Echoes of the Soul

By the time I’m even beginning to write this review, anyone who has wanted to listen to Crypta’s debut album, Echoes of the Soul, has already had plenty of time. You know the story by now, but for those keeping score, bassist/vocalist Fernanda Lira and drummer Luana Dametto left Nervosa in 2019, that band then reloaded and released a banger earlier this year, and the previously mentioned duo picked up ex-Burning Witches member Sonia Anubis and Taina Bergamaschi to form new death metal band, Crypta.

With what was released earlier this year by their previous band, the pressure is definitely on for this release. Comparisons, however apt they may not be, are inevitable. Both of these bands are different, though. Whereas Nervosa inhabits that new thrash subsection of your local heavy metal records store that tries too hard to separate each sub-genre, Crypta is death metal. So, after this extended, yet necessary (in my eyes only) intro, how does it sound?

After the short intro titled “Awakening,” the first official track, which was available for streaming before the release, “Starvation,” kicks off. It’s clear very quickly we’re in for an OSDM beatdown. Fernanda’s vocals are feral and also instantly recognizable. The production is suitably a bit muddy. You know, in that sweet spot between grimy and pristine. Everything is audible, including the bass. There’s an excellent lead section near the end as well. This is a solid opener with a repeatable refrain. All boxes checked.

After the first few tracks, if you’re looking for a standout, look no further than track 4, “Death Arcana.” Yes, it has that tried and true OSDM rumble, along with a galloping midsection, but the weeping lead section that takes over almost exactly halfway through, which segues into a solo that could get any self-respecting death metal fan a little hot under the collar (read: chub-inducing), obviously stands out. Fernanda utilizes a deeper register throughout the track as well, which adds some nice variety.

On the next track, “Shadow Within,” the call and response vocals with the highs and lows counteracting one another, definitely brings The Black Dahlia Murder to mind, even if the instrumentation doesn’t. Two stellar solo sections (I almost said “several…”) sprinkle (tee hee) the track, including one at the very end.

To close the album, we have the lengthier “Dark Night of the Soul,” followed by “From the Ashes.” In the former, there’s definitely what one can call a breakdown, followed by a predictably stellar, albeit short, lead section. The track itself takes a few forms, including employing a stomping, meaty riff section, and multiple tempo changes. A subdued outro segues comfortably into the final track, which is even longer. Bold choice putting two of the longer ones at the end, ladies. There are, of course, multiple solo sections, and the lead guitar melody carries the chorus. The deep vocals in the chorus fit well along with the higher screeching, which makes this lengthier track far from boring.

So, what’s the verdict? Well, every time this album finishes, I say; “That was fun,” and want to play it again. At just over 40 minutes, it’s near the perfect length for an album, especially an old school death metal one that, despite everything it has going for it, does not deviate too far from expectations. People will likely be comparing this to Nervosa for the rest of the year, but if that’s what they’re trying to use to draw you in, ignore them. Both of these bands and albums stand on their own, and I am enjoying the hell out of each one.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
June 28th, 2021


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