Album review: CRYPTEX – Once Upon A Time

CRYPTEX – Once Upon A Time

SPV/Steamhammer [Release date 08.05.20]

Cryptex are the trio of Simon Moskon (lead vocals, keys), Marc Andrejkovits (bass, backing vocals) and Andre Jean Henri Mertens (guitars, backing vocals), with drums being handled by Simon Schröder.

Cryptex have been around since 2011 and this is the band’s third album. They certainly don’t stick to one musical style, and listening to this album they really reminded me of Swedish band A.C.T. (another band happy to explore any musical ideas that took their fancy).

A song like ‘Bloodmoon’ sees the band give it all, from the metal guitars through to the Queen approved harmonies and piano/keys pomp, this is stunning piece of music. The Queen comparison appears again on ‘Body Language’ (not a cover of that band’s song though), in the vocal arrangements whilst the music again successfully mixes elements of prog and pomp rock.

Despite the prog tag Cryptex don’t extend over six minutes on any song and the whole album fits together well. Be it a little jazzy refrain on ‘I Don’t Know Why’ or the grandiose, West End stage show appeal of the piano led ‘I See It In Your Eyes’. The latter also has whistling, not something you often hear on a song!

One of the year’s pleasant surprises as I knew little about the band or their music, but now am a convert. I strongly suggest you give them a try too if you enjoy progressive, melodic rock and metal. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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