CRYPTIC REALMS / ASTIGARRAGA THROWER - The Rotten Is Alive / Aiako Harria (DARK RECOLLECTIONS CD 2016)
Really fuckin cool split CD arrived last week and I have to say that I’ve been spinning this shit a lot recently. Firstly comes Cryptic Realms, a very good band that debuted with “Eve of Fatality” EP last year. This time they serve us another five new tracks and I am yet again very pleased with what I could hear. OK, I said five, but technically there are just three songs, as the other two are short instrumentals. Cryptic Realms are another band that really makes you feel good about the whole old school death metal movement of nowadays and bring no shame in playing this style, as they manage to do that without being a useless and boring copycat. Interestingly their music reminds me not just old bands – like Morgoth, Obituary or Massacre (obviously taking the name for the band from their song obligate you to something haha) – but it also brings me some newer Kam Lee bands to mind, like Bone Gnawer or The Skeletal. It’s mainly due to the specific vocal style, which is very alike to what Lee has been doing recently. I would say that the vocals are like Kam Lee mixed with Mark Grewe, hope it makes sense haha. But the riffs are proper traditional mid paced death metal, with some groove, aggression and here and there with some melody. And all music is evoking horror ambience just very easily. Everything here sounds very, very good in my opinion, I like the band’s style and every song on their part of the split is just crushing. It’s not utterly brutal or fast, it’s just proper sick and classic sounding death metal. If you like the bands I mentioned above, then you will surely like Cryptic Realms also. I liked “Eve of Fatality” EP, but “The Rotten is Alive” sounds even better, so this band is surely going the right direction, in my opinion.
I was sceptical towards band called Astigarraga Thrower, with the Thrower word (and logo!!) being obviously a reference to Bolt Thrower. Will it be a joke band or useless tribute band that I will have no desire to listen to? These were my thoughts. Luckily Astigarraga Thrower defended themselves with some good death metal shit!! There are five tracks and sure, they have many similarities to Bolt Thrower, with some of these specific riffs, rhythms or melodies that the legendary UK band plays. But Astigarraga Thrower is something more than just that. For me they just sound like a traditional European death metal in general, as they remind me also Benediction, Morgoth, Asphyx, Grave or any other super awesome, heavy death metal bands from the old days. And to my surprise, their sound is quite Swedish like, with the guitar tone that remind me personally the Swedish style of death metal. But who cares for comparisons… the good thing is that Astigarraga Thrower sounds really damn cool and I like every song they came up with for this split CD. I like the feeling and aggression of their music, I love the riffs and vocals… More so, the production is just very good and so is the performance. I can only speak in positive words about Astigarraga Thrower. What a great debut from this Spanish band then and surely not a joke!
Final rate: 80/100