Monday 14 December 2020

Cryptorianus - Melancholia - Eight Silent Ghost Songs

Labels: Veinte 33 Records

Formats: CD/Digital

Release Date: 12 Oct 2020


1. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymo)))

2. Melancholia

3. Counting The Stars

4. Pale Rose Lips

5. Spell

6. The Butterfly Catcher

7. Through The Eyes Of A Penitent

8. Wise Men Never Wish For Eternity

Last week was set aside to focus on some of the more established names in heavy music, while this week will focus on some of the more obscure names. From Thursday evening, I have a few days off work so hopefully I'll be able to get a few more reviews written but let's see. This evening's subject is German solo drone/post-black metal/ambient band Cryptorianus and their most recent album Melancholia - Eight Silent Ghost Songs, which was released in October. It's actually the band's second album, following April's From Deepest Soul's Reverberation and it's been released digitally and on cd with the help of Uruguayan drone/ambient/noise label Veinte 33 Records (as well as digitally by Cryptorianus). The entire album is performed using two bass guitar and violin bows.

The very first song on Melancholia… is a nod (I think) to both The Walker Brothers and Sunn0))) (which, is apt considering Scott Walker (RIP) and Sunn0))) collaborated on an album together). I’m not sure if this is meant to be a noise/drone version of ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine’ but it’s hauntingly good. ‘The Sunn Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymo)))’ is very melodic for a song played only with bass guitars and violin bows, which bodes well for the rest of the album. The last time I witnessed this type of thing was when I saw Hundred Year Old Man live at Santiago’s in Leeds, which was a brilliant night.

In one way, this album epitomises what a weird year 2020 has been and Melancholia..., despite being riddled with dissonant noise, is surprisingly calming at lower volume (mainly because my neighbours already seem to be banging on the walls/ceiling/floor for some reason!). Overall, it’s a slow droning dirge with bizarre dreamy melody that’s quite soothing actually. I’m sorry but I just got distracted by how astronomically shit the “new facelifted” Facebook layout looks, but set to ‘Counting The Stars’ you forget all of that and sink into repetitive, hypnotic drone that perfectly embodies a social media platform going down the u-bend (that’s meant to be a compliment to Cryptorianus and the music!).

I guess I’m used to music from this genre being a bit longer and more drawn out, as ‘Pale Rose Lips’ goes by in a bit of a blur and leads straight into ‘Spell’, with very little time for pausing. I’m glad of that though, as pointless gaps in between songs can and do ruin the momentum of a lot of albums, without bands even realising it. Both of the aforementioned songs go by again with subtle melody that’s captivating, even without any percussion being present whatsoever. There are elements of Spaghetti Western compositions within Melancholia…, which might not come as a big surprise. You certainly get that feel in a left-field way from ‘The Butterfly Catcher’, which in turn leads me to another tenuous link to Scott Walker, who collaborated on the song ‘The Ballad Of Sacco And Vanzetti (Here’s To You)’ with none other than Ennio Morricone, on his 1972 album The Moviegoer. I’m pulling the knowledge out tonight!.

I used to find it hard to gain inspiration from noise/drone releases like this and I still can’t profess to be an expert on the sub-genre, but Cryptorianus seems to be hitting a particular spot here. Penultimate song ‘Through The Eyes Of The Penitent’  is dark and mystical yet also harmonic and once again relaxing. Album closer ‘Wise Men Never Wish For Eternity’ comes across as a dual between Electric Wizard and Jesu, in a weird kind of way. It’s neither doom-like nor industrial but that’s how it sounds to me. Maybe I’m starting to see things thanks to the pure strangeness of this record, but either way I like it a lot.

Once again, I’ve reached for some noise/drone/ambient music and have been rewarded. I’ll still reach for other facets of metal more often than this but Cryptorianus has certainly opened my ears with a really creative and original release. I know there’s many of you out there who will find the same enjoyment when listening to this too.

You can stream and purchase Melancholia... digitally below:-

CD copies can be purchased from Veinte 33 Records here -

Cryptorianus -

Veinte 33 Records -

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