Twenty-eight minutes of down-tuned madness that is reminiscent of old Swedish style rather than Finnish; Finland’s Cryptborn debut In the Grasp of the Starving Dead features seven brand new songs vocally fronted by Maveth’s Christbutcher, and also two more members of the brutal outfit; to a total of five. Although, Cryptborn is from Finland; it is pretty unusual to find a death metal band with such a distinct sound.
Cryptborn features a lot of influence of gore metal. The guitar sound and vocal style bend towards bands like Decomposing Serenity, Disgorged Foetus, etc. In the Grasp of the Starving Dead is Cryptborn’s debut EP. It was initially released on cassette in July of 2011 by Detest Records, but this filthy, old-school EP will finally see a proper CD release when Dark Descent Records reissues it in mid-September. Heavily influenced by old school Swedish death metal, In the Grasp of the Starving Dead hardly offers anything new to the genre, but manages to provides a decent punch-in-the-face for those who still haven’t gotten their filthy early death metal fix.
The EP opens with the track “A Feast for the Grave” which starts off with an intro and slowly moves forward in a slow pace…a very different opener for a band which seems to be pretty aggressive. The title track is an in-your-face kind of track with its trademark guitar sound which goes on and on. The variation seems missing and tends to drag over a period of time.
In terms of songwriting, Cryptborn could also use a bit of improvement. Most riffs here are fairly generic and unmemorable, and Cryptborn does very little to differentiate themselves from the hordes of old school death metal clones on the scene today. The production seems to be a bit of a let-down as it difficult to hear most of the instruments properly. Everything stands in the same line and it could have been better if some of the instruments could have been in the back seat. The one good thing is that there are a few good solos; but even they are killed by the rhythm guitar which goes on and on – like a train through out the song without a break.
It may not be a an mind-shaking EP, but I’ll keep an eye on where this band heads in the future. But overall, it is decent EP to check out!!!