Cryptivore
Celestial Extinction

I’m a longwinded guy, there’s no doubt about it, but when it comes to Celestial Extinction, the debut full-length from Australia’s Cryptivore, there is simply no beating around the bush; this album kicks ass, plain and simple. This one-man band from multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Chris Anning, sounds like anything but, having a full band intensity and brilliant lack of tunnel vision, Celestial Extinction is a catchy, crunchy, heavy as fuck, in your face form of unapologetic death metal glory. Having an old school flavor mixed with a few modern sensibilities, one can hardly deny the overt European influences found amongst this slab of brutality.

Imagine the bludgeon of early Carcass, the melodious slice of Dismember, the heft of Grave, the catchy ferocity of Entombed, and the epic, dank, darkness of early Amorphis; pair all of that with a smidge of Naplam Death and General Surgery, and maybe even just a slight dab of old Katatonia (mostly in the lead guitar tone here and there), and what you end up with is a hands down, bonafide ripping badass of an album. At ten tracks, the longest clocking in at a mere three and a half minutes, Celestial Extinction is obviously a compact listen. There’s nothing too tech or flashy, or jaw dropping and dazzling to be found here, just good old fashioned awesome death metal. The kind that gets in, kicks your teeth out, and promptly exits the premises. It’s the kind of death metal that made some of us “older” dudes fall in love with the genre in the first place.

Every song on the album is quite good. Damn good, actually. I don’t necessarily have a personal favorite as all of the material is top notch, and all have something gnarly and badass about them. From the catchy, gripping opener, “Cocoon Hecatomb”, the fast as balls pacing and blasting of ripper, “Dripping with Skin”, or the Benediction meets Entombed stylings of “Monastery Worms” to the grinding death surge in “Solemn Desolation”, the sick symphony of necrotic might that is “Cadaverizor”, or the closing title track, “Celestial Extinction”, with its brutal yet somewhat doomy drenched melody/theme that runs through the track; you’re simply going to be grinning from ear to ear with this album.

Achieving a sound that is as every bit as fresh as it is nostalgic, the material, while not overly produced, is clean and clear within its cavernous, filthy crunch. Speaking of crunch, you can tell that blue hat, faux admiral cartoon fuck on the cereal boxes to get the hell out, ‘cuz there’s a new Cap’n in town when it comes to crunch…all cheesiness aside, Celestial Extinction brings that crunchy groove in spades, as every single track has some sort of simple, fat crunchy monster riff that seems to steal the show. The only flaw with the album is that it’s backloaded to my ears, with the latter half shining just a bit stronger than the first. Though with every track being winners and all better than your average death metal affair, I can’t really say that is a true flaw. Hell, an album that gets better and better as it goes, showing its personality and individual traits more as the cuts get deeper sounds more like an actual praising point now that  think of it.

Hats off to Chris Anning/Cryptivore for crafting such a fine piece of death metal. Sure Celestial Extinction may not be ground breaking or genre defining, but it sure as hell is genre sustaining, and honestly, with death metal coming up on the big 4-0, I think that may just be much more necessary. Released digitally and on LP earlier this year via bitter Loss Records, the album is just now seeing a limited CD run courtesy of Awakening Records, so don’t dally on getting yourself a physical copy, or you may just miss out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
April 20th, 2022

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