Thursday 23 March 2023

Cryptorianus - Eternal Sorrow - Nameless Joy

Labels: Self-Released/Scum On Earth

Formats: Digital/Tape

Release Date: 25 Nov 22


1. The Wanderer At The Shore

2. A Hole In The Heart

3. Unknown Call Of Yearning

4. The Honesty Of Decline

5. Ghost Lament

6. The Minnesinger's Quest

7. Black Is The Colour

8. Forest, River, Moon and Sun

9. The Sea Of Ice

10. I Can Feel You There

11. The Sea Of Ice (Vocal Version)

12. Unknown Call Of Yearning (Vocal Version)

13. The Honesty Of Decline (Vocal Version)

14. The Wanderer At The Shore (Early/Raw/Vocal Version)

15. Nameless Sorrow - Eternal Joy

Eternal Sorrow - Nameless Joy is the latest release from German solo drone/noise/post-black metal artist Cryptorianus. It was released back in November of last year and contains two distinct sides. The first ten songs are instrumental while the final five songs that make up the album's fifteen are vocal and experimental versions. As well as being self-released by Cryptorianus digitally, it was also released on tape by Scum On Earth.

I’ve decided to write this review over two sittings, given everything there is to take in here. Album opener ‘The Wandering At The Shore’ is filled with heavily fuzzed-up bass guitar, which is both droning but also upbeat with a definite melody flowing through it. Some might call it primitive, but it’s not. If you’re a listener that prefers more defined songs and structures, you will find this hard to listen to as ‘A Hole In The Heart’ follows with a much more unnerving tone and progression. Initial impressions brought Sunn O))) to mind but I don’t think that comparison’s right now I think of it. I’m not even trying to compare Cryptorianus to anybody else either.

‘Unknown Call Of Yearning’ is the last of the longer players (for the time being at least) and it’s crawling tempo, even without the help of percussion, is very mournful and almost inward in it’s delivery.  I guess using the term “longer players” was a bit of a misnomer as ‘The Honesty Of Decline’ crawls along at the same pace as it’s predecessor, filled with distortion aplenty. It very much feels like all of the songs here are really just one movement broken up. They follow on from each other as if they were anyway, as ‘Ghost Lament’ demonstrates. 

Cryptorianus clearly had a singular vision about how Eternal Sorrow - Nameless Joy was going to sound and sometimes it’s interesting to understand that vision. Perhaps I’ll do a rare interview at some point soon. The reason I talked about vision is because musically, as ‘The Minnesinger’s Quest’ comes to an end, it’s becoming obvious that variation isn’t something that’s being employed through these initial ten songs, though that strikes me as being deliberate on the part of Cryptorianus and I’m not trying to do the band or album any disservice.

One thing’s for sure though, it’s nothing if not mesmeric at times. ‘Black Is The Colour’ is as droning and as hypnotic as it gets on the album. It’s also the moment at which the fuzziness fades out a little to open a slightly clearer bass sound (briefly). The light begins to shine through during the song’s last thirty seconds, which kind of blows my point about variation out of the water. The experimental nature of Cryptorianus is very clear and the melodic tones that opened up this album reveal themsevles once again during ‘Forest, River, Moon and Sun’, which sometimes sounds digital almost. 

This latter half feels more laid-back (though that could just be my mind playing tricks on me). ‘The Sea Of Ice’ is the penultimate instrumental song on Eternal Sorrow - Nameless Joy. It’s very haunting and leads into ‘I Can Feel You There’, which has some really cool bass textures flowing through it. The final five songs here are where Cryptorianus adds vocals, beginning with the reimagining of ‘The Sea Of Ice’, which actually sounds like a completely different song with them. More black metal influenced but still just as droning and noisy.

From stark black metal and noise to spoken-word on ‘Unknown Call Of Yearning’. The spoken-word makes this composition sound even more unnerving, especially thanks to the very eloquent delivery of Cryptorianus. Very gothic to these ears. It’s a brave thing offering re-imagined songs like this but then again you see it happen all the time. It depends a lot on the band too, but here I think that they work really well and show a different, more expansive side to this project, especially on ‘The Honesty Of Decline’.

The version of ‘The Wanderer At The Shore’ that’s reserved for this section of the album is an early/raw vocal version mixing both black metal and spoken-word, making it much more theatrical. The album closer proper is called ‘Nameless Sorry - Eternal Joy’, which in case you haven’t guessed, is a play on it’s title. This song is an amalgamation of the dark noise and gentle melody that Cryptorianus is able to create, but in a much longer form. 

This whole release is an odd musical trip and it won’t appeal to everybody; however, it’s well worth giving a chance for it’s final five songs alone. I’ll be completely honest here and say that I felt more comfortable listening to those than I did the instrumental offerings. You as a listener might feel differently though, so give it your full attention. It will reward you.

You can stream Eternal Sorry - Nameless Joy below:-

It can be purchased on tape and also digitally from Scum On Earth here -

Cryptorianus -

Scum On Earth -

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