As the reference to existentialism in the title might suggest, we live in dire times. In a year when The Dillinger Escape Plan have announced their own demise, in a year when The Ocean remain silent and reproachful, who will supply us with the groovy, hectic, frenetic progressive metal we so long for? What voice shall break the silence and blend blistering heaviness with introspection, ensnaring our minds and hearts with its highs and lows? Luckily, Cryptodira have taken up the mantle left so empty and are stepping up with a re-imagined, re-recorded version of “Descent”. The first half of their masterful 2014 debut, An Unmarked Grave, “Descent” is a showcase of the gritty, progressive, groovy metal we bemoaned in our opening lines. Now, it gets an aural and visual treatment, with a brand new recording and mix coupled with a fresh, depressing and moving video to go along with it. Head on below and check it out in all its carmine glory.
The re-recording of this track is obviously brilliant news for fans of progressive metal. Cryptodira have long held a promise for the genre; their progressions, ambient parts and sheer aggression are all handled in a refreshing and engaging way. Hearing this amazing first step in crystal clear sound quality is a true pleasure; every instrument is resplendent in its accurate sound. Listen for the quiet parts, punctuated by amazing guitar leads, around the four minute mark and all the way through the fifth minute.
The production work elevates these segments into new places, carrying their emotional punch all the way home. These passages are coupled in the video with incredibly evocative, slowed down images from a Cryptodira show (where you might spot long time fan and Heavy Blog photographer, Mark Valentino). Honestly, I’ll never grow tired of seeing bands in such a setting; it adds so much more conviction and power to the music. The other half of the video is a red robbed figure, carrying a rock in an imitation of the Sisyphean myth, endlessly failing and falling to its knees.
This theme adds even more depth to the lyrics of the track, as well as to its name. Once again, these ideas blend beautifully with the music, like the startling look featured above and at the middle of the video which coincides with the unsettling guitar leads that run through it. Perhaps the only disadvantage to this beautiful re-release is that it makes us crave new music from these guys even more. I know they’re reading this so I’ll take this chance to light a fire under them: get to it boys! Progressive metal needs you.
For now, head on over here to snag “Descent” (for free!) AND a cover of System of a Down‘s “Spiders” (damn fine choice of a track to cover, if you ask me). You can also catch Cryptodira live on/in the following dates/locations: