HTP REVIEW By Max Puhala

Cryptic Matter - Exotic Groove Metal - Baltimore, Maryland
It’s rare that an unsigned band can offer potential listeners the full package—that is, a plethora of different songs, videos, shows, styles, influences, etc.—for everyone to enjoy. In my experience, I almost never come across a relatively new band with such a large back catalogue to explore and dive into, but Baltimore, Maryland natives Cryptic Matter have somehow broken that mold and given me a whole treasure trove of material to wade through online. They’ve got music videos, a Tumblr, physical CDs, and fun, groovy music to tie it all together.
Clearly, Cryptic Matter is attempting a lot, not just in their online presence, but also in their music. From my first listen of the quirky track “Racecar Driver” I thought I was simply in store for an offbeat, somewhat Primus-inspired slew of tunes that were driven by funky bass and clean vocals, but that didn’t last long at all. By the end of the track, the vocalist is busting out some really tight, gritty yells over his already well-produced cleans, and the guitarist is harmonizing and building upon the super catchy riff from earlier—both totally surprising expansions of which I didn’t initially realize Cryptic Matter were fully capable.
And then the surprises just kept coming. “Travail” is a significantly more interesting track than most 80s metal-inspired offerings, because Cryptic Matter fits two drastic, completely unexpected tempo changes comfortably within a fairly short timeframe. Then the catchiness of “Tragedy Guide” comes out of nowhere, and I instantly found myself singing along with the vocalist as he croons “When you’re caught in between the divide, I’ll be your tragedy guide”.
I was hit hardest when the 6-minute juggernaut, “Migration,” began, though. An eerie, almost Middle Eastern sounding verse slowly trudges along as the vocalist continues to hold his own with clean singing. The drums are simple at first, complementing the song as the bass plays a complex riff and the guitar tightly repeats a loop, but a subtle change occurs the second time around where the drums actually begin to follow this complex loop. Next, before I even knew what was happening, the tempo completely switches to a much faster rhythm, and the vocalist lets out some of the best yells I’ve heard in a long time. The song concludes with the vocally layered refrain of “I’ve got to get away”—a very enjoyable track, indeed, that truly showcases the diversity and talent of this group.
I’m convinced that this band has a lot of potential and room to grow, and that’s just after checking out their first EP. Give them a few years and a top-notch recording engineer, and who knows what could happen? All I know for sure is that, if you support Cryptic Matter while they’re still starting out, you’ll be continually rewarded with well-developed songs that are glowing with skilled musicianship and packed with unexpected suprises.

BatBox Music 

“Full of exotic melodies and metal attributes, Cryptic Matter jumped full monty into the groovy factor. Originally a 5-piece band, they utilized a djembe drum, keys, two guitars, bass and drums. Devin Greenburg (vocals/guitar), Steve Hung (guitar), John Perry (bass), Justin Bidinger (drums) and Andrea Lauzon (keys) made up the alternative metal band. As the only vocalist Greenburg had a strong voice and didn’t need to go through the motions or facial strain for the vocal reach. As not all songs reflect the cultural aspects they incorporate like in “Asphyxia” and “Tragedy Guide”, the classic American metal shows through songs such as “Demise”. Hung added a little stage humor with a Viking hat, horns and all. Hung periodically tapped a triangle one of the men from the crowd held up with the headstock of his guitar. Funky fun bunch they are.”

Matt Baggins - Two Guys Metal Review

“Cryptic Matter is a truly unique rock band from Baltimore. They have dubbed their sound "Exotic Groove Metal" and I can't think of a better way to describe them. Using interesting and...exotic rhythms Cryptic Matters strange pulses and bizarre melodies reach out to the world music lover in all of us creating a sound that millions could fall in love with. With influences ranging from traditional Brazilian music to Public Enemy to Rainbow their is a lot to digest in this bands sound and it's all surprisingly accessible. The strange rhythms and semi shouted vocals come together to create a very interesting sound that is intricate and fully realized, this is a band who know what they want to do and how to do it. The unusual soundscapes crafted by Cryptic Matter really give the group a lot of flavor and help to set them apart from a lot of the poser scum that dominate the modern scene. So if you're looking for something fresh and exciting that will change your perception of what rock music”

