Crypts of Despair lay waste to mind, body, unleash devastating death on ‘All Light Swallowed’

I’m sure it sounds ridiculous to say that hearing music can leave you with physical punishment, a gimmick I like to lean on a lot, but I think you know what I mean when I say it. Hearing something so heavy and devastating makes me imagine the music being transformed into an attacking force, one with only the worst of intentions for its audience.

“All Light Swallowed,” the second record from Lithuanian beasts Crypts of Despair, falls right in line with that manner of thinking. Yes, it’s a death metal record first and foremost, but it isn’t your run-of-the-mill album that’s just leaning on riffs and horrifying growls. This music sounds vicious and the result of four people—guitarist/vocalist Dovydas Auglys, guitarist Benas Juskus, bassist/vocalist Simonas Jurkevicius, drummer Henri Mall—seemingly possessed and making their way toward you with bloodlust in mind. The dual vocals from Auglys and Jurkevicius add even more sinister intent, as their growl/shriek tradeoff is absolutely terrifying. And, of course, they along with rest of the band wreck you with their unhinged playing that, yeah, feels like it’s going to leave you physically maimed.  

“Being – Erased” gets off to a blinding start as a monstrous burst rushes through, and the dual vocals of guttural growls and banshees shrieks make for a formidable team. The leads tangle as slurry hell punishes, the playing spirals into devastation, and the track ends in fiery damage. “Anguished Exhale” unloads a furious assault and some proggy bass work, quaking the earth along with it. The band pounds away in ungodly fashion, a strange hypnosis spreads, and hellish blasts rip through your chest and your bones. “Choked By the Void” begins clean before things turn to smashing chaos, piling on and hitting you with blasts. Vicious growls well as a mystical fury spills into the scene, the track feels strange and deadly, and it finally gives way and lets you breathe. “Condemned to Life” is thick and animalistic as the shrieks and growls do battle, and it feels like you’re being aggressively smothered. The pace bashes ridiculously hard, the growls engorge, and everything ends in clobbering fashion.

“Synergy of Suffering” has growls erupting and the shrieks trading off as the pace feels like it’s designed to torture. Clean tones drip amid the carnage as things get slow but ridiculously heavy, mythical strangeness enters your bloodstream, and the growls leave you mostly scorched. “The Great End” hisses from its nest as the drums blast, and the vocals melt flesh. Brutal death is unleashed as double kick drums rumble, causing the pace to get even more battering. A brief halt lets the track bleed back in, deep growls strike, and the track is scorched into a pile of dust. “Disgust” mashes right away, though clean lines float amid the brutality. The guitars send heat as the drums destroy all over again, the guitars spill and steam, and the force rises and strangles before finally relenting. “Excruciating Weight” arrives in a cloud of hovering guitars, with raspy cries and tortured growls landing hard. The playing continues to bludgeon as the heat makes you shield your face, completely taking you to task before everything rushes off into the night. “Bleak View” ends the record with horrified screams and a doomy feel as dissonance and dark light bleed. Menacing storm clouds hang over and threaten as the instrumental track slithers along and into an endless cavern.

These Lithuanian beasts in Crypts of Despair spared no mental expense creating a record that feels like your head is being blown off in a fire storm, leaving your lifeless body a blackened shell. “All Light Swallowed” is such a perfect name for this record because that’s exactly how it feels, like life is being violently pulled from you. This is a relentless, merciless slab of death metal that feels like it’s ravaging you flesh and bone, refusing to give in until you’re fully consumed.

For more on the album, go here: https://www.facebook.com/cryptsofdespair

To buy the album (U.S.), go here: https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/

Or here (Europe): https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.de/shop-en_1

For more on the label, go here: https://tometal.com/

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