SCEPTOCRYPT Press Release & Band Vision 2014
including bio 1992-1999

Press Release, Nov 2014, London

The original Sceptocrypt formed on the island of Malta in 1992.

A band from the smallest European nation yet with big intentions – to forge a sound distinctively its own, an extreme metal (at a time where the tag was not yet penned to define bands cross-bordering death, doom, black metal and more) looking out of its own box (including non-metal styles, but without loosing its abrasive edge!), its members ardently into the 90s underground scene running Rancid Soup zine & radio show, and music scholars alike, always keen for original sounds, as inspirations and as their own.

Releasing only a demo & a rehearsal tape in its timespan to 1999, Sceptocrypt’s idea was received warmly by the leading press of the time – like Aardschock (NL), Fight Amnesia (DE), Ill Literature (USA), Koito (IT), MorticiaNumskull (NL), Dusk Woerot (Colombia), Death Bite (Lith), Fanfare (BE), Brutalism.com (NL), Eternal Darkness (USA), etc. – with worldwide reviews as

  • “demo of the month”
  • “one of the best demos of 1996”
  • “ALL labels interested in progressive extreme metal please check in with Sceptocrypt”
  • “not your everyday kind of metal”
  • “a hell of a musical masterpiece”
  • “one of the most brilliant demotapes I have heard in years”
  • “Sceptocrypt have good solutions for their music, something that the majority of underground bands have not”
  • “don’t know where to put this band in, maybe a big positive plus-point for them”
  • “recommended for a zine editor with 5000 bands yet no-one sounding like Sceptocrypt”
  • “such different and sophisticated music”.

There was also label interest back then. Some, like Holy Records (FR), defined Sceptocrypt as “experimental music, very well structured, unbelievable!!!”, whereas non-metal label Bliss Records (UK) opined that “death metal usually does absolutely nothing for me, but Sceptocrypt are more melodic, innovative and original than I was expecting”.

Others, in turn, were interested to hear more, so much so that Sceptocrypt self-financed and recorded a full-length !26 Hrs 72 mins …. the need to differ) in 1999.

Sadly, bad luck stroke, and Sceptocrypt disbanded later that year due to a string of adverse effects (including financial), with this CD never released nor promoted to any label/zine. In fact, apart from some tracks featuring in compilations (Underground Media, Ematofagia, and Mass Metal), only few close contacts have listened to the whole !26 Hrs 72 Mins …. the need to differ).

Now available to all in 2014 at our YouTube, also to co-incide with the return of Sceptocrypt, 15 years later, in a different country, and with yet again a different sound!

press@sceptocrypt.com if you want to interview us.
band@sceptocrypt.com if you are a record label interested in some preliminary song demos of the new Sceptocrypt!
soundcloud.com/sceptocrypt for FREE download of our discography 1992-99!

Click to read vision 2014 & history 1992-1999
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SCEPTOCRYPT – 2014, London

Away from Malta and travelling around, Sceptocrypt’s founder and main composer Malcolm “Gool” Callus always knew in his heart that at some point he would have to find a place to call home, to put at rest an idea that has never abandoned him – to re-launch Sceptocrypt!

In 2007, he moved to London, becoming prolifically active with an avant-garde world music band EthnaMorte. Yet, as a fan he never stopped following extreme metal (you can here check his post-Sceptocrypt pre-Ethnamorte metal bands) & other forms of extreme music, especially bands with something fresh to offer!

So when drummer Adriano Ferraro – himself an exponent of many a metal style with his works for Eyes Of Solitude (funeral doom), Nebukadnezza (thrash/grind), Cythraul (old school death metal), and Justonefix (groove-laden hardcore/death metal) – asked Malcolm to form an all-encompassing extreme metal band with something new to say, it was agreed that together they shall give birth to a new Sceptocrypt beast.

Rehearsals starting late August 2014, it seemed that Malcolm’s 15 yrs+ teaching guitar, bass & music theory in different genres was waiting for Adriano’s ferocity to blast through something extreme! Ideas flowed seamlessly from a myriad of music influences both had been subject to, subsequently put into form of 6 songs (60 mins and counting) in less than 2 months.

With plenty of twisted riffs and unexpected changes at the core of this new sound being tagged as “extreme music research”, 2014 brings Sceptocrypt’s re-incarnation in the heart of good ole Londinium town, England! Still meant to sound nihilistic & adversary without replicating Sceptocrypt 92-99 (after all, the world has gone through 15 years of new musical discovery), Sceptocrypt look forward to present new music in 2015! Our manifesto is as follows

Extreme – undettered by trying different forms of experimentation, from over-the-top technical riffs to the lack of same in form of simple but seamless time & harmonic changes, an extremity also measured in the myriad of influences recalled to shape the final aural palette.

Music – in a time when visual media continually integrates the music industry, we hope to manage to present you music that evokes you the more you close your eyes, to learn to see colours with your ears, where colour has no limit set by your visual spectrum, and thus extreme!

Research – we shall be free to research past effective music templates as we merge them with/as merchants to/for future sounds.
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SCEPTOCRYPT – 1992-1999, Malta

Since Sceptocrypt’s inception in 1992, its members had, through their activity in the 90s underground scene running Rancid Soup zine & radio show, been listening to loads of bands, most lending off each others’ ideas & others with something new to say. More attracted by the latter than the former, Sceptocrypt went on to forge a sound distinctively its own – an extreme metal looking out of its own box (including non-metal styles), a spike-in-the-wheel if you choose.

Past the early years to solidify its line-up, they started gigging, with Sceptocrypt supporting Anathema (the first underground band ever to play Malta) in ’95, and releasing its debut demo Wild Code of Reverie in ’96, received as “Demo of the Month” by the famous Dutch mag AARDSCHOK and moreover, as “one of the best demos of ’96” in the German FIGHT AMNESIA! Not to mention the countless others, not only from the death metal field.

