CRYPTOSIS — Bionic Swarm (review)

CRYPTOSIS — Bionic Swarm album cover Album · 2021 · Technical Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Nightfly
It’s not often I give out a 5 star review as there’s not that many albums that are without even a few minor flaws. In the case of Bionic Swarm, the debut album from Dutch technical thrash metal band Cryptosis I had to make one of my rare exceptions, such the quality on offer here. This is their debut album but they were previously active as Distillator since 2013 so they’ve had time to cut their teeth and it shows.

Cryptosis occupy a similar place to Voivod and Vektor with their spacey and futuristic thrash metal. They’ve even just released a split with the latter recently. Naturally being added to our technical thrash metal sub here on MMA the music is complex as expected. It’s often very fast though not relentlessly so and busy. The songs often have strong and memorable melodies so it’s not one of those total guitar wankery exercises with style over substance. Far from it in fact as the strength of the melodies, often having a melancholic vibe helped by their use of mellotron, is one of the albums greatest strengths. There is also plenty of prog elements on display so fans of prog metal may find it to their liking if they are not averse to the vocals usually associated with more extreme metal genres. It’s an album that’s best listened to as a whole as every song as it comes is my new favourite! Another reason is it’s also a concept album of eight connected stories according to the band set in the year 2149. Naturally the playing is top notch with some blistering fret work and fast, precise and busy drumming – essential for this sort of stuff of course. The icing on the cake is the clear and powerful production allowing every nuance and intricacy to shine through.

Bionic Swarm is an album I’ve played often in the last few weeks, on heavy rotation in the car and at home. Deservedly so as well as at the time of writing it’s my favourite album of 2021 so far. Essential listening for fans of extreme metal, but also well worth a listen for prog metal fans too.
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4 months ago
Gave this a whirl this morning. It certainly helped vent frustrations on the return trip from a brutal session of misery at IKEA. A very consistent release for sure.

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