So what is to expect from the Swiss Metallers CRYPTIC VOICE and their second full-length album “Access Denied”. Well, the potion this band offers is more competent than your average Metal brew. I was surprised to hear such an impressive performance. Not because I expect the worst from all new bands I hear, but there is a lot of average boring Metal out there. What greets the listener here is very well performed standard Death Metal. The music is fairly melodious but hard and heavy at the same time, and nowhere near the Gothenburg bands. I find this much better.
The growler is fairly varied and has a deep growl that doesn’t tire the listener. He leads a band that works very well together. All instruments feel tight in their performance and the overall impression is that this band is organized and talented. The drumming, bass and rhythm guitar present us with a heavy, aggressive and yet sophisticated base for the vocals and lead guitar to work with. The lead guitar melodies are well executed, but I am most impressed over how they are written. The problem for most Death Metal bands, in my humble opinion, is that they fail to write interesting stuff for the lead guitar, and therefore disappear in the bunch of other half-talented bands. CRYPTIC VOICE manage to write songs that have a lasting value. They swap between an aggressive and headbangable beating rhythm and a more melancholy and almost epic approach. Those moments are the most enjoyable on this record and could perhaps have come even more often.
So, the reader asks, what are the weaknesses then? I must confess that I am not a very generous reviewer. My grades are probably a bit lower than most reviewers’. The 7/10 this album will receive from me is therefore a high grade. I only give that to albums that I like. That doesn’t mean that this band couldn’t improve. They vary their music just as much as they need, but sometimes a more accentuated chorus could give the songs even more of a lasting appeal. I also think that the really good growler could develop further if he experimented more with his vocals. These are however not big issues. This album definitely fits on my top 30 this year. So buy it!
(Online January 6, 2008)