Syrictus – Syrictus

Rating: 3/5
Released: 2018
Label/Distributor: Night Rhythms Records
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Band Line Up

Erik Stenglein: All Instruments/Vocals

Album Tracklisting
  1. Misanthrogenesis
  2. Black Storm of Nebiru
  3. Psychic Hollows
  4. N’gana Simbu



Milwaukee must be a quite a melting pot of madness to have grown up in. From its dairies to its breweries to its notorious serial killers (Dahmer and Gein), to an outsider it seems quite a melange of madness. This seems to have bled into the music of Syrictus. The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Erik Stenglein, and taking musical cues from the likes of Gorguts, Morbid Angel, and Spawn Of Possession, Syrictus is an interesting listen, but a challenging one.

The release opens with “Misanthrogenesis”, a discordant racket akin to latterday Pestilence. Replete with bowels-of-the-earth vocals, it is a warped ditty full of dark energy, and a pretty scintillating beginning.  Next up is “Black Storm of Nebiru”, which is heavier than a Wookiee’s lunch bill and blacker than the chambers of a dead nun’s heart. More violent and frenzied than the opener, it is bleak and nasty, but with a vaguely progressive air. The pneumatic, warp speed incantation of rage that is “Psychic Hollows” follows. It is a more technical beast without disappearing up its own fetid arse. It has a slower, more forboding middle which adds to the sense of dynamics. “N’gana Simbu” concludes proceedings with its raw and pitiless sound. A cavalcade of bile and snot, it exudes bitterness and menace.

The songs on this release are decent enough but they have been let down by the weak production job. Indeed, the peat bog mix makes it hard to discern anything; the guitars coming over as a muddy mess, and the vocals often buried too deep. According to the press release, Erik Stenglein is lyrically influenced by extraterrestrials, conspiracy theories, and the occult. It would have been nice if the vocals were clear enough to hear the words. He could have been bellowing about opening a flower shop for all I could understand. It is to be hoped that this flaw will be rectified on future releases.

Review by Owen Thompson