High speed djent inspired riffs. Byzantine inspired guitar solos. Expertly executed growls and screams that can get you screaming along like your life depends on it atop angular and unforeseeable turns of pace. And that’s just the opening track, ‘The Minor Mystery of Death’. Krysthla have outdone themselves with their second album; it’s rare to find a band this fully formed and inventive this early in their career.
If you are looking to get into the extreme and progressive end of music, this album is a perfect starting point, and if the atonal riffing and intense velocity of ‘Make Disciples of Nations’ doesn’t convince you of the majesty that this genre has to offer, then nothing will. It’s certainly more accessible than their peers such as Meshuggah and Textures, but rest assured it is still a slab of richly textured, mind-melting progressive death metal. It’s not going to appear on Radio 1 any time soon.
There is a potential argument to be made that the album is a little one paced: When you have songs of consistently pummelling heaviness, it can become draining to make your way through the 42 minutes the boys have offered up, but sick with it as they do expand their horizons in the slower, doom-laden finale ‘Eternal Oceans’: Squalling feedback opens the track before the aforementioned Sabbath inspired guitar work courtesy of Neil Hudson and Noel Davis, and Adi Mayes gives the best vocal performance of the album.
It cannot be overstated how tight and proficient the rhythm section is; Carl Davis proves himself to be an excellent bass player as he doesn’t go for flashy tricks to get his expression across, and you can feel the emotional weight behind every note, while Wayne Minney is gives one of the most glorious percussive performances of recent memory.
The albums production is wonderfully well-polished, but doesn’t sound Pro-Tooled to hell. There’s a genuine, gritty passion that doesn’t get lost in the mix.
It is a challenging album, and needs several listens to really click. This is music that requires dedication and persistence, and once you achieve some familiarity with their work, the benefits you will reap far outweigh any difficulties you may initially face. It’s a stunning piece of artistry, and an absolute must hear. 2017 is going to have to be bloody special to knock this out of people’s top 5 albums of the year.