Evolution is essential to survival. In the ever-changing world of heavy music, that's an undeniable reality. As the march of time gathers speed and threatens to crush us all under its heels, it's time to make way for the futuristic multi-metal eruption of CRYPTOSIS. Formerly known throughout the European metal underground as old school thrash mob Distillator, Laurens Houvast [vocals/guitar], Frank Muim [bass/vocals] and Marco Prij [drums] have undergone a wholesale transformation and upgrade, resulting in a brand new band with a sound that is guaranteed to blow minds and wreck necks.
"When we started our old band we were kids," says Laurens. "We were still students and we had a totally different vision of the music. But wherever we went on the road, we learned more and more from each other, and we learned about each other's preferences in music. That taught us that we shared a lot of things beyond thrash metal. So we decided to write a new record, without any boundaries."
The magnificent result of this creative transformation is due to be unveiled in 2021, when CRYPTOSIS will launch their extraordinary debut album, Bionic Swarm. As demonstrated with immaculate power on Decypher, the first track to be released from the forthcoming record, the Dutch trio are now pursuing a natural and idiosyncratic course, dedicated to conjuring heavy music that dares to think differently. "We've grown from kids into adults," Laurens avows. "The music and our lyrics and the concept and everything else grew along with that." "We love the music we used to play and we really wanted to play music that sounded like that at the time, but then you develop as people and as artists. We want to make music that is /our/ sound, and not somebody else's. That's Cryptosis."
A million miles from the old school fury of their previous incarnation, CRYPTOSIS have a sound that defies expectations and limitations with equal intensity. A dizzying blend of visceral extremity, symphonic pomp and wild, progressive invention, the songs on Bionic Swarm showcase a supremely passionate band with a unique and ingenious take on metal's amorphous rudiments. Elements of blackened death, left-field thrash and grandiose symphonic metal are all present and correct, but Cryptosis have combined them in an exhilarating, unprecedented new form that promises to satisfy on both primal and cerebral levels.
"The sound is a mix of everything that we personally love," Laurens explains. "Everything from Rush to Dimmu Borgir. It's progressive, symphonic, it's death, thrash, old school and modern, with some black influences in there too. Everyone put their individual stamp on this first album. It's a mixture of everything metal!" "Yeah, we really pushed the limits here," adds Frank. "We made an album that, for all three of us, pushes us to the maximum of what we can do, to the limits of our abilities. We really needed to practice and practice to get the riffs right!" A concept album that explores the potential horrors of a dystopian future where runaway technology controls humanity in a variety of sinister ways, Bionic Swarm provides instant proof that Cryptosis were right to forge a new path and to choose a name that reflects the warped sci-fi grimoire that informs their lyrics. "We took the name Cryptosis because it's two words put together - on one side it's 'crypto', like technology, crypto-currency and the digital world," Laurens explains. "On the other side it's 'osis' which comes from hypnosis, so the combination means the hypnosis of technology. People can't live without technology and they're hooked, and it will only get worse in the future, with technology being in total control. You're hypnotised by the technology around you, and that's Cryptosis."
"This is basically a concept album that deals with sci-fi and fantasy," the guitarist continues. "The whole album is a collection of songs and every song is written from the perspective of a different person living in the year 2149. It describes how we see the future and what we think will happen and what our society will look like in that year. It's very much about technology, issues of privacy and stuff like that. They're not your typical thrash metal lyrics!" "You know the Netflix series Black Mirror? It's those kinds of themes," says Frank. "They're so interesting because it's all very realistic and believable. Maybe we're not there yet, but those things could happen and they're all possible. All our lyrics are based on a similar idea - things that might be possible someday, taking humanity down a really dark path."
Cryptosis begin their assault on the world's senses with an album that eschews the usual modern production cliches in favour of a distinctive and texturally dense barrage of deftly woven ideas. Sonically rich and powerful but still exhibiting plenty of rawness and grit, Bionic Swarm is a self-evident labour of love from a supremely focused and united force. "For the album, we recorded everything ourselves," Frank notes. "We had a sound engineer to help us record the drums and some guitars and bass, but we are very self-sufficient and we're all pretty handy in our own studios! [Laughs] We sent the raw files to Fredrik Folkare (of Swedish death metal legends Unleashed), and the mastering we did in Sweden too, at Fascination Street Studios, with Tony Lindgren and he did an amazing job."
Reborn as forward-thinking explorers of the extreme metal cosmos, Cryptosis are what happens when metal is allowed to evolve, to expand and to breathe. An invigorating shot in the arm for the entire metal scene, Bionic Swarm is guaranteed to be one of 2021's most talked-about debuts. Due to be released on Century Media Records, the first chapter in the Cryptosis story will have you gripped from the start. "We're starting with a clean slate. We're a new band, with a new label and large potential audience," Laurens concludes. "A lot of people that have never heard us before, we hope they'll check us out and they'll dig it and buy it! We want to do a lot of touring and festivals. We're all very ambitious and that's what got us to this point. We just keep on going, write the best music we can and never quit."