The opening track ‘Into the Depth’ is all about sinister malevolence and festering riffs, providing a sense of solid structure thrust with brutal drumming. The nostalgia of U.S. death metal reigns heavily on the album and the songs are arranged to provide dynamics and grooves. Cryptic Hatred delivers straight-up death riffs. The guttural growls are right in your face ‘Stench of the Dead’ manifests reeking filth. The crunchy bass guitar and the growling vocals share many similarities to Cannibal Corpse‘s classic album ‘Butchered at Birth’. While the tempos are fast, the guitars showcase excellent riffing, Cryptic Hatred has nailed perfect sound on the debut album due to the precision of the performance and the sound production which renders an archaic quality lacking in many bands these days.
‘Nocturnal Sickness’ begins with a slower tempo. It’s also one of the highlight tracks on the album with the vocal effect fully demonstrated in the style of Chris Barnes. The rotten riffs on the mid-paced section have that thick sound of early 90s death metal. Throughout the album the grinding drums are the backbone of the rotten riffs which sound so damned heavy, Cryptic Hatred understands how to employ their dynamics. ‘Vile Execution’ is a fine example of the band’s brutal formula.
The mid-tempo sections are bolstered by heavily armored, rolling drums and double bass. In terms of songwriting the Finnish squad eschews complexity, though undeniably there are plenty of moments where the drums deliver a brutal slab. Cryptic Hatred takes a bold adaptation of the U.S. brutal death metal. The riffing enhances the rotten feature of the music. ‘Full of Hate’ is a mid-paced track infused with uncompromising barbarity, but mid-way through the track the drums unleash powerful blast beats. The Finnish quartet isn’t shy to deliver some solid, catchy and groovy riffs. However, they do it with style. The guitars even go into a slower mode to add gruesome atmosphere. The instrumentation is cohesive and comes very well together. Especially the grooves are very precise, capturing the spirit of the 90s raw death metal.
The album has a groovy element that perfectly makes the songs infectious, with influences extracted from bands like Suffocation and Deicide. ‘As I Enter Darkness’ and ‘Deathtroops’ are both cohesive. The riffing is filled with malevolence and hatred. These two tracks have some great memorable guitar sections. While the latter track is brutal and uncompromising, there are some killer stomping riffs and blast beats all over the place. The tracks offer more of a mid-paced style of brutal death metal, focusing on grooves and nasty, guttural growls.
‘Strangled to Silence’ proves that these Finns really know how to formulate some killer classic tunes. There is a lot of quality in the lead guitars and especially in the drum transitions. ‘Saw Torture’ starts at mid pacing tempo with the drums shifting gears for intense blast beats. The main riff continues to dominate. It shows how the riffs on the album are so dense and organized. The double bass drums are massive and add killer fills, not to speak of the various tempo shifts. The final track ‘Eternal Horror’ is one of the most extended tracks clocking in at a straight five minutes of nastiness. Skull-crushing drums, gory vocals and blast beats make the most of this killer song. There is also a nifty solo section that has the original identity of the band.
- Music / Songwriting 9/10
- Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
- Mix / Production 9/10
- Artwork & Packaging 9/10
- Originality 8/10
All in all, ‘Nocturnal Sickness’ is definitely a must for fans of classic death metal albums like ‘Butchered at Birth’ and ‘Tomb of the Mutilated’. This is pure Cannibal Corpse worship being done right in the most brutal and gruesome way!