Shades Of Sorrow

rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. The Aftermath
02. Dark Clouds
03. Poisonous Apathy
04. The Outsider
05. Stronghold
06. The Other Side of Anger
07. The Limbo
08. Trial of Traitors
09. Lullaby for The Forsaken
10. Agents of Chao
11. Lift the Blindfold
12. Lord of Ruins
13. The Closure

Barely two years into their existence, CRYPTA already sounded like a finished, old-school death metal article. The Brazilians' 2021 debut album, "Echoes of the Soul", was an exhilarating revelation when it came out with rather less fanfare than it arguably deserved. With a sound that tapped into the feral, loose-limbed savagery of POSSESSED and (early) DEATH, but with a ferocious thrash edge and occasional shades of black, it was a smart and sincere contribution to the cause. It also sounded like the work of gnarled veterans, rather than four virtuoso women from São Paolo. "Shades of Sorrow" has a lot to live up to as a result, but "Echoes…" was so convincing that more of the same would be more than enough.

Fortunately, CRYPTA are more ambitious than that. While retaining all the wildness, swagger and spite that made the debut so exciting, "Shades of Sorrow" goes darker and deeper, as the band's blend of death, black and thrash metal continues to evolve and mutate.

After a mild spooking courtesy of the ubiquitous, haunted house instrumental intro, "Dark Clouds" begins at a dizzying pace and with startling intensity. With strong echoes of HOLY MOSES's incensed, tech-tinged attack, but way more blasphemous, CRYPTA clearly have amazing inter-band chemistry and focused, white-knuckle energy pours from every riff and lobotomized blast. Everything also sounds thrillingly (a)live, with no discernible concessions to technology, beyond the marauding, vivid fullness of Augusto Lopes's production.

On the grandiose onslaught of "Poisonous Apathy", frontwoman Fernanda Lira's versatile armory of growls and shrieks takes center stage, amid a gruesome, slow-paced tirade with melo-death trimmings. And to further confirm CRYPTA's supreme adaptability, "The Outsider" whips up an icy storm of blackened majesty, with drummer Luana Demetto hammering away like Steve Asheim on the first DEICIDE album, and riffs that positively reek of a Norwegian winter. In contrast, "Stronghold" is a barbaric, deathly horror show, with anthemic melodies and a trippy detour into unholy doom-gaze that never quite evolves as expected; while "The Other Side of Anger" is a direct and destructive slab of old-school purity that wields its melancholy undertone like a spiked bat.

The second half of "Shades of Sorrow" very nearly matches the first. CRYPTA are audibly surfing on waves of inspiration and adrenalin at all times, from the malicious, VADER-like chug 'n' flay of "Trial of Traitors" to the frosty juggernaut of the closing "Lord of Ruins", which takes in everything from US power metal riffing to gothic theatrics, without losing a milligram of conviction.

There are countless reasons to be excited about the state of death metal in 2023. CRYPTA are right up there with the best of them, and "Shades of Sorrow" is the top-tier, terrifying proof.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).