Review: “The Black Ritual” by Cryptonight

Creating a niche sound by blending DJent and Doom styles together inspired by re-occuring nightmares, Cryptonight are a duo who are looking to create a dark atmospheric full of horror and malice with every note. All the guitars were recorded on an 8 string and the lyrics contain subtle references from games such as Bloodborne, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy and Diablo in the telling of personal nightmares in a descriptive storytelling style. Naming themselves Jekyll (Guitars, Male Vocals, Drums, Bass, Keyboards, Additional Samples) and The Cryptilian (Female Vocals, Keyboards, Additional Samples), something evil they have created lurks in the shadows…

…A you might expect “The Black Key” brings the sounds of pouring rain and painstakingly slow DJent notes allowing the high guage strings to resonate for extended moments before the next strike. They continue seamlessly into “The Black Door” with intertwining male and female throat shredding screamed uncleans breaking through slab after slab of monolithic riff. The vocal interplay is well worked, sometimes taking it in turns to vent, other times layered together so that the higher pitched female vocals are either in front or behind the deeper male ones. The presence of a second, Doom inspired riff building tension in the background is less noticeable then then DJent crush but it is just as important in creating the overall oppressive feel. The haunting melodic “Shadow Walk” is set by a horror film soundscape that is eerie enough to make you wonder what is coming around the corner while you check your rear view mirror. Harsh female vocals are buried into the haunting synths, the almost ghostly call from a demon in the black beyond. Subtle nuances in the mix pop out before a final burst of almost EDM brings in “Abstersion” as the two songs are joined at the hip. Another slow death crushing with intense DJent riffs and brutal vocals is broken by the sound of a murder of crows in an ambient mid-track break. Traditional song structures have been cast aside, abandoned and decaying, the pure focus of this project is atmosphere. A haunting melodic guitar noodling set to the backdrop of pouring rain sounds like its being played in a cave in ancient times or under a bridge forms instrumental “The Dickens” before another brutal slab in “Abhorrent Bestowal” comes into force. Buried samples including evil laughter are worked in around a single verse of screamed female vocals that chill the blood that then bleeds straight into “Precariosa” as if it was an extension of the same track. There are Black Tongue leanings in places but the sheer density of the intensity is like audibly wading through black treacle. “The Black Ritual” is another ominous cut, part serial killer part femme fatale. Skull crushingly heavy with a monolithic groove building into an evil and ambient melody. Nothing is quite what it seems and the plot twists of the narrative leave you wondering if someone was really brutally murdered or if it was all just a dream… [7/10]

Track Listing:

1. The Black Key (1:26) (Instrumental)
2. The Black Door (6:45)
3. Shadow Walk (5:05)
4. Abstersion (2:53)
5. The Dickens (2:12) (Instrumental)
6. Abhorrent Bestowal (2:41)
7. Precariosa (2:45)
8. The Black Ritual (5:24)

The Black Ritual” by Cryptonight is out now

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