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Autopsy worship! - 85%

dismember_marcin, June 29th, 2020

I’ve already had in my collection some of the earlier Cryptic Brood recordings and I certainly liked them, but this second full album of theirs, 2018's "Outcome of Obnoxious Science" is definitely their most worthy and interesting slab of filth. While the band stays 100% focused on their rotten and gruesome old school death metal, which is highly influenced by the likes of Autopsy, Repulsion, Pungent Stench, Death, etc (you know them all), they show us that there's still a lot of exciting and fantastic riffs to be played in this style and songs, which would not sound like a dull copy. Here on "Outcome of Obnoxious Science" it is all just close to spotless for me - and I write that as a huge fan of this death metal style. I can even say that this album really sounds better than I expected. I've played it many times in the past few days and it doesn't seem like I will have enough of it soon.

I've mentioned the influence from Autopsy and that sort of bands... That definitely is the most fundamental element of Cryptic Brood music. Grinding, fast riffs, but then also many doomy parts, all with sick, vomiting vocals (performed by all three members, so they’re quite varied) and horror, horrid atmosphere... But there's more to it all. Often you will hear also almost Swedish DM like riffs, even a bit more melodic patterns like in "Wading Through Remains", which has that Nihilist / Entombed kind of feel that quickly gave me a goose skin. Other time you will be crushed by the heaviness of massive slow riff in the Anatomia / Coffins / Undergang vein. There’s also enough of D-beat and that punkish simplicity to underline that whole old school vibe. And at one point I also had a strong resemblance that I could hear a clear influence from the classic British doom / death metal style with that Paradise Lost-like mournful, doomy pattern. And all that is thrown between vile grinding songs, which will kick you in the guts with no mercy, vomiting some disgusting stuff straight into your head.

That diversity is something I truly love about this album. This is why the album is so dynamic and never boring or repetitive. And it has that rotten, filthy, disgusting atmosphere – for me it’s a very important thing for old school death metal to have... That's also a perfect reason to tell why I always preferred this style of death metal over all those soulless, modern and technical albums. There's a feeling in it, a passion and obscurity. And I don’t care if "Outcome of Obnoxious Science" will be seen as another “average OSDM album” and that only few will really like it. In my opinion Cryptic Brood did a killer job here, I am more than happy then to recommend this album.

Standout tracks: "Wading Through Remains", “Slaves of Hypnotic Commands”, "Outcome of Obnoxious Science"
Verdict: 85/100

That Darn Science - 52%

Sweetie, May 11th, 2020

Oftentimes when you think of doom/death, you think of longer drawn-out songs packed with horrid growling and trudging riffs. Germany’s Cryptic Brood is a different story. Not only do their songs rely more on shorter and sharper blasts, but I’ve managed to find some punk droppings in their latest album, intentional or not. Outcome Of Obnoxious Science is their most recent effort, giving a healthy amount of guts and gore packaged in a messy fashion.

I say this because of how unstructured everything feels, figuratively boiling over a poorly designed structure. All of the instruments stand so far apart due to the mix that they all wind up sharing the spotlight. Thick, bumpy bass lines are responsible for transitioning the slower riffs into the fast pummeling ones. “Harrowing Hallucinations” hits almost every speed on the spectrum, and the instant shift into “Mantled With The Stench Of Death” is sudden and dramatic. Even this one simmers down quickly, though, with the drum kicks guiding everything.

The punkier parts shine through when the album takes the slammier direction. For one, the vocals heavily reflect your hardcore shouts whenever growls aren’t taking the forefront, even caking on that smeary echo. “Haunted By Nightmarish Visions” is loaded with punk energy, from the buzzing, mosh-friendly riffing all the way to the blackened backing. Some of the drum patterns common in that style show themselves as well, like in the ending of “Slaves Of Hypnotic Commands.”

But as neat as all of that is, that doesn’t mean that Outcome Of Obnoxious Science is exactly a great listen. There’s nothing wrong with the approach taken where things are scattered all over the place, but what’s missing is that overall hook or an endgame. Most of these songs could be shuffled around, and you’d hardly be able to tell the difference. Little direction is fine, as long as it’s able to stick. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Cryptic Brood are an interesting enough act that I feel just haven’t fully found their potential. If nothing else, they sure knew how to make something that stands out of the pack. The issue is that the songs themselves don’t stand apart at all, ultimately feeling redundant after forty or so minutes of this. It’s worth checking out, but I don’t see myself returning.

