The Angel of History


From their webpage, CRYPTODIRA's lyrical message revolves around the intersectionality theory of oppression, bringing a […]
January 1, 2021
Cryptodira - The Angel of History album cover

From their webpage, CRYPTODIRA's lyrical message revolves around the intersectionality theory of oppression, bringing a uniquely realistic and human element to the table. This unorthodox approach to progressive music defines the very essence as a group that has something important to say and an interesting way of saying it. "The Angel of History" is the band's third full-length release and contains eight tracks.

"Self (Affect/Efface)" opens the album. It begins with some heavy drumming and then harsh vocals in a rhythmic cadence. Guitars join in slowly. Some cleans some in at the chorus, along with some harmonized vocals. Some dissonant guitar follow then it's back to the melody in the chorus. "Dante's Inspiration" is a short, three-minutes of discordant guitars and harsh vocals. Some Progressive elements are stronger here, in the form of meter shifting. A clean guitar passage is tossed in towards the end, just prior to the final chorus.

"Ontology of Pain" begins with another set of discordant guitar riffs and some heavy strikes, while harsh vocals rage. Suddenly, it drops to a clean passage for just a moment, then back to the heavy sound. It's the lack of transitions here that bothers me most. They turn it on and off like a switch. "The Blame for Being Alive" is close to eight-minutes in length. It opens with smooth, slow bass notes and poignant clean vocals. The harsh passages come in heavy and aggressive, intermixed with cleans, and even guest female vocals. It's an odd combination of music here for me. The clean passages are both sad and charming however.

"A Tendency to Fall" is another shorter song that hears the interplay of melodic passages with harsh ones. They just don't connect well for me. "What Can't be Taken Back" begins with heavy guitar strikes and uncompromising harsh vocals. The ambient passage that follows the whispered harsh vocals is quite pretty. This song works better for me, but I can't say why exactly. "The White Mask Speaks" begins with clean guitars and vocals. I really enjoy this part of their sound. Then comes the heavy guitar strikes and vocals, sharing the sound in unison. The poignant sound that follows is very alluring, especially the harmonized vocals.

"Something Other than Sacrifice" closes the album; the longest song on the album. Beginning with bass and clean guitar & vocal tones, it's very calm and soothing. Distorted guitars and harsh vocals follow, attacking with multiple stab wounds per second. The soothing sound returns. The yin and yang of the two styles clash together strongly, and there is no warning. Of the two styles, I much prefer the softer, more composed side of the album. This isn't to say that there is anything wrong with the harsher, more aggressive side, but that side is so strong it would take over the album by stamping you down and down until you are crushed into pieces. Overall, it's good, but if they can work in better transitions, it could be better.

7 / 10









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"The Angel of History" Track-listing:

1. Self (Affect/Efface)
2. Dante's Inspiration
3. Ontology of Pain
4. The Blame for Being Alive
5. A Tendency to Fall
6. What Can't be Taken Back
7. The White Mask Speaks
8. Something other than Sacrifice

Cryptodira Lineup:

Scott Acquavella - Guitar/Vocals
Jeremy Lewis - Bass/Vocals
Mike Monaco - Guitar/Vocals
Matt Taibi - Drums

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