Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

A cryptex is something everyone who has been in contact with the popular book/film The Da Vinci Code is well familiar with. For those of you who are not, it is in short a sort of coded puzzlebox.

Now, as it turns out, it is also a band from Germany who besides the name carry several other likenesses to the aforementioned device – at a first listen, their music can easily come off as a very bizarre puzzlebox of varying musical styles, and deciphering all of the influences and ideas that this band offer would give even Robert Langdon grey hairs for life...
This made me happy though, as I admit to not ever hearing this band before this night (I think I might have heard the name somewhere, but that’s it), and my first impression actually came not from the band as such, but from their merchandise stand as we entered Pumpehuset, mostly looking forward to the Pain Of Salvation concert which was the headlining act of the evening. Anyway, said merchandise stand was quite uncommonly set up, and from a quick glance at some of the very noticeable band pictures presented there, as well as the debut album Good Morning, How Did You Live?, I got a strong feeling for this bands unique visual style and this led me to hope that they would be able to live up to this in their show later on.
While retaining some of the visual uniqueness as the musicians entered the stage, what with the suit and tophat clad guitarist Martin Linke, the more Scottish inspired vocalist Simon Moskon and the more normal shirt and suspenders wearing percussionist Ramón Fleig, much of the warm and compelling craziness from the photos was missing, and adding insult to injury, the stage itself looked like a right old mess. This was due to the extensive amount of equipment which was littering it all over the place, something I first believed to be all Pain Of Salvation’s things, although it didn’t take me long to realize that a lot of the things were actually belonging to Cryptex...

Yes, Cryptex wasn’t exactly holding back when it came to unusual instrumentation, something that actually fit like hand in glove with their special mixture of music, which turned out to have a somewhat late 60ies, early 70ies rock sound to it, spiced up with a bit progressiveness and basically anything else the three musicians could imagine.
So, while the stage was incredibly messy to look at, so was the music to listen to, but where the former gave a distracting and even annoying feeling, the latter came off as having some form of bizarre logic to it beneath the many layers of oddity, and it was incredibly compelling and imaginative at the same time.
This combined with an excellent sound-production, good lights and certainly not least a performance delivered not only with artistic elegance but pulled straight from the heart, this turned out to be a certified win for Cryptex (except for the anonymous entrance, you should work on that guys). I was in fact getting worried that Pain Of Salvation might not live up to this lively support they had brought along...

What saddened me a bit though, was the extreme lack of people in the audience at this point of the evening.
Well, ok, not so much maybe as I was too busy grooving to the show, but I feel Cryptex deserved a bigger backing than they got on this their first visit to Denmark. This may on the other hand have been the very reason there weren’t more people at the show yet; as I’ve mentioned I had no prior knowledge of the band, and it didn’t seem like anyone else did either.
This didn’t stop Cryptex from getting us to sing along though, and the first time this happened was in the audience dedicated song Dance Of The Strange Folk, and the response was obviously good enough for them to get us singing in more songs during their time on stage. Now, I’m no encyclopaedia of song-titles when it comes to this band, but I can say for sure that they at least also played the songs Alois, It’s Mine, Gypsy’s Lullaby, Most Loveable Monster and Grief And Despair, in this order of appearance.

Well, what more can I say really?
Only that the set ended far too early, and that anyone not getting this, well, it’s their friggin’ loss! My mind may still be a bit puzzled, but my heart screams Hell Yeah!


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