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There are many Swedish bands I totally worship and many 7”EPs that I can have played on my funeral if it’s possible. Sorry to say, but this is just not one of them. I remember I was quite full of joy, when I managed to track this EP on E-bay few years ago and actually buy it for really small price, a real bargain!!! To be honest, back then, that was probably about 5-6 years ago, I only knew the “World of Myths” album by CRYPT OF KERBEROS and never had any chance to listen to any of their earlier recordings. That was one of the reasons why I got so excited about getting this EP – and also their second single soon after. But let’s be honest, despite a great historical value of this material, musically it just isn’t so good, at least only average.
First and foremost, the production for this single is just totally fucked up, so primitive, harsh and noisy that it doesn’t allow you to fully take a joy from these songs. Hmm, I guess the sound is more of a rehearsal work than a proper studio recording, so in this way I have some doubts whether this material should be released as a single or not. It should rather end up on a tape and take the band somewhere further from there… Anyway, SUNABEL decided to invest their money and released this EP. It contains only two songs, titled “Visions Beyond Darkness” and “Darkest Rites”. The overall impression they make is very messy. Although all these guys had some experience from the mighty MACRODEX, still their music on this EP sounds very primitive and pretty much like they were newcomers. Simple arrangements and structures, not much creativity… Simple, straight forward riffs, all played basically in the same slow tempo (except the fast, quite grinding finish of “Darkest Rites”), which gives the music quite doomy feeling... and deep guttural vocals, which are hardly noticeable. But everything here just disappears due to that amateurish production.
Eh, as much as this EP is listenable and probably I could play it once in while it just doesn’t change the fact that “Visions Beyond Darkness” is far from being a highlight in the short career of this Swedish band. For collectors only.
Crypt of Kerberos were an extremely talented and influential death metal band who shared members with the likes of Macrodex and Pain of Salvation. Their releases on Adipocere Records are timeless and provide the listener with some of the most unique death metal to ever come out of Sweden. This 7", released by the obscure Sunabel Records, is one of their very first recordings and, sadly to say, it shows. It's not nearly of the same caliber as the other 7" and CD.
The EP consists of two simple death metal songs played at slow to mid pace. Some of the heavier sections seamlessly venture into the doom territory, while the only time the music really speeds up is at the end of "Darkest Rites". Obvious influences are Bolt Thrower and "Mental Funeral"-era Autopsy. The music, although a bit monotonous, isn't the real problem with this 7". The worst part is the terrible production. It's very noisy and chaotic, which is strange because the songs are generally tame and slow. The poor sound of this recording makes it hard to tell what's going on sometimes. The vocals are very faint and the guitars don't stand out enough. The biggest problem is the horrible sound of the drums. The snare sounds like it's made of plastic and the cymbals are grossly over-produced. It sounds like a China cymbal that's the culprit, but again it's hard to tell what's really taking place here. There's a hissy static behind the cymbal(s) that's painful to listen to. It drowns out the vocals, guitar and bass and makes an otherwise average 7" sound like absolute crap.
If you've never heard Crypt of Kerberos before, I would recommend checking out their second 7" on Adipocere first. It's light years ahead of this one. "Visions Beyond Darkness" is a poor release of average death metal that doesn't do the Crypt of Kerberos name justice. The only reason to own this is for collection's sake. This is an extremely obscure piece of vinyl and the only release I know of on Sunabel Records.