Crypta’s stunning, debut album, Echoes of the Soul, out June 11 on Napalm Records, is easily one of the best and most appropriately named metal albums of the year. This blistering four-piece are the latest in a long line of killer Brazilian metal bands, only they also have in their ranks one of the fiercest lead guitarists the Netherlands has to offer. The end result of this gnarly, all-female, international collaboration is a shred-tastic ode to the death metal records of seasons past, and it rules.
It’s fitting that such a stellar new band would have a bit of pedigree behind them.
“Crytpa was born when we were still in Nervosa,” bassist and vocalist Fernanda Lira reveals. She and drummer Luana Dametto had been members of that famed Brazilian thrash band for years, when in the spring of 2019, the urge to spread their wings and explore heavier territory crept in.
“Our relationship in Nervosa was pretty much worn out already,” Lira continues. “Like any regular relationship, it wears out in time. Luana came up with the idea for Crypta because she’s always been a death metal drummer, and she kind of missed playing that. She always wanted to have a side project, so Crypta started as a side project, that’s the thing.
“We were on a tour and had many tours ahead of us when it started; we didn’t even think of leaving Nervosa back then. Then it all happened; it got to a critical point in Nervosa, and it was the hardest decision in my life; it was so hard to leave. But I’m so happy I was courageous enough to do it because I see it was better for everyone.”
Luckily, not only did the years of chemistry between Lira and Dametto transfer over into Crypta, but they’d strike lightning twice and recruit two amazing new guitarists into the fold as well.
“We always had two guitarists in mind because we love guitar duets,” Lira shares. “We both said ‘Sonia’ [Anubis, Cobra Spell and ex-Burning Witches guitarist] at the same time; it had to be her! We’ve been fans of her for a long time, even way before Burning Witches. I’ve always loved the way she played and her stage presence. She was like the perfect match for us, and we were so glad she accepted.”
“For Tainá [Bergamaschi, ex-Hagbard guitarist] it was a completely different story. She got in the band later, nearly a year after Crypta was born,” Lira reveals. “We had never heard of Tainá, had no friends in common, seen no videos on the internet at all. She sent me a message saying, ‘I saw you and Luana have a side project going on; I don’t know if you have a guitarist, but if you don’t, I’d like to send you some videos and I’d love to walk this path with you.’ And the first video she sent me, she covered ‘Crystal Mountain’ by Death. Like, she played the solo, and I almost died, like, ‘I need this girl, right now!’”
Armed with two phenomenal lead guitarists and a newfound creative freedom, the ladies in Crypta were ready to hit the studio and record what would become their stellar debut, Echoes of the Soul.
“When Tainá got in the band, we had written most of the album already,” Lira says. “They were raw versions of the songs, but they were there. Riff wise, it’s basically me and Sonia. Fifty percent of the riffs are mine; 50 are Sonia’s, and some come from Luana, too. Tainá came in and added new ideas for leads, and she solos on every song.”
Those frenetic, dueling guitar solos are a huge part of Crypta’s monster sound. Imagine soaring, NWOBHM leads transposed over early Cannibal Corpse and Sepultura riffs; pummeling, Swedish-death-metal drums, and the sickest Chuck Schuldiner-gone-black-metal vocals you’ve ever heard– that’s Crypta’s new record in a nutshell. Classic brutality, conjured with 21st century finesse.
“I’m the raw person,” Lira says. “I like all the Florida death metal bands from the ’80s and ’90s. Sonia, on the other hand, loves all the same bands, but she has this talent of putting these epic melodies into everything. I think this blend is what we have in Crypta.”
Something old meets something new, adding up to something wicked.
Watch the video for “From The Ashes” here:
Photos courtesy of Crypta.