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Many death metal bands tout the weight of darkness and madness in their music. The cavernous sounds of a crazed beast just around the bend, deep within some forgotten cave. There is an eeriness to it, but it is now all too manufactured. Much like the "jump scare," your "caverncore" band is a cheap thrill.

The imagery found on Dutch avant-death metal band Cryptae's debut EP is a stark departure from death metal's dark hues, a featureless humanoid creature emerging from the depths of a geometric anomaly. A postmodern display of spine-tingling expressionism, the artwork is empty, even more burdensome than the sensory overload of the blackscapes which now riddle death metal. It is a true fright, a figure of dread from the unfeasible vacuity.

Much like their imagery, Cryptae's own death metal offerings are hollow -- minimal spasms of jagged death metal irregularity and terror. However dense (rest assured, Cryptae's eponymous debut is dense), Cryptae's four parts emanate an empty, metallic clanging, a no-wave mask on an amorphous death metal blob. It bludgeons and blasts, but with a sense of gloom held therein. This void-beast is lumbering and massive, carrying the explosive paroxysms of energy within its amoebic pseudo-being. Much like their logo, Cryptae only hints at a defined form, a barbed, rounded miasma of shapes and sounds all their own.

The Cryptae tape EP will unleashed by Sentient Ruin Laboratories on December 22nd. Listen to "Maze", the EP's dizzying closing track below. Weave your path with yarn -- do not get lost.

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