Cryptorianus is a German based experimental recording project that incorporates heavily distorted bass guitars performed by violin bows. Released on October 12, 2020 through Viente 33 Records, their album Melancholia - Eight Silent Ghost Songs displays a unique delivery of music. At initial listen, the album is built around a sonic framework that is very noisy and abrasive. Such aural harshness may not capture the attention of the average music listener that may prefer a warmer, smoother series of tonal textures. Under the surface, however, there are some distinctly melodic passages - occasionally in a minor key, while moving into augmented or diminished patterns at other times - that showcase the unique talents of the project. Musically, Melancholia - Eight Silent Ghost Songs incorporates darker elements of Drone and Ambient music while being loosely influenced by sensibilities of genres outside these parameters - particularly Doom Metal and Sludge Metal. While there is not much in terms of variety within the structure of the overall sound, there is certainly an alluring quality to the material; it has a hypnotic quality that can take one into a deep meditative state. "Through the Eyes of a Penitent", "Spell", and "Pale Rose Lips" exemplify the well-performed musicianship and well-layered recordings of Cryptorianus on a while. For the most part, the music on Melancholia - Eight Silent Ghost Songs moves in a free-flowing manner. Although there's no percussion on any of the tracks, the menacing bass guitars, despite their ambiguous sonic textures, do provide a sort of consistent pulse throughout. "Counting the Stars" is one of my favorite moments on the album, which I think perfectly demonstrates the surreal nature of the sound of Cryptorianus. Comparatively, I liken the music to a walk through a cold, damp forest in the wee hours of the morning on a bleak day, late in Winter.
If you're an enthusiast of Experimental music, a passionate fan of Drone/Ambient/Noise music, or are a fan of dark and abrasive music in general looking for something out of the box, I certainly would recommend checking out Cryptorianus's release Melancholia - Eight Silent Ghost Songs. An acquired taste, for sure. However, it's very well worth it for listeners who relish in experimental, abstract sounds that unwaveringly lie on the harsher, grittier end of the tonal spectrum.