Cryptosis – Bionic Swarm

Frank Holby finds out if the new Cryptosis (Distillator) direction is still something worth checking out for fans of their earlier work and thrashers in general… here’s his findings –

Netherlands thrash trio “Distillator” gave us two full-length thrash metal records in “Revolutionary cells” and “Summoning the malicious”  that was as good as anything the new wave has given us in the last ten years, along with a split album with “Space Chaser” touring Europe with an insanely energetic well-received live show, supporting the likes of “Vektor” they seemed destined to work their way onto the summer festival circuit and possibly greater recognition.

Then last year “Distillator” was no more.. Or were they?

Clearly feeling artistically suffocated in the thrash genre,  2020 saw a rebirth of the band in the guise of “Cryptosis” ready to write new material with no boundaries or restrictions. 2021 brings us “Bionic Swarm” a concept album set in the year 2149. Where society is under the heel of technological oppression. With each track telling a tale in a first person perspective on the enhancements or otherwise of technology.  A few tracks have already been released as singles so you may already feel you know this band.

Opening up with a short Yngwie Malmsteen style instrumental “overture 2149” intro, leading straight into “Decypher “  a powerful statement of a track that showcases the mature musical awareness that the band possesses. It is no surprise that it was chosen to be the first single.

“Death technology “ continues in the same theme, with track 4 “Prospect of immortality”  at over 6 minutes this is a slow burning riff laden track, pulling you in different musical directions as it progresses.

The thrash influence does rear its head in various places. Not least in the track “Conjuring the egoist” but in a more technical sound akin to Vektor rather than low register riff from their previous incarnation. And it never hurts to throw in a mini Tom Araya scream on a track “Flux Divergence”  Taking influence from other extreme metal genres has clearly worked on this record, the black metal-ish “mindscape” is a well worked piece. 

The overall effect of the album cannot be underestimated, every track is well worked and executed, the overall sound is fantastic and makes you wonder how a 3 piece can make it sound so big, 

 Laurens Houvast keeps his natural thrash style vocals throughout but his guitar work is a vast improvement without the shackles of being labeled a certain type of band,  the bass work by Frank ti Riet is spot on as the foil between the guitar work and the insanely busy drumming of Marco Prij.

This is a good record, there is plenty going on, riffing with plenty of groove, screaming solos with fast tempo percussion. It is very European sounding in places melodic yet powerful and heavy record that is a blueprint for modern metal.

Cryptosis was penciled in for a European tour throughout the summer, but with the ongoing pandemic, it has sadly been postponed …

Definitely, a band to catch up with when life becomes normal again.

Cryptosis – Bionic Swarm is released on the 26th March via Century Media

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