Hannes Grossmann – The Crypts of Sleep (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 7th September 2016
Rating: 8.5/10

Anyone who has spent some time in the extreme scene is no doubt already familiar with Hannes Grossmann. The man played drums with some of tech-death’s finest (ex-Necrophagist, ex-Obscura, and Alkaloid for starters), and The Crypts of Sleep is in fact his second solo album, following 2014’s The Radial Covenant. Those familiar with Grossmann’s work should know what to expect, but it doesn’t make the result any less impressive.

A number of the guests on the album can have lines drawn back to Grossmann’s current band, Alkaloid (Morean, Danny Tunker, Linus Klausenitzer, Christian Muenzner), so what’s the difference then? Well, for starters, Grossmann penned The Crypts of Sleep himself, and had the large number of guests (which is rounded out by solos by Fountainhead, Per Nilsson, and Erik Rutan) step in to fill in on the other instruments, of which Grossmann obviously does the drumming. He also did the mix/mastering, so you are getting a vision that is completely Grossmann, and for this, it’s a remarkably crafted and cohesive work. Certainly it will be a comfortable listen for tech-death and atmospheric death metal enthusiasts, but there’s a pleasant diversity if you check out the tracks themselves. A nice Morbid Angel-esque lurching track surfaces in the thoroughly memorable “Hail Satan,” instrumental “Gravity Waves” oozes bouncy grooves, melodic leads play off frantic blast beats in the title track, and “In the Eye of the Storm” fires off a potent and catchy chorus. There’s much to dig into, and the songs only better themselves with age.

A treat for death metal fans, The Crypts of Sleep further elevates Hannes Grossmann’s status among the faithful. The man’s attention to details in songwriting do not go un-noticed, and the knack to write strong material (carried out by some exceptional players) is further evidence for why his bands have such strong reputations.

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