Archive for Sounds of Infinity

Cryptic Age – Sounds Of Infinity

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 11th June 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Cryptic Age
Sounds Of Infinity
Released 26th May 2012
Power-Folk Metal
Self-Released

Cryptic Age are a relatively young band on the metal scene but they’ve already penned a mighty beginning to what could be a very long legacy which includes sharing the stage with folk metal legends Skyclad and black metal heroes Hecate Enthroned, as well as the release of their debut EP last year and it doesn’t end there, Cryptic Age will be sharing the stage with Latvian folk metal heavyweights Skyforger in September at the first ever Warhorns Festival, as well as playing Metalcamp a month before and this year has seen the release of their first full-length release: Sounds Of Infinity, an album that I’ve been waiting to hear since they announced they were recording it. I think it’s safe to say I may have got a little excited when I received it.

Sheayn ny Feaynid is the first track of the album and what a way to begin the album. The dark orchestration and monologue create a very mythic yet tragic sound which really does set the mood. Maelstrom follows next with a powerful symphonic sound blended in more hard rock styled riffs. The vocals are impeccable, adding an undoubtful spirit to the track. The chorus is very poignant, staying with you long after listening to the song. The tribal-like drumming of Fortuneteller signals in a change of sound for the album, with a use of exotic sounding riffs that tease the ears in a similar manner to a fine wine teasing the taste buds. The vocals are very harrowing, which suits the mystical and exotic soundings of the keyboards and the callous guitar and bass sections. The guitar solo embeds a modern sound into the track, which fortunately doesn’t dampen the track.

Horsemen of the Vale signals another change of sound for the album, ushering grand, majestic and epic riffs. The vocal sections are very arioso and dulcet. The keyboards really shine out in parts of the song, keeping the symphonic element strong. The end of the song has a genius touch with the sound of a glass smashing followed “Bloody Lancashire bastard. I’ll have ya!” – Though I doubt anyone other than Yorkshire folk will appreciate that section. The beginning of The Aftermath sounds like a scene from 300 before the Ensiferum-like riffs ravage through the speakers like a horde of angry Celts. The vocals, much like the guitars and drum sections, are strong yet aggressive. The monologue towards the halfway point of the track is mystifying and enchanting and the section that follows after is a beautiful yet savage mixture of symphonic and heavy elements. The calmer section, composed of flutes leads back into the Ensiferum-like riffs, rather masterfully. Sea Invocation is possibly the most bewitching song on the album, containing a medieval essence. It’s an unexpected track and yet it fits ever so perfectly on the album. It’s certainly a track any fans of Celtic music.

Perpetually Blind (Sounds of Infinity: Part I) begins with an enchanting vocal melody that gradually leads into a mighty symphonic piece. The guitar riffs are interesting, sounding like a twisted power metal riff. The symphonic parts of the track add a very august sound to the track, making it feel more tragic than one of Shakespeare’s plays. The next track Eternity Beckons (Sounds Of Infinity: Part II) carries on the aphotic sound, with the vocals sounding extra gloomy whilst the guitars and drums thrum on like a finely tuned machine. The monologue adds a mystique to the track, fitting in well with the aphotic sound of the quadrilogy. Seeking The Cure (Sounds of Infinity: Part III) begins with a keyboard section that eerily sounds like something from a Final Fantasy game mixed in with a dash of post-Tarja Nightwish. The orchestration and guitars make or an interesting blend throughout the track, as do the drums in certain sections. One of the most interesting sections of the song is the bluesy solo. Sounds Of Infinity (Sounds Of Infinity: Part IV) ushers in the end of the album, beginning with a whisper followed by a callous and heavy barrage of guitars, drums and keys. The Gaelic sound parts of the song certainly conjure up one’s inner Celt (or in my case, one’s Scottish and Irish heritage), adding a unique, hypnotic sound to the album. The vocals are mesmerizing and dynamic, enforcing the unique sound of the song, while the guitars and bass are more on the aggressive, inserting some fierce excitement to the track.

I’m not quite sure how to summarise my thoughts on the album into one last paragraph as I’ve never heard an album quite like this. Each track seems to take on a life of its own and tells a different story through the music. Cryptic Age have surpassed so many bands of their genre with this release and have proven themselves, once again, a folkin’ force to be reckoned with. Cryptic Age are definitely one of the finest folk metal bands on the scene and Sounds Of Infinity might just become an influential album on the scene.

5/5

Nico Davidson

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Interview: Jenny Green [2011]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 3rd November 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Since March, Cryptic Age have been on the rise in the British metal underground supporting acts such as Hecate Enthroned and Skyclad, as well as Ravenage and Morpheus Rising. The release of their Homeland EP also helped gain them exposure, being reviewed on several different sites. Cryptic Age will also be releasing a new album early next year. Valkyrian Music editor and promoter, Nico Davidson, has a chat with Cryptic Age’s frontwoman “The Manx Maiden” Jenny Green about the new album, the band and their previous gigs.

