Crionics' new album Armageddon's Evolution will please many old school black metalers who like their music raw, heavy and absolutely chaotic. All of these indispensable elements are successfully served here. Moreover, the Polish band injects some dark keyboard lines into the music without overdoing it. The keys are there for aesthetic purposes, not to build catchy melodies to suck the listeners in. Besides, Crionics doesn't need to be accessible, as they are already very gifted when it comes to playing crushing riffs that often spiral into blackened thrash along with extreme scream vocals.
As with most black metal releases, the music is fast, angry and relentless. The songs' power mostly lies in the way the guitars are played, creating complex riffs around speedy blast beats and low, guttural black shrieks. The songs suggest a similarity to earlier Emperor and even Zyklon, but also differ from these bands as it is quite obvious that Crionics is a metal band using more modern recording techniques and production. The sonic quality and mix on the album are great; there is no loss of sound whatsoever. The guitars are vastly audible with lots of chord progressions utilised on almost all tracks, and a very live drum sound. Unlike some other black metal bands, Crionics' songs reveal diversity and complexity with each listen. After the typically fast Euro black metal opener "Arrival of Non-Parallel Aeons", a dark cut filled with cluttered keyboard sounds; the even faster and more aggressive track "Final Inversion" kicks in. This one is a shorter yet more effective tune. You will be quite exhausted by its end, and the intro of the title track will be a breath of fresh air with its symphonic keyboard textures, awesome drumming, and tremelo-picked guitars. Mind you most black metal bands aren't too concerned with laying down technical licks, Crionics is a nice exception as their guitar player is unafraid to throw in choppy riffs and lead solos pretty much on every song.
Again, as opposed to boring the listener with each passing track, the album becomes stronger and stronger. I certainly think the songs on the second half of the CD are more impressive. "FFF", one of the best tracks on the album, begins after a short instrumental track laced with majestic keyboards, and explodes like a volcano with machine-gun riffs, crazy drum power and intense vocal layerings. "Xenomorphized Soul Devoured" follows and stands out for its extended guitar solo, something not too common on today's black metal albums. The pinch harmonics in the solo are terrific indeed. "Celestial Interference" is extremely dark while the last track "Black Manifest (The Sermon to the Masses)" is a nod to earlier black metal anthems for its thrashy riffs that are littered with black metal screams and incessant blast beats. Two bonus tracks, one of them being the 14-minute long Emperor cover "Loss and Curse of Reverence", kick in at tracks 65 and 66 (after track 9, we segue into track 65 with two second pieces) and seal the album. Crionics has released a very solid disc to say the least. If you like the genre, you must hear them.
- Arrival of Non-Parallel Aeons
- Final Inversion
- Armageddon's Evolution
- Chant of Rebel Angels
- FFF (Freezing Fields of Infinity)
- Xenomorphized Soul Devoured
- Disconnected Minds
- Celestial Interference
- Black Manifest (The Sermon to the Masses)
- Dept. 666 [bonus]
- The Loss and Curse of Reverene [bonus]