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The bar for what a single black metal musician can accomplish these days in consistently being raised, some of the very best albums released in this genre being solo projects. With Increibles Tormentos, the 5th full-length from Spain's Cryfemal, Ebola continues to give credence to this fact. This is a visceral, hostile album of wrist cutting chaos which bears the sonic equivalent of a full fledge Norse or Swedish black metal band. Increibles Tormentos is grim, but it is not subtle, preferring to clout you over the head with this fact. To make matters worse (or better, in this case), Ebola successfully contributes synthesizers to the material to give it a larger, epic, sweeping feeling.
"Delirio Funerario" is a volcanic blast of programmed blasting, huge riffs and the sinking feeling that you are about to be dragged deep into the bowels of Hell, one track at a time. The second riff is akin to a wall of tormented souls calling forth their sorrows of life. "Orgasmos de Molestación" is disgusting and forceful, alone trumping anything on the most recent 1349 album. Brutal, vibrant and yet hopeless. "Pudrición de Enemigos" creates another monolithic riff which cannot be denied, it takes only 4-5 chords for this guy to convince you he's 'got it', and then a swirling descent into carnal chaos. There are no 'breathers' on this album, it's just one ass kicking after another, with the exception of a few brief, doomier chord segments. "Horrible and Violenta" and "Negro Metal" are other great examples of the pearly-gate-shattering delivery.
All this is well enough, but the stark, hostile mix of Increibles Tormentos also deserves credit for the album's unrelenting quality. Brash and noisy, but swelling with diabolical impurity, the album is both razor sharp and atmospheric. Synths and choir-like samples arrive at precise moments to channel the grandiose of the Abyss. Cryfemal may not be the most original black metal band, but it delivers an experience you will not want your black little hearts to miss out on. The best I've heard yet from the Spanish act.
Hailing from Madrid, the one man-project CRYFEMAL is the brainchild of Ebola. The press-release from Bloodred Horizon Records describes his music as "Depressive Necrofeeling Black Metal", but luckily the actual album is a lot less ridiculous than we're led to believe. While CRYFEMAL has churned out some quite melancholic albums in the past, "Increibles Tormentos" is a step towards something far more aggressive.
The most distinct feature of CRYFEMAL are the utterly deranged vocals. Ebola screams and wails like a wounded animal, with the Spanish lyrics buried in vocal effects. The ghastly synths adds a ethereal quality to the music, which sometimes flirts with the perverted sound of bands like CELESTIA. Balancing out the melodic pieces, the other side of the album comes in bursts of full-fledged sonic attacks. On these songs Ebola's vocals really come to their proper use, like a maniac with a machine-gun, but is somewhat drowned out by the relentless drum-machine. It's not the worst case of programmed drums I've heard, but a proper sticksman would have broken the somewhat static mold.
Alternating between mid-tempo melodies and brutal assaults, "Increibles Tormetos" struggles with making a profound impact, in spite of an undeniable tight performance. When it works, it's a pleasure to behold, but too often the attention slips and it falls into generic Black Metal territory. It's clear that Ebola knows how to create quality Black Metal, but evidently there is still a lot of potential for improvement.
(Online December 24, 2009)
Written for the Metal Observer