Originally written for Indy Metal Vault

Neon glowing bones - 80%

GrizzlyButts, January 26th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, War Anthem Records

Whereas so many death metal bands would rent the filth-ridden, doom-driven, old school of animated basement rotting (and freshly skeletal) death metal circa 1989 as a costume of credibility during their formative years Wolfsburg, Germany based trio Cryptic Brood were born with the sadistic intentions of maintaining and aggrandizing ye olde heap of radioactive decay. This sort of spiritual successor to the single-note riffed primally doomed totentanz of early United States and Netherlands death metal legacies, long or short-lived, possesses the exact right punkish mania of their forbears to bear authenticity while raking in the benefits of ancient doom metal knowledge in tandem. For their sophomore full-length, ‘Outcome of Obnoxious Science’, Cryptic Brood chunk out an instantly gratifying death-metallic hypnosis that intends to inflict a poisonous, screaming mania upon the whirled-awake corpses of their afflicted.

In other words, they’ve followed up their debut album (‘Brain Eater‘, 2017) with greater conviction and without losing their patented grimy, malaise n’ jaundiced death/doom metal jog. Cryptic Brood weren’t always so affixed upon niche, though, they’d formed as youngsters in 2013 and eventually found their path beyond odes to Winter and Autopsy on earlier releases towards the more stripped down nastiness of Crimson Relic and the early thudding crunch of the Netherlands death/doom circa ’89-’91 with Sempiternal Deathreign, Mourning, and Delirium well represented. All of this, minus any Celtic Frost riff implications, is still in effect today and the major change from the first album to the second is an emphasis on somewhat atonal doom metal riffs that recall the transition between Dream Death and Penance in the late 80’s (see: ‘Living Truth‘, 1990); Harsher, less directional, and obsessed with a cruelly spastic thread of slow motion body-burning riffs it all feels a far cry from where I’d seen the band going back in 2015 when discovering them through their first EP (‘Wormhead‘, 2015); If only because the trend was moving towards the more Autopsy-forward style of groups like Undergang at the time.

‘Outcome of Obnoxious Science’ is exactly as barbaric and creep-tuned as all of my careful name-dropping would suggest and in that sense Cryptic Brood have nailed a niche-adjacent style with a reasonably effective signature sound. What more could you ask of a death metal band in 2019? A lot more, actually, and the first thing on my list is riffs — This is where I feel each release from the band excels in terms of gymnastic range but falters in terms of bringing repeatable (well, memorable) patterning to their fantastically elastic doom n’ death dynamic. How then does the infection persist? The same way a record like ‘Journey Into Mystery’ provides a battery of maddeningly circular compositions and reprisals so does Cryptic Brood use repetition of forms to structure a release where the beginning and the end blur together on repeat, loosening the leash but never disconnecting their tether. The full listen is a -ride-, a mangled thread that is recumbent cycle as much as it is a cyclone ripping through a valley, hitting lulls and sloping downward quickly beyond highs.

Though I’m losing interest in the ‘caveman’ death metal thing week-over-week I think it would be fair to set Cryptic Brood apart from that crowd. They’re operating with the right sort of authenticity in hand, enough that no part of ‘Outcome of Obnoxious Science’ feels like a self-conscious low-rent imitation of a classic band despite any earlier comparisons made. They’ve mopped up their act somewhat in terms of production this time around where the trio sound like a trio with the rotten-nuclear bass guitar tone notably set in exactly the right spot beneath the gnashing of the guitar. “Harrowing Hallucinations” and “Mantled With The Stench Of Death” offer this modulation of clarity up front while showcasing Cryptic Brood‘s strengthened balance of horror-howling death and chest-stomping doom-punk riffs.

“Haunted by Nightmarish Visions” is a fine example of a very basic death metal structure given just enough of a tweak to stand out… but not enough to create a ‘bold’ highlight on the tracklist. ‘Outcome of Obnoxious Science’ is full of these nuanced takes that pull influence just an arms reach beyond their classic death-and-doom core. I’m an easy mark for this sort of subtlety, though… I mean throw any band that sounds halfway like ‘Mental Funeral’ (or, Morbus Chron‘s ‘Sleepers in the Rift‘) and I’m dumping my wallet on the table before the first song ends. The only thing that keeps me from loving this album is the lack of a true ‘freakout’ moment — I’d like to see them take those grindcore-ish moments further, something like ‘O Agios Penthane‘, and collapse into a mush to offset the stiff-necked buzz of it all.