Album Review: Crypts Of Despair – “All Light Swallowed” 8/10 (Death Metal)

Written by Carcassbomb

Crypts Of DespairAll Light Swallowed
Death metal from Lithuania
Releases April 23rd, 2021
Via Transcending Obscurity Records
8/10


Infectious death metal filled with powerful moments. There are great performances on the low end and the high end, often swinging between the two extremes with Cattle Decapitation like ramp-ups or Undergang style belched vocals. All-round good song writing that makes for a highly listenable record.

There’s a lot of atmosphere on All Light Swallowed that is executed without sacrificing the momentum of the death metal songs. It simultaneously shows off with flourishes and effortlessly carries you to the end of each track. There are some guitar tones and licks that reveal a gothic doom side of the band that I really enjoy as an undertone to the blackened tremolo picking and crushing blast beats.

The vocals are great and have a lot of range from the brutal death gurgles to DSBM high-pitched shrieking. Heaviness is borrowed equally from old school death doom and modern death metal, utilizing a crispness of sound more common to deathcore productions. There is a dark cinematic sound to the overall album that accentuates each twist and turn in the writing or helps highlight the drama of the style shifts. Tracks like “Excruciating Weight” reminded me of listening to an older Katatonia song with the progression of the melody. All Light Swallowed really is a very “dynamic” album, a word that’s more or less lost it’s meaning in recent years but very much applies here.

Artwork by Néstor Avalos

The band cites Anaal Nathrakh, Ulceration and Morbid Angel among their inspirations which makes a lot of sense. All Light Swallowed has the modern crispness of Ulceration, the old school riffage of Morbid Angel and the unpredictable cinematic nature of Anaal Nathrakh. Crypts Of Despair have a balance that will appeal to metalheads broadly across the death and black adjacent metal genres but may be underwhelming or not extreme enough for niche fandoms on the extreme edge of the genres, it’s a very polished sound.

There’s a thrashy side to the record that reminds me of some of my favourite Vader albums like The Beast. That darker kind of thrash death that has a consistent momentum to it. The darkness at the heart of the record is expressed in various ways, seamlessly incorporating various doom metal and black metal styles without losing the thread of the song. They do a great job of holding even a short attention span like mine with their never-ending morphing.

I especially love the gothic sounding atmospheric guitar tones like on the track “Synergy Of Suffering”.

8/10

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