Melbourne’s Villa Morta set off a loud metalcore bang on ‘Cryptex’ coupled with an ambitious IRL mission.
After a string of singles circa 2014-2015, Melbourne-based act Villa Morta – villa meaning house, morta meaning death – went quiet. Until today with their newest single ‘Cryptex.’ Villa Morta’s technical, brutal and darkened contemporary metalcore approach on ‘Cryptex‘ is like a melting-pot of Australian heavy music. Clear influences from the esteemed likes of Northlane, Glorified!, Polaris, Alpha Wolf and Gravemind (I have it on good authority there’s something coming between Gravemind and Villa Morta) sonically abound. As everything on this Lance Prenc-produced track bleeds through with a hard polished edge of sharp down-tuned riffs, filthy bass neck slides, big breakdowns, hefty grooves, and a strong archetypal dual-vocal attack.
Within this band’s “house of death” lies a search for answers, but also an understanding that you can never truly comprehend everything. As guitarist/vocalist and creative mastermind, Masa Myer (right), explained regarding the philosophical and religious allegory behind ‘Cryptex‘, there are some mysteries you’ll just never solve. That kinda like the original Mass Effect trilogy, it’s far more about the overall journey experienced rather than the end destination reached, sharing that:
“Cryptex is a comment on religion and the people who are obsessed and consumed by a final answer rather than the journey and the mystery of the never ending unknown.“
Filled out by main vocalist Josh Morrissy, drummer Tom Clarke and bassist Thomas Campbell (not pictured above), the quartet’s music encapsulates one driving theme: for us as listeners to question the paradigms around us. As long as that doesn’t stray into the territory of dangerous and unsubstantiated conspiratorial bullshit, I couldn’t agree more! Yet there’s more happening than just “music site premieres song.” Taking this song’s concept of the search being just as rewarding as the arrival one step further, Villa Morta offer an ambitious digital and physical treasure hunt for Aussie listeners to embark upon.
In five locations around Australia, Villa Morta have placed actual physical boxes that await savvy listeners who can crack this code. The clues to breaking open this song’s literal cryptex and uncovering a hidden password hinting at what’s on the horizon from the band rest in plain sight within the music video of ‘Cryptex‘, found below. To help start you off, keep your eyes peeled at the following time-stamp: 0:43. (Like Red Skull in Infinity War; I simply help guide others to a treasure I myself cannot possess.) Then be sure to pour over the rest of the clip to find the remaining clues for this keyword, not before applying some basic understanding of binary code and the 6×6 Polybius Square, all shown in this Colin Jeffs directed video. Simple, right?
If this hurts your brain – fair enough, it’s a heady idea – pop on over to Villa Morta’s own Facebook group, titled “Villa Morta – The Cryptex Code” for more information and some healthy discussion. Obviously, with Covid-19 concerns, the band are encouraging conversation between listeners online through socials and said group to pool their resources/theories in order to solve this puzzle. No one wants to see you rocking your new Architects shirt on Channel 9 because you got in trouble breaking Covid-19 border protocols.
Those who think they’ve figured it out or those feeling pretty damn lucky can try their hands at unlocking the next part of the puzzle by finding the physical box kept at these following locations: The Corner Hotel in Melbourne, Netherworld in Brisbane, the Resist Records Store in Sydney, Underground Records over in Adelaide, and Avenue Records down in Launceston, Tasmania. Without me giving the band’s game away too much, winners of this intriguing competition will receive something limited of sorts and an easter egg to what’s coming from this promising Aussie act.
So maybe you’ll crack the code and become one of the rare few in the know. Perhaps you’ll discover jack shit but enjoyed the quest all the same, which would fit very nicely in with the meta-message of ‘Cryptex‘. You could also go ever-loving mad like the protagonist in this new video trying to work it all out. Or maybe you won’t care an ounce for this treasure-hunt idea and will only stick around for the band’s heavy metalcore tunes. In which case, Villa Morta have got you covered: