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Истребитель

United States Country of Origin: United States

Истребитель
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: September 12th, 2023
Label: Independent
Genre: Black, Death, Thrash
1. Autel Des Violées
2. Limnic Death
3. Scuttle
4. Chaos, Hostility, And Murder
5. Нельзя Забыть, Нельзя Простить
6. The Cryptifix
7. Матрыярх
8. Lèse-majesté
9. Умерщвления Нечистое

Note: Истрибитель (ee-strye-BEE-tyel) - destroyer, exterminator, or killer in English


Review by Vladimir on January 16, 2024.

In recent years, I have come across so many strange and unusual works within the world of metal music that combine so many different ideas and somehow make it work. Well, one of such examples is exactly what I'll be covering today, so stick around for this one. The topic of this review will be the US extreme metal band The Crypt from Fish Creek, Wisconsin, with their independent sixth full-length album Истребитель released on September 12th, 2023.

The Crypt provides a very experimental and hybrid album in terms of its overall execution, relying heavily on death/thrash/black metal elements in their songs, however they also approach with some psychedelic elements on tracks 'Autel Des Violées', 'The Cryptifix' and 'Умерщвление нечистое', expressed with keyboards that have that magical 70's "church organ" sound. The instrumentation is predominantly tremolo picking riffs with instances of downpicking, blast beats and double-bass drumming, and guttural growling vocals, with the idea of combining best of the three aforementioned extreme metal subgenres. One song in particular which peeks out with the death-thrashing aggression, musical progression, and fretless bass solo, is the fifth track 'Нельзя забыть, нельзя простить', which will most certainly grab your attention and make you pay attention to every single detail in the song. The only song that strongly differs from the rest is the final track 'Умерщвление нечистое' which is perhaps more doomy and atmospheric with its slower tempo instrumentation and psychedelic elements, however it does serve as a nice closure to this wormhole journey. The growling vocals in particular resemble something that's between John Tardy (Obituary) and Johnny Hedlund (Unleashed), two profound death metal vocalists whose growl vocal styles are very distinctive, and here it seems to be like it was execution in the manner to point out the best of both worlds. Speaking of vocals, on a couple of songs you'll also hear maniacal screaming backing vocals on choruses which back up the growling vocals, performed by Maria Elia, Mortifer and Mason Berglund. The Crypt is known for combining multiple languages at once on their album, with songs being either in French, Russian or English, whereas we only have 4 out of 9 songs in English, with 3 songs in Russian and 2 in French.

The songwriting is incredibly dynamic and perplexing in a good way, making you feel often weirded out how the song manages to combine everything at once yet make it all work. All the songs express different ideas, which altogether contributes a lot by conveying different vibes through various forms of instrumental work that can certainly play with the listener's psyche. Interestingly enough, even though I found this album to be quite atmospheric, I also thought it was very psychological with its overall flow of ideas that will cause some sort of "danse macabre" scenes to play out in your head. Musically, I'd say that "danse macabre" is perhaps the best way of describing what this album sounds and feels like. The pink and dark greyish purple cover art with that extra-terrestrial touch serves as a great visual representation of this album's overall musical output, and it certainly blends in well with the atmosphere. Productionwise, the album has a very top-notch sound with the heavily distorted crunchy HM-2 like guitar sound, distorted bass guitar, superb vocal mix and banging drum sound.

Personally, I feel that the perplexing nature of Истребитель is certainly its highlight, holding your attention from start to finish and the variety certainly does not diminish its overall quality and excellence. If you ever asked yourself what it would be like to come up with an album which combines elements of death, thrash and black metal with some psychedelic elements, all while under the heavy influence of magic mushrooms, this album is the answer. In case you haven't checked out The Crypt or this album, go give it a listen, the experience truly is a wormhole travel.

Rating: 8.9 out of 10

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