Crypt Rot hail from deepest darkest Ohio and while the guys have been plying their trades in various local bands over the years, the aptly titled Embryonic Devils represents their new project’s debut LP. The band describe themselves as sinister blackened death which, as we were about to find out, again rather aptly captures the sound on this, their first album.
There are five tracks on the record with each linked by a truly disarmingly eerie short segue, which together seem to depict a poor lost soul being dragged into the crypt by some infernal being. Proceedings begin with the first one which opens ominously with the opening and closing of an ancient crypt door, followed by a harrowing scream and discordant piano line before a grotesque disembodied voice welcomes you to the crypt. This sets the tone for what’s about to come.
Musically, the picture is one of straight up old school death metal but is punctuated with some unique twists. The band make no bones about being heavily influenced by genre progenitors such as Dismember, Deicide and Cannibal Corpse and you can definitely hear these influences both in the sound (think dirty Gothenburg back-alley in the early 90’s) and song structures with some awesomely heavy riff breakdowns a lá Cannibal Corpse. However, while so many bands try to take things to the “next level” in terms of brutality, often coming at the cost of craftsmanship and ultimately listen-ability, Crypt Rot manage to borrow some of the best bits from their forefathers and add their own distinct touches.
From the aforementioned segues to the haunting acoustic interludes on tracks “Pit of Morbidity” and “Internal Organ Feast”, to some haunting female vocals, and frequent use of sound effects. Add in some monumental riffing as demonstrated on album highlights “Coffin Birth Post Mortal Fetal” and final track “Internal Organ Feast” and we have the ingredients for a really enjoyable album.
My only criticism of Embryonic Devils is that of the production/sound quality. While, the record undoubtedly captures the rawness of that classic early Swedish sound, the quality is a tad too dirty at times, to the detriment of the often excellent guitar work on show.
Having said that, Crypt Rot have delivered a really good debut well worth a listen – that is if you dare venture down into the Crypt…
Embryonic Devils is out on 28th April