Cryptic Hatred
Nocturnal Sickness

Recently I attended a concert of Misery Index and Pig Destroyer.  Of course, the concert raged.  I’ve been friends with Jason Netherton bass/vox of Misery Index and former Dying Fetus member, for over 25+ years.  It was great catching up with him and Jason has a label called The Other Records, which also has a physical store in Helsinki, Finland.  A small, upcoming label, and Jason said hey you want to review a new band of ours and I said absolutely and he shot on over the debut album, Nocturnal Sickness, from Finland’s Cryptic Hatred.  I asked if it was going to be in the style of other Finnish bands, like Purtenance or other classic bands who go for a doomier/heavier approach, with Bolt Thrower-like tendencies every so often?  He stated not necessarily but he knew I would like them. Cryptic Hatred has produced a rather quality death metal album – 10 songs in about 40 minutes.

“Into the Depths” starts off raging with a monster drum part and then into a nice 90’s style death metal approach.  Fast, but not quite blast beat territory, but I do notice that classic Finnish sound.  The guitar sound has a bit of Bolt Thrower and even some HM-2 Swedish stylized ultra-heavy.  Yes, a little classic Entombed in the guitar department.  The song gets into some doomish moments, but for the majority is up-tempo and before you can catch your stinkin’ breath “Stench of the Dead” erupts with a slower approach, then a mid-paced rumbling heaviness.  Excellent 90’s style vocals, akin to old school Chris Barnes.  Awesome.  The 1.40 mark has a killer isolated bass guitar moment, which has enough distortion on it to knock you and Grandma out of a 2-story building.  So be careful with cranking this song.  The 2.30 slow down is lethal.  If this song is not in the band’s live set, then they better put it in.  I do not think anyone would survive.  It has a very classic slow beat down Cannibal Corpse moment that would be found on Butchered at Birth or Tomb of the Mutilated.  It’s crushing.  This is a banger of a song, for sure.

“As I Enter Darkness” starts with a classic 90’s era death metal growl with a rumbling heaviness, not unlike you would find on a classic Bolt Thrower album.  So damn heavy.  The guitar sound is quite dense, but it’s not muddied, which is a bonus.  The mid-paced part continues like a tank rolling over bodies, houses, flowers and your local fish market.  The song gets into a faster paced moment, not quite blast beat, but close enough, then the song slows down then picks up to a classic 1989 speed part, before going into the hyper fast moment.  The tempo shifts on this song work really well and do not snooze or you will miss the ethereal guitar solo at the 2.52 mark.  Melodic and quite decent, actually.  It is mixed nicely over the rhythm section.  Excellent riffing and pummeling double bass drums.

“Eternal Horror” is the longest song at over 5 minutes and ends the album with a massive guitar riff.  Slow, heavy, and deliberate in nature.  This riff is made to eat humans alive for breakfast.  After the mid-paced moment a quicker pace comes in and the double bass drums over this section are massive.  The song shifts gears to get a little faster, then it slows down some more.  The various tempo shifts and slow down at the 3.45 part will lop heads off from here to well…Helsinki.  Excellent guitar melodies at the 4.10 section.  Well done to the core as this moment carries on through until the end of the tune.

When Jason Netherton said he knew I would like this, he was not kidding.  This is classic sounding 90’s death metal, with influences ranging from the Swedish scene to the UK to the USA.  It all is cohesive and comes together as a death metal album that captures the spirit of the 90’s scene perfectly, as well as sounding fresh.  The production is great.  It’s loud, and the mix is spot on.  When guitars are this heavy sounding, if not mixed properly, will sound like mud with no discerning features, not the case here.  Not only that, but check out the album cover-it’s outstanding!  Cryptic Hatred’s debut Nocturnal Sickness is an ultra-solid piece of quality death metal meant to rip your head off.  Get this album at once!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
March 29th, 2022


  1. Commented by: J. Mays

    This fucking rips!

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