Unknown - Reverbnation Review of Tragedy Guide

“A rather unusual starting melody to this track, that first riff has a Persian or Egyptian style and feel to it. The music initially almost sounds rather ceremonial, tribal and/or religious. Very alternative though and all quite melodic. I really wasn't expecting the song to kick into more of a heavy rock romp, but I'm glad it did. The marching drum beats and rhythm provide plenty of drive to the music, whilst the vocal melody and performance of the singing are quite theatrical, adding a layer of atmosphere to the track. I also found the lyrics to be extremely entertaining, very well written and enjoyable to listen to. When that same riff from the intro kicked back in, accompanied by the bouncing bassline and alternative percussion, it sounded pretty cool. I don't know why, but I think the song sounds like a heavier and more modern-day version of seventies band, The Doors.”

360 Mag - 360 Mag

“Cryptic Matter is pure fire. A hybrid of rock, alternative and metal. Great vocals, instrumentation and production. Psychedelic and soulful music. Excellent for a big stadium and big screen. Their originality lands them a spot on our 360 Watch List.”

Unknown - Reverbnation Review of Tragedy Guide

“I quite like the dark sombre tones in this song. the intro had me straight away, and i get a HIM like vibe from the instruments and the vocals. The lyrics are deep and meaningful, it is very imaginative and creative, The song has a great structure, the verses and chorus well laid out, and i see the song as having great commercial potential in the metal circles and the recording quality and production is very good.”

Unknown - Reverbnation Review of Tragedy Guide

“The foreign appeal of the intro takes the listener off to distant lands, full of mystery and intrigue. The vocals kick in shortly after, and they serve to remind me of great vocalists like elvis or Glenn Dnazig. The drums roll on in the background, like a steamroller and pave the way for the guitar and bass to vreate an excellent harmony with the lyrics. The peculiar percussion instruments bring even more of an entrancing foreign element to this piece. The lyrics are very clever, and the author is very poetic to be sure. I can't get enough of how heavy the bass guitar is, and the random breaks and change in the flow of the song are all so beautiful. The guitar solo is, like the rest of the song, a one way trip to an ancient, distant oasis. Im thorughly impressed, from verse, to chorus, to bridge, to solo,throughout everything. A very knowledgeable cast of bandmates and and excellent piece all around. I would love to see this group achieve their commercial potential, and seize their”

Aliramia - iTunes Review

“I use tragedy guide to get her panties wet. Album is awesome. Waiting for more!”

JGRecordman - iTunes Review

“Great band with great energy and creative influences.”

Sam the guy who enjoys his grindcore - iTunes Review

“These guys play an excellent live show!!!! New up-and-coming MIND blowing energy on stage. I am turned on by this CD!!!! Best band in the BALTIMORE Area right HERE!!!!”

MattySchiz - iTunes Review

“I never knew a male could have multiple orgasms until I listened to this cd.”

Unknown - Revernation Review of Demise

 "Intricate electric guitar picking signals a dark mood from the top of the track, and the haunting vocal kicks in a moment later to confirm it. Before long the smooth vocals transition to angst-filled screaming. Continuing in a dynamic loud-quiet-lout pattern the song bridges into a loose and subtly psychedelic sonic space, punctuated by steady rock drums and, synthesizers, and effected guitar riffs. The listener is engulfed in a virtual world of the artists' creation."

Unknown - Reverbnation Review of Demise 

The guitar had a nice rift and melody. His voice was nice and fitted the song nicely. The chilling feeling ran down my spine and hooked me to this song. The chorus was amazing with the shere power and emotion in his voice. It worked well going heavy metal to calm verses. The rhythm changed in pace and made it exciting. I would listen to more and it would be a good wake up alarm in the morning.

Unknown - Revernation Review of Demise 

The backing sound was fantastic. The recording quality was superb and really helped me take the song more seriously. The digital effects were put together perfectly. The flow in the sound was raw and the hooks into the verses were amazing. The chord progression on the guitar was great and the use of fretting was phenomenal. The slow build up in this track, from slow to epic was amazing and made me want to listen more than once.

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