreshing to get back to basics and remind ourselves what made death metal such an important field in the first place.

Highs: Excellent guitar work, a real horror atmosphere, brutal with catchy moments, very moreish

Lows: Maybe somewhat basic for fans of the more progressive areas of death metal

Bottom line: A love letter to old school death metal that you'll want to keep to hand forever.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 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)