Album Title: Escucha a los Muertos
This is a compilation album from Cryfemal, a Spanish band playing atmospheric black metal. It contains their "Escucha la Muerte Persigue" demo and "Raising Deads... Burning Alives" album.
The sound on this album is rather tinny. The drum computer and lead guitars have a high, light tone to them, while the backing guitar lays down a layer of impenetrable fuzz in the back. There are some synths, used in the usual black metal fashion. A few samples help set the mood. The vocals are screamed, with plenty of reverb. I like that they're mostly sung in Spanish... always good to see a band that writes in its native tongue. Though this is both an album and a demo, it is perfectly convincing as a single work, as the production on both is very similar.
The songwriting here is very deliberate, with repetitive riff cycles reinforced by eerie, enraged vocals. Cryfemal has a bit of an industrial sound in places, too, though perhaps that's the fault of the mechanical drums. The pace here is almost constantly blasting, but some slower sections help to break things up a bit. During the slower passages, more active riffs will sometimes surface, but it seems that this band is going for a more ambient sound, because they're not often allowed to disturb the relentless mood. The combination of the two styles feels a bit schizophrenic, but it works well to keep the listener from drowning in the sea of backing guitar.
I especially like the slightly more militant drum patterns during the ambient section at the end of "Niebla De Funeral", very cool. The riff that starts out "Unbelievable Storm..." is great, too. They've even got some old-school lead guitar during "Arrival of Unholy Knights", which makes for the best moment on the CD. The latter half of "Macabre Suicide" is an instrumental with a sprawling array of fun guitar work.
In general, I like this band when they've got a dynamic riff out front, but I lose interest during the more ambient parts. Unfortunately for me, the latter outnumber the former. That said, this band has enough going on to appeal, and at just over an hour of running time, there's plenty of music here. Recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Unbelievable Storm in the Holy Circle", "Arrival of Unholy Knights", "Macabre Suicide"