Album Review: Cryptworm – Oozing Radioactive Vomition

Album Review: Cryptworm – Oozing Radioactive Vomition
Reviewed by Sam Jones

When I think of burgeoning UK death metal, one band I perceive as at the forefront is Bristol’s own Cryptworm, having formed in 2014, now poised to release their second full length album. The band are certainly proof that slowly but surely can work, for Cryptworm’a first self-titled Demo released in 2017, followed by their 2018 EP titled Verminosis. A year later saw a Split alongside now defunct Portuguese band Archaic Tomb, and another year on we got Cryptworm’s Reeking Gunk Of Abhorrence. Finally, last year, the band unveiled their first full length release, Spewing Mephitic Putridity, to grand praise and thus the band, now sporting a new, altered logo, prepare their newest release for a December 15th date right on time for Christmas. Continuing their partnership with Me Saco Un Ojo Records, this is one record I’m firmly excited to check out and, come next May, I’ll finally have an opportunity to see live.

So, straight out of the gate, anyone new to Cryptworm can come into this record with a firm understanding of what the band are all about: the production brings guitars to great depths and vocally the performance is one at home with uttering totally indecipherable syllables. But it’s interesting that the band didn’t go full bore with this production across the entire album, for the drumming has been lent a surprisingly light and crisp quality to its sound that’s frankly nice to encounter. Often, when we discover a record such as this, the band in question will spread the production style across all aspects of their instrumental and vocal elements so audiences will receive a fully aligned realisation of what the band want their audience to hear. But in this case, Cryptworm have ensured their drumming is light in its resonance so while the riffs are baring down on us the Tom-toms, cymbals and even the bass drums give us an avenue for alleviation so we don’t feel so completely subdued throughout the record’s full runtime. It’s honestly a nice discovery as I felt like the burden upon my shoulders, given the riff’s innate, crushing power, wasn’t as concrete as other albums I’ve heard before now.

Cryptworm are certainly a band of death metal lineage, and their crushing style is definitely in line with so many others we’ve seen this day and age but, while the band give us a window into something more ferocious and unrelenting than your typical death metal affair, their pacing isn’t always slamming the pedal right down. There are a good number of songwriting chunks herein where their playing, whilst possessing the inference of speed, isn’t wholly concerned with running us through their tracks as fast as possible. That’s not to state their playing has become slow, far from it, but their songwriting is well suited towards this steadier form of playing wherein their riffs, and the vocal vulgarity, is given room and a chance to really settle in to your minds. In addition, had this been a total marathon of speed, the power of their riffs would have been lost on us; the faster you play, with riffs this low in depth, the more ineffective they’d become. It’s deliciously malicious.

Album Review: Cryptworm – Oozing Radioactive Vomition

But credit must be given to the riffs themselves, for while we’ve come to know what to expect from a band such as Cryptworm, now on their second full length album, they’ve understood audiences need more than simple crushing might to keep them engaged. It’s why I’ve particularly appreciated Cryptworm’s more technical style of playing, yet it isn’t so technical that they could be thrown into another subgenre. Frankly, they didn’t need to write death metal that possessed this additional flair, as death metal enthusiasts like myself can be pretty well satisfied with cavernous songwriting alone, yet my ears were soon picking up on something different, something that stemmed Cryptworm aside from the multitude of their kin. What’s more, every track felt to have something different going for it that made their inclusion vital to Oozing Radioactive Vomition; the track listing may be sparse yet it felt like just enough to keep us going and then returning for more.

It struck me after a time just how coherent everything was to me. The more cavernous side of death metal, the kind Cryptworm are more than at home with playing, can run the risk of not only being so total on the audience’s senses that they lose track of the songwriting but also being mixed together in such an overwhelming manner that we can’t discern one riff from the other, nor the vocals from the drumming. It’s why this record feels so great to listen to as while we can recognise the enormity of their sound, and the aggression by which their performance relays, yet there’s no difficulty in working out where the band stand as far as their individual components are concerned. We can enjoy every element of this band as they play without one interrupting or overpowering the other and it’s honestly so refreshing knowing I can go into this record and actually relax as the band only continue to tear me to pieces.

In conclusion, Cryptworm’s newest album is such a delight. It’s hardly anything we’ve not heard before but due to the band’s style, their songwriting and the way this record has been mastered and mixed in the studio, Oozing Radioactive Vomition is an absolute treat for those more inclined towards the cavernous side of death metal. It hits that juicy, balanced, right spot whereby we can appreciate their might, yet it’s technically composed enough to demonstrate the band spent ample time and energy on writing and producing this record to be equally familiar and inviting. It doesn’t shoo away newer listeners as I’m certain Cryptworm will find scores of new initiatives into their fanbase following this record’s release. Hardly crossing longer than a half hour long and just eighteen months from their last album, Oozing Radioactive Vomition is a textbook follow up on improving upon your debut album. Cryptworm are slated to play Necropolis next year in London and I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting their performance. A hideously miasmic record.

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