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I think it won’t be an overstatement if I say that “Cyclone of Insanity” is one of the best EPs that came from the Swedish shores in the beginning of the 90’s. With all the worship and love that I have for such singles as “The Call”, “Ingrained”, “Skin Her Alive” or “…And the Laughter Dies”, I just think that here on this EP Crypt of Kerberos is equally killer and presents some classic tunes. And that is despite the fact that the previous EP from those Swedes, “Visions Beyond Darkness” from 1991, was rather weak. Luckily the band was maturing a lot during the year between both EPs, and also their two demo tapes were much better than the mentioned debut EP.
So here on “Cyclone of Insanity” they’re at the pick of their death metal ability. It is the best thing this band did and that’s a fact! Two songs it delivers can’t even be compare to what was on “Visions Beyond Darkness”… It sounds like different band; such is a quality and difference between these two EPs. The title track is just awesome, starting with aggressive, merciless riff and harsh vocals like a good old Bolt Thrower from the first album. The tempo then fastens a bit, but also a melody appears, creating a total headbanger. Then the weirder part comes in, with quite unusual riff and the best guitar soloing this band done so far. Brief back to the mid paced, heavy riffing and other solos appear, this time more melodic and memorable, proving that technically Crypt of Kerberos went much further even from the last demo. “The Ancient War”, which is the second and last song, is more classic death metal track, I think it has more in common with some American bands like Death from “Leprosy” than with Entombed. Again Kerberos includes few solos and also one really great riff, which I think is just classic!
I must underline how great the production is here – very crispy, aggressive, energetic, with slight reverb on the vocals and snare drum, but all is far from the rotten sound the band had before. And all that comes with one of the best front covers that you could find on the Swedish death metal singles, under one of the best logos ever… So yeah, definitely this is a must have single!
Probably my favorite release in all of Swedish death metal. This is not pansy thrash-infused death for the weak of heart, nor is it standard-fare(Entombed, Dismembered, etc...) Swedish death. Instead, it is a doomy, creeping morass of hopelessness and brutality.
The production is absolutely top notch. This album has a full, rich tone without sounding too base-y, and its far from ill-produced treble noise. The wonderful acoustics bring a dark, rich wood to mind, although the notes themselves are somewhat murkier.
The vocals are true death metal vocals. Deep, extremely guttural, and savage as hell. Just the way they should be. The guitar solos are decent, without being too ostentatious and in-the-way. As for the guitar work as a whole, it is ominous, almost unsettling, and sadistic. The drums have a good amount of pop, and the drummer certainly likes his crash cymbals, and puts them to good use, sometimes in place of a ride cymbal. The bass is tough to distinguish from the rest of the mix, but it is definitely there, enriching the sound.
Overall, this release just reeks of distilled hatred and creeping demise. It is an intense listen, and is most definitely an integral part of any death metal fan's collection. I strongly recommend it. Seek it out and enjoy.
If you've read my review for "Visions Beyond Darkness" then you're aware that I don't think very highly of that 7". This EP, however, is completely on the other side of the spectrum. In one year, Crypt of Kerberos were able to turn around 180 degrees, showing the world that they have a lot more to offer than slow, rotten death metal with lackluster production. "Cyclone of Insanity" is a monumental EP that remains as my favorite material from this band, and definitely among my favorite vinyl releases to come out of Scandinavia in the early 1990's.
Let's begin with the production. Gone is the noise, static, and excruciating drum sound. The recording here is really top notch, and I'm pleased to say that the drums sound great! The bass drum is extremely heavy and the cymbals sit properly in the mix. The bass guitar is still heavily down-tuned as before, but this time you can actually hear it. The rhythm guitars have more of a Sunlight Studios sound this time and constantly shred away with crushing precision. All in all, the production on this vinyl is near flawless in all its heaviness and makes "World of Myths" sound like an Opeth circle jerk session.
Once again, Crypt of Kerberos grace us with a two-song EP; except this time around the songs are memorable and don't blend together in a bubbling stew of boredom. The title track opens up with an abysmal growl from the vocalist. His vocals are ridiculously deep and easily rival those of Mark Mastro and Chris Weber from Rottrevore. Add to that a good amount of reverb and the effect is jawdropping. A quick thrash beat ensues along with a simple, dark riff that is really miniscule compared to what's to come. This is one of the few faster sections on the 7" and your chance to headbang ruthlessly. After a brief verse by the vocalist and some heavy double bass drumming, everything comes to a halt and the lead guitar works its way out of the shadows to deliver what can only be described as pure nirvana. The guitarist unleashes one of the most memorable and ambitious leads that I've ever had the pleasure of hearing in metal. I am absolutely mesmerized by his seamlessly flowing melodies. As you listen to them, they take your mind on a spiritual journey into a dreamworld far, far away. After another quick verse, the string of melodies returns as darkness takes you by the hand and doesn't let go until the song is over.
Side B consists of "The Ancient War". It's a bit more aggressive than the title track, and offers more traditional headbanging moments to the listener. The fast thrash beats continue along with some heavy double bass sections. There's even a chunky, NY-style riff somewhere midway through the song that is very different but doesn't sound bad at all. Just as you thought this song was more down-to-earth, another dose of incredibly melodic leads appears out of nowhere as you lay down your soul at the mercy of the lead guitarist. A hypnotic doom riff even finds its way into the last section of the song, helping this 7" achieve further god-like status.
Highly recommended to all fans of quality Swedish death metal.