It seems that almost every Baltic state band I come across plays on the periphery of the Extreme Metal scene, either in the outlying area of icy, frostbitten Black Metal or, like NIHILISTIKRYPT, they play balls-to-the-wall, Brutal Death Metal. These Estonians border on the new fad of Slam Death Metal with a heavy dose of mixed-in breakdowns and high-pitched squeals, however they stay enough firmly rooted in the gut-wrenching brutal world plied by so many other continental brethren.
NIHILISTIKRYPT rely primarily on switching between heavy chugging riffs and sliding into quick picked single notes; the rhythm section ranging from blast beats to thunderous and controlled yet oppressive percussive movements. The band melds all this together with a distinctive groove and brutality and while not unique, is compelling and vastly enjoyable for a Deathhead. Vocals are growled but not pitch-shifted which again keeps the album securely in orthodox Brutal Death Metal and not bleeding over into slam Death Metal (christ this genre splitting is exhausting!). There is the use of sub sonic base hits which I'm not terribly fond of however they are becoming so ubiquitous in Death Metal that over time you become used to them and I guess they serve some purpose as they can make your head jangle. NIHILISTIKRYPT are constantly moving forward, never letting up - they have one gear, firmly in place, and that gear is demolishing your face sonically. It is this one note approach that is both a blessing and a curse for the band. The album doesn't breathe much, and while this may be a signature for Brutal Death Metal it leaves me wanting more; even if that was the odd riff played in a receded manner on its own. Maybe that's a little too nitpicky especially since we are in an arena of throttling music, but I would like to hear the band expand their sound which would only emphasize their ability to mash all the more severe.
On “Psykhosis” there is one aesthetic choice that repeats itself over and over: the use of pinch harmonics. If you're not familiar with the term, think of those high-pitched squeals the guitar makes on specific notes generally in Death Metal. Also, if you listen to BLACK LABEL SOCIETY you hear these ad nauseum, as Zach Wilde loves to play them everywhere and anywhere. However, NIHILISTIKRYPT use them just a little too liberally and they wear out their welcome. Ultimately though “Psykhosis” is meat and potatoes Death Metal played with fervour, good production and solid execution. As such, this is an album that most Death Metal fans, while not gushing over, will enjoy thoroughly. Fist pumping, head swaying and teeth rattling.
(Online November 30, 2011)