Saturday, May 5, 2012

Krypt - Preludes to Death

Krypt is part of the ever-thriving group of post-90s Norwegian black metal bands that include Sworn, Den Saakaldte, Sarke, and 1349. The thing about Krypt that sets them APART from this “cvlt” is the fact that they wind back the clocks and make an attempt at reanimating the old black metal sound heard in the early works of Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, and Nargaroth. After listening to this album for almost two years now, I think it’s pretty safe to say they went above and beyond and created something new that brings listeners back to the early 1990s black metal scene. This one thing alone is enough to earn a bunch of credit from me; but that’s not the only quality this group holds.

Not only has Krypt proved their ability to have the “true” Norwegian black metal sound, they’ve expressed their ability to do so with the addition of modern metal “trends”. But then again, many of these little elements that they throw into their music have already been used by the EARLY black metal pioneers like Hellhammer and pre-1984 Venom, but have since died out to then be reanimated by bands like Krypt. Some of these elements include the slightly-gradual slowing down of the tempo that younger metalheads of today (like me) call “breakdowns”. This can be heard in songs like I Am God and Krypt.

Another element that is more of a dead black metal element than anything else is the specific vocal style used. When you listen to modern black metal bands, you’re more likely to hear an extremely developed high-pitched scream that generally has a very clean and crisp sound. Krypt uses the vocal style heard in early works of Mayhem and Darkthrone (and just about every black metal band that was around before the mid-90s). This vocal style is MUCH more gritty and rough than what you would hear in Naglfar and Dark Fortress. The vocals are a lot of what gives this album a very OLD and original sound, because of the rawness and the slightly-yelled sound that they have. And not only that, they do it PERFECTLY.

The musicianship and the songs themselves are an amazing story of their own. The originality of the individual songs is enough to leave any black metal fan totally satisfied. The sound of the instruments is perfectly balanced so that you can hear everything, but still have that RAW black metal sound that makes us smile. Krypt makes sure to cover the two general styles of black metal from that early time period. Most of this album consists of that early “thrash black” sound that some bands like Skeletonwitch and Bleeding Fist still do today. A lot of this thrashy sound comes from the utter abrasiveness given off by the rough distortion of the guitars and the bass along with the thrash black drumming style. The other sound that Krypt makes sure to include is the more atmospheric and melodic sound that is used more today than it was back then (some of the earlier bands that had that sound were Immortal, Burzum, and Emperor). If you ask me, this is a black metal representation of perfection. Krypt goes above and beyond in order to reanimate the old-school black metal sound. This gets a perfect score.