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Kryptos: The coils of Apollyon

25/06/12  ||  BamaHammer

Kryptos is a band that I’ve grown to adore over the past few months. These boys from Bangalore offer up an unbelievably simple, yet incredibly catchy brand of thrashy heavy metal with music in the vein of middle-era Iron Maiden and mix it with vocals that could conceivably fit right in on any thrashtastic black metal album. The result is something that’s undeniably enjoyable even if it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. “The coils of Apollyon” is the follow up to to 2008’s The ark of Gemini, which was fantastic. My hopes for this album were sky-high, and I can honestly say Kryptos met and surpassed all those seemingly unobtainable expectations I had for it.

With the change of labels, the band’s sound has morphed into something altogether more powerful and aggressive courtesy of their best production job to date. Those numerous simple, groovy guitar riffs rip and tear with a newly found strength. The drums that I once enjoyed as a modest rhythmic sizzle have now become a pounding backbone of the music. Even the bass sounds terrific. Listening to “Gemini” after hearing this album even makes me recognize that album’s basic audio shortcomings that I’ve always simply overlooked because of the high musical and songwriting quality. One thing is for certain, Kryptos has never sounded even remotely as good as they do on “Apollyon”.

As for the music, you get eight tracks (the last one is a short but neat little soft instrumental) of supremely catchy heavy metal that clock in at over 47 minutes. None of the riffs will come close to blowing your mind in terms of technical quality, but every single second of this album is enjoyable and fun to listen to. The riffing and song structures still remind me of “Fear of the dark” era Iron Maiden, only now the production makes that style of songwriting sound as if it was on steroids. Guitar solos are still neck-pickup homages to Dave Murray, which is a perfect addition to the music as well.

The most noticeable improvement since the last album (aside from the production) is the vocal performance of Nolan Lewis, who is a really cool guy and excellent musician to begin with. On their last album, the vocals were raspy, hissy, and each word in the lyrics was barely distinguishable from the others. Fast-forward to 2012, and Lewis still maintains that raspy sound, but now combines it with an element of aggression that makes the lyrics bite out of the speakers, adding a new dimension of power to the music.

On the surface, Kryptos is nothing new. They play a hybrid of thrash and heavy metal that on their own, we’ve all heard before. However, Kryptos puts their spin on that combination and creates something genuinely noteworthy here. This is an album that never lets up, never shovels you any filler material, and never gives an inch. It’s just pure metal bliss in the truest sense. Kryptos has quickly become one of my favorite bands in the world, and this is album has been playing constantly in my player for over a month now. Do yourself a favor and find this album. And play it loud.

9,5

  • Information
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: Iron Fist
  • Website: www.kryptosindia.com/
  • Band
  • Nolan Lewis: vocals, guitar
  • Rohit Chaturvedi: guitar
  • Jayawant Tewari: bass
  • Ryan Colaco: drums
  • Tracklist
    1. The Mask of Anubis
    2. The Coils of Apollyon
    3. Serpent Mage
    4. Nexus Legion
    5. Eternal Crimson Spires
    6. Spellcraft
    7. Starfall
    8. Visions of Dis
    9. The Isle of Voices