This Nightmare EP

The days of true innovators are nearly over with. Sure, on occasion, a band comes along that really is completely fresh sounding and new, but those times are becoming fewer and farer in between. This is an opinion I’ve come to over time, after hearing band after band that sound like this band, this band and this band. Are we in an era with uninventive, yet talented players? Or is it that just about everything has been done? I myself belong to the latter camp. Originality isn’t something I focus on anymore, unless dealing with a trend-hopping band – those types are pointless and a waste of my time. Instead, I focus more on skill and execution when dissecting a bands sound and forming an opinion.

With that said, it’s time to get onto Cryogen, and their new EP, This Nightmare, which follows up their debut full-length, Premonition. I came away impressed after checking out the bands myspace page, as it’s filled with all the pertinent info a reviewer such as myself could be digging for, and they’ve taken the time to make banners and codes for people to display them on their own page, which is a great promotional tool within myspace, as well as had a video made for the s/t track of their debut. The band hails from Denver, Colorado, and as of present time, are unsigned, though they seem to be taking all the right steps – the promo they sent out is not overly simple, which means they forked out some cash to make sure things are done right, rather than try to wing it with some cheap bullshit – in other words, it seems like they have their shit together without the help of a proper label.

Cryogen play a pretty standard modern thrash/melodic death formula, with hints of hardcore, but I would by no means label them as a metalcore band. The vocals of Ryan (no last name listed, who also plays guitar) stay away from the dreaded hardcore shout, opting instead for a more traditional, though less gutteral death metal approach. The self titled track is a good example of modern thrash metal done right, with a bit of melody in the chorus, and is probably the albums fastest song, though it never hits break neck speeds. “Man is War” falls into this category as well, though is a bit slower and sees the band incorporate some more melody, and includes a mellow, clean guitar passage half way through. “Fail to Exist” is rather generic, sounding like Americanized Gothenburg melodic death similar to many metalcore bands, though without the “core”.

As I said before, I wouldn’t label Cryogen as metalcore, though they are treading similar water, which will turn away many metalheads. They show promise, as they are competent with their instruments and display a knack for writing catchy yet not pop-ridden songs, but they need to try to find a bit more of their own niche before many people start to take notice.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
July 23rd, 2007


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