With this feedback at heart, Sceptocrypt engaged in a change of line-up through ’96, soon thereafter recording Oratorio Mortem, a track merging baroque classical music with obscure chordal echoes and acoustic interludes that burst into a frenzied metal climax, supported by violin, bass and soprano vocals along the way. This track featured in a number of underground compilations (The Core of Creation, Amber, Psoriasis Prigg, etc.) all through ’96 and ’97.

In 1997, the band recorded a rehearsal tape Poor Crows, Give ‘Em A Deal, for press and media only. Despite its recording limitations (recorded mostly on a 4-track at their own rehearsal space), this promo achieved another myriad of stunning reviews from as varied a spectrum as underground zines to some record labels, and from non- metal publications to a London College of Music & Media software programmer, namely Pete Farrugia, stating:
“The tape is very impressive, especially considering how it was recorded. I am still astonished by the erudite multi-lingual lyrics and I also have a picture in my mind that live performances by the band could be accompanied by visual images projected onto a screen. The music is so expressive that it suggests different images whenever I listen to it.”

Cross-cultural appreciation always at its heart, Sceptocrypt were a constant mark on Malta’s live calendar back in the 90s, appearing from all-out metal gigs to all-day music marathons, ever so keen to make both non-metal fans curious to explore extreme metal, as much as getting extreme metal fans to explore the unexpected!

With this constant urge to break musical boundaries, Sceptocrypt composed Amaranth so Puissant, a 32 minute work divided into 4 acts, with avant-garde classic, flamenco, latin and gothic arrangements flowing in and out of its extreme metal sonority. Lyrically, it followed an artist’s life from as soon as the radiant force of Art twists inside of him to when he finds the satisfaction within himself of a work completed – this through worlds of darkness, loss, hope, and satisfaction – till he meets the receiver of his world (in a musical world, the fan) who encourages him and serves as the vessel to make the Art shine.

With some of its lyrics featuring in a media expo After Hours, Amaranth was performed live both in its entirety, and as its opening Act I : The Planting, itself 10 mins long, and scheduled to appear but as the closing act of a forthcoming debut full-length.

Which came in 1999, when Sceptocrypt entered Farmhouse Studios to record !26 Hrs 72 Mins …. the need to differ). Featuring 6 songs spread over 64 mins, it was recorded by prog-rock aficionado & film scorer Paul Zammit Cutajar on a 64- track soundboard. With female & soprano vocals, flute & sampling complimenting Sceptocrypt’s core members, the resulting sound surpassed anything ever done before by Sceptocrypt, both stylistically and soundwise!

Sadly disbanding later that year due to a string of adverse effects, this CD was never released nor promoted to any label/zine. In fact, apart from some tracks featuring in compilations (Underground Media, Ematofagia, and Mass Metal), to date the only few to have listened to the whole !26 Hrs 72 Mins …. the need to differ) were close contacts who have been supplied a copy back in 1999.

Now available to all in 2014 at our YouTube, feel free to share it with your friends! Thank you!
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Discography :
‡ Wild Code of Reverie (debut demo ’96)
‡ Oratorio Mortem (compilation only track ’97)
‡ Poor Crows, Give ‘Em A Deal (reh. promo ’97)
‡ !26 hrs 72 mins ….the need to differ) (unreleased CD ’99)
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Sceptocrypt is currently seeking a bassist, a vocalist & a synth player (or a guitarist who can double on synth guitar), to complete the line-up.

Songs are quite ready to go live, but we nevertheless welcome new band members to come dissect and re-build how they sound now, so that way we shall together build a more organic sound, which will hopefully in time be received with ardent fervor.

Goes without saying, we want to present this music sometime in 2015, so if no band members are found in time, the current members will record all instrumentation between themselves, so labels/fans will have a product to listen to!

If interested to join, please send us any demoes/videos of yours (+ your mobile number) to band@sceptocrypt.com
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Current members 2014 onwards :
Malcolm “Gool” Callus, founder, electric, acoustic, classical & synth guitars, 1992-1999, 2014 –
Adriano Ferraro, drums, 2014 –

Former members 1992-99 :
Steve Camilleri, co-founder, drums 1992
Marcello Scarpello, co-founder, vocals 1992-93
Joseph Cremona, drums 1992-1994
Jason Abela, guitars, 1992-96
Marco Spiteri, fretted bass, 1992-96
James Sciberras, vocals (also logo designer), 1993
Conrad Borg, vocals and keyboards, 1993-99
Maurizio Schembri, drums 1995
Etienne Camilleri, guitars, 1996-98
Johann Tabone, fretted & fretless bass, 1996-99
Antoine Ferrito, drums 1996-99
Giselle Debattista, female vocals 1997-99
Jason Mifsud, drums 1999
Alan Bartolo, guitars 1999

Recording contributors 1992-99 :
Linsey Frendo, violin, 1996
Paul Camilleri, male bass vocals, 1996
Pauline Longo, soprano vocals, 1996
Charmaine Cortis, soprano vocals, 1997
Claire Debono, soprano vocals, 1999
Gordon Zammit, flute & samples, 1997, 1999

Live guests 1992-99 :
Joseph Chetchuti, violin, 1995
Charmaine Cortis, soprano vocals, 1996
Rex Grech Santucci, growls & tambourine, 1996
Nicole Farrugia, soprano vocals, 1997

Lyrical contributors on Isegoria 2000 (1997 & 1999) :
Albert Bell, Maltese & English lyrics
Fr Valentine, Latin translations
Katerina, Ancient Greek & German translations