It’s a well-known fact that music is at its most powerful when it arouses our curiosity instead of simply providing us with prefabricated answers. When it caresses our soul rather than just rousing our intellect. When it boldly embraces revelations unapologetically and is not afraid to dig deep instead of anxiously scratching the surface. CRYPTEX combine all these qualities on “Once Upon a Time.” The third album of the band from North Germany is their most emotional, most profound and uncompromising piece of work yet, arresting in its propensity for darkness. An album with songs stylistically ranging from (progressive) rock to metal, from calm to violent, from catchy to virtuous tunes. And a slogan as emotionally unsurpassable as the band’s music: “Love is the answer!”. “Once Upon a Time” will be released worldwide on CD, vinyl record and in digital format on 8 May 2020 by Steamhammer/SPV. It’s a red-letter day: there may not be an international cultural revolution happening but “Once Upon a Time” will make all of our lives a bit more colourful and certainly leave its mark.
It is this well-balanced mixture of strong hooks, catchy melodies and a plethora of artful facets that have kept CRYPTEX so unusual and unique since their formation in 2008. “During our debut we were wild, impetuous and reckless, full of euphoria. Our second album sounded bulkier, a bit constipated and withdrawn”, their founder, vocalist and keyboardist Simon Moskon reminisces, looking back on a history of over 250 concerts in 23 European countries and supporting tours for bands like Pain Of Salvation, Threshold or Alice Cooper, not to mention their US shows and their own headliner tours. “’Once Upon a Time’ builds on our first album but with a lot more experience under our belts – as human beings but also as musicians and composers. You can hear that the new songs are created in a much more organic and liberal way, made of an endless number of colourful dots. That’s what makes this record so exciting.”
Simon Moskon is referring to ‘Bloodmoon,’ amongst others. The potent and atmospheric first single which will be released in advance on 14 February 2020 and will include an opulent video complete with actors, real-life wolves and magical landscapes. ‘Bloodmoon’ is everything CRYPTEX have to offer, comprised into 5 minutes of song that seem almost hymnal in their nature. Only one month after ‘Bloodmoon’ a second track will be released, featuring ‘Haunted’ with a must-see atmospheric video displaying all of the band’s artistic virtues. Their third single ‘Two Horned Crown’ will be released about 4 weeks prior to the album and is another prime example of the band’s great creative potential. With their two final tracks CRYPTEX proves how diverse in style “Once Upon a Time” truly is: while cross-referencing Nick Cave in their narrative style, ‘A Mo(u)rning’ and ‘Leaving’ are deliberately bordering on experimental art rock.
No doubt about it: “Once Upon a Time” shows CRYPTEX in such a uniform way and at the same time with a diversity and enthusiasm as rarely heard before. It’s obvious what caused this creative explosion: Along with Simon Moskon, guitarist André Jean Henri Mertens joins in as one of the leading song writers. Add bassist and co-lyricist Marc Andrejkovits (and drummer Simon Schröder, who drummed his way through their new record) into the mix and you end up with a group of like-minded people who do not only share their taste in music but also a burning need on voicing similar topics. According to the band, the songs are “unrestrained, autobiographic psychograms full of ambivalent feelings and approaches in self-reflection” which is perfectly in line with their programmatic album title since “’Once Upon a Time’ like the story of a fairy tale that was never fully told.”
Read our review here.