Friday, 14 February 2014

Cryostorm - Version

Self Released 2013
1.Cryostorm 2.Vitality 3.Solacing 4.I Am Anomaly 5.Vivify
6.This Vivid Night 7.Septentrion 8.Fate & Evolution 9.Taciturn
10.Vorticity Spiral 11.Apocrypha
Cryostorm have been around for quite some time now and have had a couple of successful releases under their musical belts to date, but this, ‘Version’ is their debut full length and after hearing their previous releases expected the standard to be high and from the opening bars of first track ‘Cryostorm’ it was apparent the standard was going to be very high indeed. No fucking around, the band blast straight into their very unique brand of blistering melodic death metal. Unique is a very apt description of their sound, especially their use of guitar solos and lead breaks which they use very often and to great effect. This opening track rages along at quite a pace and is over before you know it, a great introduction to this new offering. ‘Vitality’ is tinged with a slightly more thrash sound with the pace slowed down for the more melodic passages and as ever the melodic guitar solos are there and really stand out as they are actually written as part of the song, rather than added over the top of songs as an afterthought. Blast beats are also introduced which adds real variety and gives the song some real ‘bite’. ‘Solacing’ again sees the pace slowed down with some really big solo sections used which really adds to the ‘melodic’ death metal sound. The solos are again a real highlight, well written and very well executed. Following on is ‘I Am Anomaly’ which is another feast of sharp and snappy riffing mixed with lengthy solos sections and again ferocious blast sections have introduced and work really well in amongst all the melody and really adds variety and makes for a great sound all round. Having compared the band (in a previous review) to Dimension Zero (Sweden) this still stands to a point. Cryostorm add a lot more melody in to their death metal, so haven’t really got the snap of D.Z but are equally as potent. If any further comparisons were needed, then next track ‘Vivify’ is reminiscent of early In Flames, having a more Swedish death metal feel about it. What stands out here is the fact that the guitar solos are written as part of the songs, as almost rhythm tracks, as part of the structure of the song as vocals are snarled over the top of solos which isn’t often heard in general, but works extremely well here. ‘This Vivid Night’ is a nastier beast altogether, slightly faster in pace than the previous songs and when the blast beats are re-introduced they really add a short, sharp and frantic edge to the song. As ever though, melody is never far away through the use of the guitar harmonies and solos. The band does sound particularly good when they up the pace and introduce the faster blast beats sections….more please gents!
‘Septentrion’ follows on in similar fashion, mixing all of the elements the band has to offer, namely melodic death metal that is led by the harmonies and solos with the added brutality of faster blast heavy sections….it’s a great mix that continues to work. The album seems to be gathering momentum as ‘Fate & Evolution’ springs to life, drums introducing the song on their own briefly before opening up with a more frantic and technical feel, the double kicks getting a good hammering from the outset. The song does drop off slightly, back to the more familiar, slower and melodic themes before ending frantically in a storm of blast beats. ‘Taciturn’ is vicious, again the band smashes open in brutal fashion, the drumming especially proving the point that the band know how to be punishing and brutal as well as melodic in the same song. The also show off their technical abilities here, the musicianship is of the highest standard and really shows – standout song so far! ‘Vorticity Spiral’ continues the more brutal theme extremely well, albeit not quite to the storm heard in the previous song but which still offers a snarling, melodic tinged death metal storm. The album has definitely gathered momentum through its latter stages and has now built a really epic feel as it begins to draw to a close. Eleventh and final track ‘Apocrypha’ pulls back from the brutality and harks back to the slow to mid-paced sounds heard earlier in the album. The songs has an almost ‘stripped back’ feel to it, sounding a lot simpler in composition with each instrument playing s more simple patterns, almost as if the band have purposely ‘gone back to basics’ to end the album. That’s by no means a criticism; there’s been so much going on throughout this album that having one track that does stand out as been slightly different makes perfect sense. There’s a very ‘spacey’ feel, almost ‘Cyinic-esque’ in sound which actually fits in with what the band are all about and is probably the ideal way to end things. Anyone who knows Cryostorm knows ‘their sound’ and fans of the band will definitely not be let down by this release as the standard has well and truly been maintained, if not bettered from previous offerings. The musicianship and execution of the album is top quality and it has a lot to offer in terms of extreme metal. It’s melodic, its brutal it’s blistering and it’s frantic and it’s a fantastic release which fans of melodic death metal will absolutely drool over. Comes very highly recommended.
8.5 Out of 10
Band Page: Here
Buy It: Here

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