Tuesday 21 November 2023

Crypt Rot - An Ancient Summoning

Labels: Brutal Mind/Dry Cough Records/Frozen Screams Imprint

Formats: CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 11 Nov 2022


1. The Work Of Worms

2. An Ancient Summoning

3. Arcane Rites ft Fiore Stravino (Fulci)

4. One Thousand Serpent Tongues

5. Pestilential Vortex

6. A Pit Of Snakes ft Floor Van Kuijk (Carnifloor)

7. Diabolically Reborn ft Larry Wang (Gorepot) & Ryan Wills (Seven Doors)

It's with typically great (or rubbish) timing that I choose to write about the 2022 full-length An Ancient Summoning by now deceased UK death metal band Crypt Rot. The trio called it a day last week. This, Crypt Rot's only full-length album, was released on CD via Indonesia's Brutal Mind and on tape via UK label Dry Cough Records in the UK and Europe, as well as in the US by Frozen Screams Imprint. It features guest vocals by Fiore Stravino (from Italian death metallers Fulci), Floor Van Kuijk (of Dutch tech-death band Carnifloor) and Larry Wang (of Taiwanese death/grind band Gorepot/Fat Tub Of Lard Records). There's also an additional guitar solo from Ryan Wills (of UK horror-themed death metal band Seven Doors).

I’ve been a fervent supporter of Dry Cough Records ever since the label’s first release and as with my previous reviews, I’ve always had physical copies close at hand. An Ancient Summoning being no different, as I ordered a tape copy as soon as it was available. On ordering, Crypt Rot was a new name to me but one that I took notice of straight away thanks to the artwork that adorned this release. Diving into opening song ‘The Work Of Worms’, you’re greeted with succinctly brutal death metal featuring slams aplenty and gnarly vocals that morph into pig squeals at times. I have no problem with those vocals when used in context and here they work perfectly.

The album’s title-track contains all the groove you’d expect from a tech-death band, alongside plenty of gore influence too. It’s noisy, bludgeoning and intense. For such a short-lived band, Crypt Rot knew exactly how to write stellar brutal death metal songs with just the right amount of melody and suspense. The first of the album’s guest vocal appearances comes courtesy of Fiore Stravino of Fulci of ‘Arcane Rites’. Fiore’s vocals add extra depth to a song that’s already pretty well layered with blasting death, while joining the excellent lead guitar work to make it sound a lot more old-school in delivery.

After the whirlwind that was ‘Arcane Rites’, ‘One Thousand Serpent Tongues’ follows in exquisite fashion, complete with duelling twin-guitars and slamming low-end/percussion. It’s properly engrossing, even with the slightly distilled song length. This is the best medicine to numb the thought of returning to work tomorrow morning and it’ll probably be blasting through my earphones on the commute as well, thanks to the excellent hit delivered by ‘Pestilential Vortex’.

The album’s final duo of songs starts with ‘A Pit Of Snakes’ and it’s additional guest vocals from Carnifloor’s Floor Van Kuijk. Those added vocals work wonders alongside the unsurprisingly insane musicianship. When brutal death metal is done this well, it’s hard to understand why it all can’t be just as good. Album closer ‘Diabolically Reborn’ with Gorepot’s Larry Wang on guest vocals, shows exactly why Taiwan’s (and Asia’s) death metal scene as a whole deserves more attention, while the guitar solo provided by Ryan Wills of Seven Doors once again highlights the breadth of talent that exists in the UK. 

Crypt Rot’s trio of Tom Hughes (guitar, bass, songwriting), Kyle Shaun Thomas (vocal, lyrics) and Justin Wallisch (drums) have crafted a fantastic death metal album, which doesn’t overstay it’s welcome (like others do). It might be their first and only full-length, but I implore you to grab a copy if it’s still available. You won’t regret it.

You can stream An Ancient Summoning digitally below, where it's also available to purchase in both digital and CD formats:-

Crypt Rot - @cryptrotband Instagram

Physical copies can also be purchased from the labels below:-

Brutal Mind - https://brutal-mind.com/CryptRot

Brutal Mind - https://www.facebook.com/brutalmindjakarta

Dry Cough Records - https://www.facebook.com/DryCoughRecords

Frozen Screams Imprint - @frozen_screams_imprint Instagram

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