Crionics - Human Error (Ways to Selfdestruction)
Black Death Metal
10 songs (44'45")
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Alex
Album of the month

Recently, one of the readers on the forums asked about the difference between black and death metal. The whole slew of helpful and knowledgeable folks came out of the woodwork to pitch in their opinions. As they were so eloquent and so correct, I read the thread but pretty much had nothing to add. The thought I kept to myself, however – “it really should not make any difference if the band sounds good whatever shade of death or black metal they represent”. Enter Crionics from Poland. What do they play? Blackened death metal? Or deathy black metal? Who cares when the crossover is accomplished as good as it is! The truth of the matter is Human Error (Ways to Selfdestruction) has me excited like only the other three albums in the genre in the last three years – Immortal’s Sons of Northern Darkness, Naglfar’s Sheol and Zyklon’s Aeon. And that is a huge statement.

Crionics came out of nowhere, but it is our duty as extreme metal fans to track down this album. These Poles are drinking from the same well as Behemoth in terms of music quality, but differ from them stylistically. While Behemoth started out pagan black metal and slowly imbibed in Morbid Angel influences, Crionics started out with Norwegian style guitar riffing, but threw in keyboards for extra supplemental atmosphere. No, this is not a lo-fi Norwegian black metal a-la Darkthrone, but rather Zyklon-styled fret octave jumping with blast-steady rhythm section. Unlike the “true kult” proprietors, Crionics production is actually full of low end, again, just like Zyklon, and I am sure neither Samoth nor Crionics would mind a “death” label attached to them.

What you can’t fault Human Error for is lack of intensity. They come out blasting from the first track (Satanic Syndrome 666) and don’t relent until Indoctrination Procedure ends. Pulverizing drums (courtesy of Maciek “Darkside” Kovalski), jackhammer full frontal riffs, the band does not forget about guitar solos, melody and atmosphere. The solos are extremely tasteful, completely inseparable from the overall song fabric (Waterfalls of Darkness). Melody can come in variety of forms. There can be a touch of it or full chord progression (Hallowed Whores, Precipice Gaped), the band does not overuse the tool, never turning this into a cheesy blackened crap. Keyboards is what most likely would distinguish the Poles from Zyklon or Grimfist, but, please, do not do Crionics a disservice and confuse them with Dimmu Borgir. It could be conjectured that there are some similarities, but those reside more with the Spiritual Black Dimensions-era Dimmu Borgir, there is no full-scale symphonics disguising the blackened thrash on Human Error. Crionics keyboards are used very cleverly. They outro Waterfalls of Darkness (what a name for a song!) just like you’d expect, and introduce Episode of the Falling Star. However, Waclaw “Vac-V” Borowiec’s synth is a tool, not a centerpiece. The only complaint at all I have with the album is synth production. While I don’t think it has to be as clean as Dimmu’s, a little more clarity would not hurt. It would make the whole product sound even more grandiose and distant at the same time.

Michal “Waran” Scotniczny handles vocals along with his guitar duties. His screaming comes as another big surprise. He feels seasoned, not hysterical, and more on the lower death side (just like Nergal).

Not all songs on Human Error were created at the same time (at least that is what the promo says). In fact, you can almost pick the ones that came from the older demos. Those sound a touch more melodic, have more synth and even quieter moments in them (Sacrosanct Strength). Newer cuts are either more in-your-face full-on blasting (Satanic Syndrome 666) or more chaotic in terms of guitar riffs (Matrix of Piety). Lyrically, all songs deal with the blunt denial of Christianity. I guess catholic Poles join in with the protestant Scandianavians in that regard.

Crionics comes from the Greek root which means “cold, frost”. The guys could not have picked a better name for their band. Chilly on the surface, this album will warm the hearts of many fans, and will definitely appear on my year-end list.

Killing Songs :
Waterfalls of Darkness, Hallowed Whores, Episode of the Falling Star, Precipice Gaped, Sacrosanct Strength, Indoctrination Procedure
Alex quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Crionics that we have reviewed:
Crionics - Neuthrone reviewed by Alex and quoted 65 / 100
Crionics - Armageddons Evolution reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
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