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Nico: Aside from the concept of the new album, do you feel that it will differ in any way – lyrically or musically speaking – from the Homeland EP?

Jenny: Definitely. The lyrics cover a more expansive range of material – we still keep the Manx folky aspect but we’ve also got other songs that look away from this. Musically, it’ll be a more progressive album overall with more symphonic elements, but still keeping the folk metal as the main feature. We’ll also be getting a few guests to play and sing for us – this album’s gonna be epic!

N: Do you feel that Cryptic Age’s music differs from most folk and female fronted metal bands? If so, why and how?

J: Well in folk metal you normally have a growler or at least someone who sings cleanly but isn’t classically-trained. I also think that the fact I play keyboards while still being the front-woman is a unique edge to our band.

N: Since March, Cryptic Age have shared the stage with a long list of bands and played a number of shows, which one, for you, has been the best one you’ve played so far?

J: For me I’d say it was our second gig at Stereo, which we headlined. It was great to see so many people there and it was one of the gigs we’ve played our best at! The first round of Metal 2 the Masses was pretty good as well – we played our first two songs really badly but then everything changed and we got a really great reaction from the crowd.

N: Are there any shows that you’re looking forward to playing?

J: Well yes – there’s Valk Fest [Valkyrian Festival] of course, and we’ve also got the S.O.P.H.I.E fest in Manchester we’re playing at beforehand. We haven’t really got any more shows planned  for now, however we’re hoping to get a couple lined up with some new bands we’ve never played with before. There is another show we’ve got lined up for February which is VERY exciting, but it’s all hush-hush I’m afraid so I can’t say anymore.

N: Cryptic Age’s lyrics – as you stated in an interview with another site – are mostly influenced by legends from the Isle of Man, so where is it that the influence from the music comes from?

J: Well On the Bare Cold Ground is the best example. It tells the story of the Moddey-Doo (Black Dog) which haunts Peel Castle in the west of the island. Guards normally travelled in groups to lock the gatehouse for fear of being killed by the ghostly dog, and a drunken guard becomes so overconfident he decides to lock the gatehouse on his own. Of course, to the horror of the others, he never returns. The Manx lyrics in Homeland are a poem about a storm in Port St. Mary harbour where a family of fishermen are trapped on their boat. In the four-parter Sounds of Infinity the lyrics are based on a legend even I didn’t know about which consists of travellers being able to hear the sounds of other-worldly men at the top of a mountain. Also another one of our songs in-progress for the new album has been taken from Manx history and we’ve turned it into our own story. There’s many Manx legends so we have a lot to work with.

N: Cryptic Age are booked to play our [Valkyrian Music‘s] charity event – Valkyrian Festival – on 27th, this will be the second show that Cryptic Age will have headlined, how are you feeling about it?

J: Very excited! For me it’s always more fun headlining gigs because you get a bigger audience and more people will have come to see us, in theory. It’s also great we’re headlining a festival – even though it’s not the biggest in the world it’s still something we can tell everybody, and I know there’s lots of our fans coming so it’ll be great!

N: Does the band have any plans – aside from the release of Sounds of Infinity – for 2012?

J: Well we never get out an official checklist and say, “We need to get this done by such and such a time.” and then tick it off. We’re currently in the process of sending out press packs to record labels, and basically promoting ourselves with bigger festivals such as Bloodstock and Metalcamp, the latter of which we might be playing at if we get enough votes!

N: How is the progress with the new album going? Are there any more details you can tell us about it?

J: Well I’ve revealed a lot more stuff already I guess, but the writing is going alright. We’re currently in the process of writing Sounds of Infinity Part III which’ll be a good old instrumental, and we’ve got a few riffs we’re playing around with for some new songs. Part I is coming together quite nicely behind the scenes. It’s going to be folky and mostly acoustic, based on a Manx sea shanty.

N: Cryptic Age are known to perform a metal cover of the “Game Of Thrones” intro medley at live shows and the band have also released a recorded version of it on Youtube, are there any more plans for covers like that?

J: Not really, certainly for now. The cover for GoT was a pretty spontaneous thing – we just liked playing it because it’s such a good tune and then we thought, “Why not cover it?”.

N: Are there any bands from your area that you’d recommend our readers to check out?

J: If you haven’t checked them out already, take a look at Lost Effect. They play melodic death metal and they’ve recently got a new singer. Infernal Creation are a great band too – they play insane Black Metal and put on a great show!

Cryptic Age will be headlining Valkyrian Festival on 27th November at The Ringside in Hull. For more news and information about the band, check out either their official website: http://crypticage.co.uk or their official Facebook: http://facebook.com/crypticage
For live videos for Cryptic Age, go to the official Valkyrian Music Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/user/ValkyrianMusicUK