lunedì 9 ottobre 2017

Cripta Oculta - "Cripta Oculta" (Signal Rex Productions, 2017)

Band: Cripta Oculta
Title: Cripta Oculta
Genre: Raw Black Metal
Year: 14th April 2017
Time: 42 min
Rating: 62/100

I think that this review will have few views also because, as for many Portugal black metal bands, Cripta Oculta are so mysterious that they have no FaceBook page, so I can't share this article with them. But, said sincerely, I don't give a fuck about the views since I love literally the current black metal produced by this magnificent country called Portugal. Ergo, today I will present to you Cripta Oculta ("Occult Crypt" in Portuguese), a duo active since 2004 that has realized 3 full-lenght albums from 2009 to 2010. Curiously, these two demons released nothing from 2012 to 2017 but, fortunately, they broke this silence through their recent 4th album, simply titled "Cripta Oculta" (or "Lost Memories"), released by the small Portuguese label Signal Rex.

Firstly, I have to admit already that this album should be better but the fact is that no TRVE black metal fan can remain indifferent to the mysterious and nocturnal magic aura of this last work by Cripta Oculta. This is due mainly to a very raw and melanchonic black metal inspired strongly, as it's common for many black metal bands from Portugal, by the malign lesson of the French Black Legions, also thanks to a heavy lo-fi production (also if it isn't exactly in the same noisy tunes of bands like Candelabrum or Wóddréa Mylenstede). But, at the same time, this album offers a lot of points of interest considering that it presents heavy dark ambient influences, as exemplified perfectly by the funereal and keyboard-laden opening track "Mistérios de Sangue" and the marching nightmare called "Batalha Nocturna" (truly effective!). But there are also some folk metal solutions, as shown, for example, by the use of flute (often integrated in the same metal parts), an important instrument for songs like the conclusive "A Mão de Ferro que Esmaga Sião". And again, Cripta Oculta, very proud about their soil, take also insipirations from their own folk traditions as you can hear in "A Dança do Fado Negro", where there is a long acoustic section with clean vocals inspired, exactly, by the Fado, a musical genre typically Portuguese (I knew it 2 years ago during my holidays in Lisbon). Finally, in the aforementioned  "A Mão de Ferro que Esmaga Sião", you will find some heavy metal parts. And at this point, there is need to say that this album of Cripta Oculta, with their magic, ancient and crepuscular black metal, is enough various.
But unfortunately, these two proud Lusitanian warriors aren't always able to be really effective, also because they have the tendency to make too much long-winded some songs with the result to diminish the intensity and fluidity of these ones. At least, this happens for "Uma Noite de Trevas", that's perfect until its 4th minute also thanks to an excellent climax with the flute but, then, this number repeat more or less the same things so to reach the 8 minutes; and for "A Dança do Fado Negro", a tour de force of 11 minutes too self-indulgent when there is the aforementioned acoustic section (it's incredible to say that a guitar melody of this section reminds me a lot the final bass line of "Subjugation of the Cursed Kingdom" by the Italian blacksters Obscure Devotion!), after a good tempestouos start that represent one of the few very violent moments into the entire album. I find questionable also that kind of too long intro titled "Mistérios do Sangue", that has melodies played in a too random and wobbly way to deliver a real funereal aura.

So, this album is twisted of a very evocative atmosphere, also if, as we have seen, it isn't lack of important weak points able to undermine a bit its effectiveness. Ergo, this production by Signal Rex, an excellent label specialized in the lo-fi and ultra-misanthropic black metal, worth a simple 62. But, at this point, I would like to unveil a mystery: if the LLN bands were formed more or less by the same persons, is it the same also for the Portuguese acts, considering also that some of them belong to a similar sect called Black Circle? Mmmh...

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1 - Mistérios do Sangue
2 - Uma Noite de Trevas
3 - Para o reavivar das Tradições
4 - Batalha Nocturna
5 - A Dança do Fado Negro
6 - A Mão de Ferro que Esmaga Sião



Cripta Oculta:
Signal Rex:

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