01. Overture 2149
03. Death Technology
04. Prospect of Immortality
06. Perpetual Motion
07. Conjuring the Egoist
08. Game of Souls
10. Flux Divergence
Biting the bullet and doing what feels right is arguably the key to most great music. CRYPTOSIS are living proof: the Dutch trio were originally known as DISTILLATOR and released two albums of top-notch old-school thrash before deciding, perfectly reasonably, that a change of approach was in order. The result is a new band, a new sound and a debut album that absolutely will take your face off and toss it into the nearest pile of smoking space debris. Not just a reinvention, but a genuine blast of something thrillingly new, “Bionic Swarm” is an act of instinctive evolution, and some of the most gloriously ripping, sci-fi themed extreme metal you will ever hear.
There is still a firm bedrock of thrash propelling the Dutchmen along, but CRYPTOSIS are an infinitely more imaginative outfit than their previous incarnation. Everything from blistering black metal scree to churning, angular tech-death has been woven into an intricate framework of dissonant but destructive riffing, over which singer/guitarist Laurens Houvast barks, squeals and roars a series of unfathomable, dystopian tales. It’s stupidly exciting from the start. After a neatly creepy and disorienting instrumental intro, preview single “Decypher” slams down the CRYPTOSIS ethos with remarkable levels of intensity and precision. The song is a blizzard of jagged riffs and juddering double-kicks, but it’s also rich with atmosphere and otherworldly weirdness — this album’s futuristic themes brought subtly but unmistakably to life. “Death Technology” repeats the trick; an avalanche of smart ideas and virtuoso precision, it sounds like at least eight of your favorite bands playing simultaneously, but with an internal logic and aesthetic focus that makes the whole thing feel fresh and audacious. “Prospect of Immortality” is even more absorbing, with a greater sense of dynamics and slower tempos, it’s an epic, quietly progressive flexing of the compositional muscles.
Elsewhere, “Game of Souls” feels like an inspired, unholy marriage of POSSESSED and CORONER, with Houvast spitting fury like a hardened veteran and a mid-song descent into off-kilter syncopation, replete with a flurry of sublime lead breaks; “Conjuring The Egoist” is a feast of mid-’90s death metal tropes, melodic side-swipes and festering, infernal grandeur; “Mindscape” cranks up the blackened fervor over a marauding, mid-paced assault, laced with ghostly ambience; the closing “Flux Divergence” rattles along at a breathless full pelt for four minutes of caustic, progressive thrash.
Wise men say that there is nothing new under the heavy metal sun at this point, but there is always room for some fiendish and imaginative tinkering with our beloved genre’s fundamentals. By forging a new path and following their collective gut, CRYPTOSIS have delivered an electrifying statement of intent and one of the most exciting metal debuts to emerge in a long time. Bionic is about right.
To comment on a
story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you’re logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of
does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the “Report to Facebook” and “Mark as spam” links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.
reserves the right to “hide” comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to “ban” users that violate the site’s Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user’s Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a “banned” user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the “banned” user’s comments will only be visible to the user and the user’s Facebook friends).