CRYOGEN represents the better side of American Metal. Through heavy Midwestern touring the Denver quartet has developed a proven formula that catches the listener’s interest and beckons for close attention. Its vocals are clear and its messages are far from cryptic, yet musicianship stands as the release’s principle strength.
Don’t get me wrong. “This Nightmare” does not have any Progressive qualities and guitarists won’t break any speed barriers while learning the riffs on these tracks. However, there is a comfort-level exhibited in the compilation that exudes much confidence in the power of the song rather than the virtuosity of the musician.
“This Nightmare” has a primitive melodic feel accented with occasional Metalcore influences. Its simple compositions present a complete vision of what a Death Metal EP should be, and yet every song has the capability of standing by itself. Fans of the slower, well-executed riff will find much to praise in “Man Is War” and “Fail To Exist” while those who like their artists to throw slight curve balls will appreciate “Shades Of Meaningless” for its OVERKILL harmonics and off-kilter picking experimentations.
In short, I find little to criticize in “This Nightmare,” but nothing demands an overwhelming score either. The release conquers what it needs to conquer in the span of less than 30 minutes but doesn’t leave listeners parched for a second listen either. Ryan Conner and crew have much potential, and perhaps under an appropriate label the artists could map new worlds outside of those shown on this release.
(Online July 24, 2007)