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   CRYPTAMERIA
Shadows Apart
2004
self-financed
http://truemetal.org/cryptameria


rating: 3.5/5

1. Awakened
2. Broken Soul
3. Looking Back
4. The Crushing of Time
Cryptameria hail from the US (Virginia) and play progressive, melodic, yet heavy metal. Progressive but nothing too weird, just interesting breaks that keep you on your toes and melodies that grab you! All enhanced by Harley Smith's melodic solos, Pamela Carpenter's keys and Tim Parks' awesome drumming. But the most unique sound in the band comes from Kevin Lewis' voice! You might remember him from October 31, but in Cryptameria he plays bass and sings. Even though I feel his voice needs to get stronger still, it sure gives the band a distinctive sound of its own and he puts so much emotion in! His raspy type of voice is perfectly complimented by Pamela's occiasonal backing vocals.

"Awakened" already sums up all the great ingredients of this band: very cool drumming, soaring riffs, solos that carry you away, cool breaks, emotional vocals, keys that give extra color to the songs. Plus lots of intreging details throughout the songs that catch your attention. And with "Awakened" they show they can even write a damn good song with all those ingredients! "Broken Soul" is again cool with a lot of driven parts and vocals, but also has some parts where Kevin's voice is lacking - as characteristic and emotional as his voice is, there are parts (like in the lower regions) where he's still lacking some power and/or technique. But don't let me dwell on that too much, I find it way too important for a band to have just that, a singer with a truly unique and emotional voice! Slower and sweeter is "Looking Back". An almost-ballad with passion and melody and a very nice ending with Kevin and Pamela singing together (Kevin with a clean voice!). Sweet! Do throw in more moments like that :) "Pressure is building, the crushing of time"... Pressure sure is building with this "Crushing Of Time"! Again those very cool drums by Tim Parks and some backing vocals of Pamela. None of the other songs beat "Awakened" though, so if you don't mind, I'll hit play again and start all over :)

The sound of this recording is what you can expect of a demo, OK, but not too great. Guitars should be much heavier and crunchier for one. Wouldn't I love to hear this stuff with a much heavier production, you know, in an Evergrey sort of crispy way - hell yeah! But for now I'll just let "Shadows Apart" spin its rounds and rounds and rounds......

submitted by Marlies 17.07.2004

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