KRYPTS - Unending Degradation (ME SACO UN OJO / DETEST - LP 2013)
I don’t know any of the Krypts’ previous releases – which were “Open the Crypt” demo form 2009 and “Krypts” EP from 2011 – but I was really looking forward to hear “Unending Degradation”, because I’ve heard a lot of positive comments on the previous recordings and everyone was saying that Krypts is definitely one of the best Finnish death metal bands around at the moment. So once “Unending Degradation” has been released on vinyl I got myself a copy of that and well - first thing, which I must say about it is that the artwork on the vinyl turned out to be way too dark. You just cannot see that many details you’d wish, almost anything at all, which is a shame of corpse, as Timo Ketola used to do some truly awesome art for metal bands and here – on this Baksiński influenced creepy defile landscape – he again did splendid job, but so what, if the dark print on the LP cover (much darker than on CD) makes it impossible to see the details and is too blurry?
OK, cover is one thing, but what about the music? Well, definitely I can see why Krypts has gained so much recognition from the maniacs, as their music is of very good quality and it fits the current “trends” perfectly, so if I say that these Finns play their death metal in old school and pretty doomy way then it should be no surprise to anyone. Yeah, that shocking value is something what I miss about some of such albums sometimes – it’s not the same great surprise anymore compared to the one, when you’ve listened to “Epitome of Darkness” or “The Horror” for the first time. From the musical point of view “Unending Degradation” has everything what every maniac should like though. Obviously this album reeks of the classic Finnish death metal scene from the early 90’s with some British, Dutch and even a bit of Swedish favour being added to this putrid effort. This album truly is damn heavy and massive sounding, with the slow playing being dominant in major part of it… but the sound is so deep and dense, so brutal that even when Krypts speeds up it still feels like you’re listening to something utterly colossal and wallcrushing, you just don’t feel this energy which would usually come together with faster death metal riffing and drumming. Here it feels like Krypts was closed in some fuckin chamber or catacomb, so the claustrophobic sense is close and there’s almost no life and energy within this music, so obscure and lifeless it seems. And that for some will be a great advantage of “Unending Degradation”, while some others will see it in different way… Well, personally I am somewhere in between.
I can admit that Krypts has some good moments on “Unending Degradation” and in general this album is really well composed and performed, but somehow it lacks something. I don’t know whether I have been spoiled too much by some other similar bands, but there are some around, which are just better than Krypts and this means that “Unending Degradation” is more of a mediocre effort and definitely it’s not as brilliant as some other albums, which I have had a chance to hear this or last year. Sometimes it tends be too slightly too monotonous for me and when it gets too repetitive and tiresome then it also feels to drag on too much and therefore it just isn’t 100% convincing and absorbing. I must give Krypts the justice though – there are several awesome riffs, like for instance I really like the instrumental opening track “Introeon: Perpetual Beyond”, with its nice Swedish feel to it, because of more melodic riffs… or “Open the Crypt”, “Blessed Entwinement”, so generally the album is solid and OK, but just maybe too monotonous. I think that each of these songs, which are on “Unending Degradation”, if released on two song singles, would sound really well and I would probably have not many things to complain about. But if you listen to for instance side A, you feel like first couple of songs are OK, but at the end of “Dormancy of the Ancients” I start to yawn. This song just feels too long… and the same happens on side B, really. I usually start listening to it with some interest, but it fades away after a while. So yeah, I have mixed feelings towards “Unending Degradation”… find yourself what this album is like, some of you will love it, while some others may have similar impression to mine.
Standout tracks: “Open the Crypt”, “Blessed Entwinement”
Final rate: 69/100