They Called Me Mad!
posted on 2/2009 By:
They Called Me Mad! is a frustrating album. On one hand, at times it delivers a crusty Stockholm-ish take on old school death metal with a robust, rough guitar tone and pacing that reminds me of Grave. But on the other hand it gets wrapped in its cheesy ‘horror’ metal visage with silly synths and samples that derail the positives I just mentioned.
The brainchild of sole member Patrick Bruss, Crypticus deliver 12 tracks of old school death metal with a slight thrash lean (i.e. “Rotting Masters”) and that expected Razorback approach that comes across as humorous whether it's unintentional or not. The songs are all short and to the point with all being between 2-3 minutes long with the exception of the 5 and a half minute closing title track. The overall tone is primal and down tuned with Bruss having a deep throaty over the top gurgle adding to the old school atmosphere.
As I stated in the opening paragraph, there’s some old Grave in here and those straight forward, midrange moments (“Septic Species,” “Moat of Blood,” “Unnatural Science,” “Lurkers in the Lab”) deliver some definite retro death metal entertainment, but with material like opener “Strange Facts In The Case Of P.E.,” “The Strange Elaborate Funerals,” “Astrophobos,” “Plasmic Eaters” as well as the aforementioned thrashier tracks and title track surface, the ‘horror metal’ atmosphere comes across as hokey and more of a joke band, negating the album's enjoyable Stockholm ooze and lurch. Also on the downside, Bruss’s vocals, while certainly old school, are almost grindcore, ultra low pitch (think Bile or No Escape artists like Hyman Holocaust and Die Pigeon Die).
With Razorback having released some phenomenal albums in the late part of 2008 like Gruesome Stuff Relish, Hooded Menace, Decrepitaph and Vacant Coffin, Crypticus falls short despite having a few moments of old retroactive enjoyment here and there.
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