Egypt
Cracks and Lines


3.7
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
June 25th, 2017 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The bluesy, more psychedelic sibling of Endless Flight…

In 2015, Egypt mentioned they were working on new music and would release two albums six months apart. Endless Flight saw the light of day first, being a fun, 35-minute trip that nicely intertwined blues, stoner and doom metal. It’s like you were listening to pieces of Acid King, Wo Fat, Sleep and ZZ Top mashed in one cool mixtape. The heavier styles laid at the core, while the bluesy parts were only occasionally punctuating. We finally received that second record a year and a half later under the Cracks and Lines title. Luckily, musically it goes the other way round, but it introduces us some airy psychedelic moments too.

This vintage brother of Endless Flight is clearly defined by the two epics, ‘What Lights this Ocean’ and the title track, which together share roughly 2/3 of its total length. They showcase all Egypt’s strengths and clearly are some of their most ambitious tunes to date. ‘Cracks and Lines’ starts with some classic ‘70s vibes, using pile driving riffs on top of which Aaron Esterby is growling his lungs out. I really dig how they alternate groovy rhythms with full force riffage, until halfway, when they switch to a filthy doom segment. The band chose well to keep that momentum going for a minute or so, then fall into an eerie, subdued passage. You can barely hear the guitar and vocals howling in the background, whereas the deep bass covers most of the sonic ground. As expected, they rise for a punchy finale featuring soaring solos. On the contrast, ‘What Lights this Ocean’ is a more meditative number, starting with dreamy guitar leads and clean vocals. I like how the front man channels his versatility, as crossing from one style to another requires adjustments from his part too to be truly effective. Here, he employed an OM-like delivery that’s both simple and melodic. Amid guitar solos, sparse verses and moody bass lines, the guys build this tension that receives a slow release through some tom-heavy drumming as well as a gradual growth in volume. They burst into a raging coda, complete with Hammond organ leads, thus ending the LP on a high note.

The remaining tracks are not to be skipped since they offer some good fun too. Boasting some groovy riffs, opener ‘Final Heist’ is a powerful track that again mixes the dirty with the tuneful. Esterby once more shines, constantly switching from harsh to clean vocals. This is a cool plus for Egypt mainly because a significant number of groups forget about these aspects, leaving the instrumental’s power to capture your attention. Sometimes it works, but a lot of times you feel something’s missing overall. As the track grows in intensity, Neal proceeds to drown you in his solos. Besides ‘Final Heist’, they also included a slightly slowed down version of KISS’s ‘Watchin’ You’, turning it into a darker, creepier version of the original. It really works within the context, yet you wouldn’t tell it’s not a song of theirs. In between these cuts lies ‘Dirge’, a ballad that’s pretty much unlike anything these guys did before. As Aaron displays here his clean voice really nicely, the nostalgic chords are accompanied by tales of death and what lies beyond it. Although short, this ditty adds to the overall dynamics & diversity of Cracks and Lines. It’s noteworthy how they worked on offering a constantly changing collage over the course of 38 sweet minutes.

In the end, Cracks and Lines falls into that lovely category of brief but efficient records which you can easily dig into and don’t have to mentally prepare yourself to be immersed into the respective sonic universe. Each song brings something different to the table, whereas the predominantly vintage production ties them all together, distancing itself from Endless Flight. They are like siblings that took slightly different paths. I understand why Egypt wanted to keep this batch of songs separated, because if all had been crammed on a single disc they would’ve lost some of the charm.




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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 25th 2017


4297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Great album! Gonna see these guys in 2 weeks, I'm stoked!



Get it here - http://egypt1.bandcamp.com/



Stream here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=womShxKo7fU

Digging: Laibach - Also Sprach Zarathustra

Sunnyvale
June 25th 2017


608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, never listened to this band before but jamming this now. It's really tight so far.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2017


10444 Comments


Rad review, does this actually have any Egyptian elements to it? I'll be slightly disappointed if the answer is no but I'm sure I'll enjoy it anyway if it's some solid doom-y stuff.

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

Sunnyvale
June 25th 2017


608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not really, just enjoyable stoner rock/metally stuff. I'd check it out though.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2017


10444 Comments


Ah okay, yeah I'll still give it a whirl.

Sunnyvale
June 25th 2017


608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice. It's really short and sweet, and all the songs are quite good. At least that's my impression after a first listen.

Dewinged
June 26th 2017


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not a fan of the production and they sound quite similar to other stoner bands, but it's enjoyable somehow.

Digging: Harvestman - Music for Megaliths

Sunnyvale
June 26th 2017


608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, certainly not unique. But well-done nonetheless.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2017


4297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Yeah, even though it's not unique it's a great record that doesn't get boring. It feels like you're listening to a cool mixtape.

CaliggyJack
June 26th 2017


1761 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is by far their best record so far.

Mordaunt
June 30th 2017


12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Probably the best 2017 stoner so far.

BigBlob
June 30th 2017


2677 Comments


this sounds like it was recorded through a wall

Pho3nix
June 30th 2017


295 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

All of their records are just "good", I quite liked this nonetheless!



And indeed Scuro, sadly their music has nothing to do with Egypt



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