I had been meaning to blog something about Krysthla for a while now,
ever since seeing them blow the roof off the Haunt in Brighton at Mammothfest
2016, with their blistering blend of heavy tech-death metal. At the
time I wrote a few words for Pure
Rawk. I've finally added some photos to these pages here too.
If you have read my write-up you'll know how impressed I was with the
gig. Krysthla are an incredibly tight band, with a great drummer for
the guitars to work off, but there's much more to the band than all
round technical brilliance. It seems to me that while lesser bands of
a similar ilk are making music as a tool for personal grandstanding,
overplaying to the point of tedium, Krysthla are using their abilities
as a tool to sculpt some truly great songs, where musicality above all
Their riffs are honed to a scalpel-like sharpness, the heavy melodic
hooks ripped out just as soon as they've sunk in, cutting a deeper wound
with each listen. The vocals are equally malicious; a full gamut of
throat busting roars and screams delivered with the kind of intensity
that make Krysthla one of the most downright vicious sounding bands
on the scene right now. With a wealth of infectious grooves driving
every track there's huge cross-(sub)genre appeal too.
Since that Mammothfest show, their 2015 released debut album, A
War Of Souls And Desires, has rarely been far from my stereo. A
couple of weeks back I received their follow up album Peace In Our
Time, due for release 7th April via PHD, and for the last few days
it's been played on a daily basis...
Peace In Our Time takes the elements that made the debut so critically
well received and expands on them with a real sense of ambition. This
is clear right from the off with album opener The Minor Mystery
Of Death featuring a grandiose accented power chord introduction,
complete with a soaring lead guitar, building towards the one minute
mark when a primal roar hails the song proper, and all-hell-breaking
loose thereafter. Hard hitting riffs flow freely, with Adi Mayes' hate
infused vocals slicing venomously through the onslaught.
Yahm al-Qiyamah follows up with blast beats a-plenty, and another
full-on double bass drum assault, while guitars continue to batter the
senses. There's a melodic moment of calm-before-the-storm-that-follows
when Depths takes its turn to carry on the pummelling. Respite
is allowed only to welcome an awesome dirty grind of a groove that takes
the song to its end.
Like Depths before it, Make Disciples Of The Nations is another
song with a split personality, shifting from the sheer ferocity of the
first half to a double bass drum fuelled downbeat chug the second, and
back again to finish. Mob vocals add new textures to the sound and they
are all over the next track, Within The Lie Of All Lies, too.
There are no suprises here, the song ending as it starts, but the catchy
mid-tempo groove throughout should make this one a shoe-in for clubnight
playlists, and help grow appeal outside of the more extreme metal circles.
In Death We Shall Not Die marks a return to the break neck
wrecking that will no doubt cause a few bruises in the pit, the "we
love death as you love life" shout sure to translate well to the
live show. There's a definite Gojira influence in Age Of War,
but the stomping grooves that wind around the spiteful vocal bark is
all Krysthla. To my mind, it's what this band are going to become known
The final song sees them moving into new territory. Eternal Oceans
is 7 minutes of lyrically deep oppressive sludgy doom. The pressure
is only lifted for the epic chorus and by a fantastic extended guitar
solo that is pure class throughout. Just as the song feels like it's
coming to a close there's one last twist; a final hard hitting ninety
second blast of pure adrenaline just in case anyone forgot what the
rest of the album was like.
Having your brain smashed to pieces has never felt so good!
The album Peace In Our Time will be available from the usual outlets
from 7th April, released via PHD. You can pre-order it from Amazon here.
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