I have been ranting quite a lot for the last couple of months completely and utterly unsatisfied with the numbers Cryptic Fate has been churning out. Well, only this time, I am going to stop doing that because anyway I look at it, Cryptic Fate has responded back and that too, with style, with their music in a way that I have been longing to hear this act churn out since they have been back in the game.
Following their last single “Mohora”, which featured more of an unpredicted and uncalled for alternative rock-ish side of Cryptic Fate (not that I don’t like Fate doing softer numbers just in case you might assume), their latest single “Akromon”, takes you on a journey of blasting riffs, beautiful guitar solos, powerful drums, a pretty solid bass and optimum vocals. All in all, a fine metal track with beautiful dynamic moments, that really captivates the emotion of going into a war without fear and with your blood boiling.
You know it’s a good song when a riff gets you headbanging and that is exactly what Akromon features right from the very moment it starts off. Accompanying the slightly progressive guitar riff, the drumline layered right beneath it is what seems to brilliantly compliment the song and honestly, was the very first thing that caught my attention. Carrying the song forward from the first second till the last, the powerful, fast, complex yet, precise drumline takes the dimension of the song from a rather simple one, to an extraordinary one. The bassline could have had a bit more work, as it was barely noticeable between the layers of the guitars and nothing about it stood out; neither individually nor along with the song. The vocal delivery seemed rather weak at certain points such as the first verse but it picks up power in the bridge and then the chorus and it somewhat, manages to carry that energy into the second verse and onto the second chorus. The only part that seemed rather abrupt was the section that was repeated following the first chorus. Perhaps a deviating riff complimenting the chorus or something along those lines could have been added to make that transition a bit smoother into the second verse. Following the second chorus a step down in the overall pace of the song is introduced which also seems a little abrupt in the first few listens but you get used to it after while. Following the breakdown, a very classic heavy metal riff is introduced, with a twin guitar lead section and an acoustic guitar layer in the background. The solos featured on this song are absolutely brilliant. Not only they compliment the overall vibe of the song but, they surely add a new dimension, musically. The amount of technique and the selection of notes introduced into the solo were nothing short of proper. And as the song regains after the solos, flowing into the repetition of the bridge, I was convinced that it was one fine metal track.
I know for a fact that lyrics are absolutely essential when it comes to portraying war stories, for one. And taking the point of planting a mental imagery of being in a war, I think Cryptic Fate has done a fine job on this track. Using metaphors referring to cataclysmic events such as the Judgment Day to highlight some of the important lyrical segments, at least for me, they surely could give me a picture of a scorching destruction being laid across scene of the war on the enemies. All in all, a good lyrical representation of the story that is being told in this song.
The production seemed average compared to the quality of the songwriting and lyrics. To simply put, the track required more depth and balance in terms of sound. Some bits seem a bit too loud and muddy while other bits sound hollow. For example, if you consider the bridge section “Israfil er shinga’r shobdo bheshe ashe”, that particular segment features a very muddy, booming bass section that sounds, rather annoying. The section where the acoustic guitar is introduced along with the twin guitar lead, it sounds a bit too spread out and low on sound. The acoustic guitar sound seems particularly out of place when it starts, in other words, abrupt. But, that abruptness is countered as the guitar solo kicks in. And moves on further into the song. One of the bigger flaws that seemed apparent to me was the drum mix. It seemed rather flat compared to the sonic balance of the rest of the tracks. The kick drums are barely noticeable throughout the entire song, the snare sounds dead and the hi-hats ring out far too much than expected. I hope, this would be tackled in the following tracks to come. The bass features a fuzzy effect over it and it remains consistent throughout the entire song. Unfortunately, this fuzzy effect doesn’t do justice to the softer sections of the song such as the twin harmony lead and the first solo section. This particular fuzz effect makes it seem like the lower end of the sound is cracking up and ends up making certain segments muddier. Other than all that, the guitar layers are finely mixed and balanced, the vocals are mixed fairly well except for the fact that they seem to lack energy and power at certain points. With all that being said, perhaps a better mix would have done more justice to the overall atmosphere and vibe of the song.
Considering all the pros and cons the track showcases, I would definitely put “Akromon” on the shelf of “The Best of Cryptic Fate.” Not only it successfully manages to tell you the story it intends to tell but also, it adds more power into the story telling, successfully painting the image of the counter-attack into my mind, lyrically and along with it, compliment everything, musically. All in all, a fine track and definitely something that has raised the bar of expectation once more from this act.