Bangalore bruisers Kryptos have been around now for nearly twenty years, but I’m damned if I can remember them ever sounding this good.
Above all things, Kryptos love a good riff; every song on Burn up the Night starts with a blazing, instantly memorable clarion call of axe mangling, each one reminiscent of one of the gods of the eighties, at whose altars the band so clearly worship. It has to be said that Rohit Chaturvedi and Nolan Lewis are in absolutely splendid form throughout the album, and it’s their contributions that form the bedrock of Burn up the Night, giving the tracks a ‘classic’ feel without ever sounding hackneyed or rehashed.
That’s a very good skill in its own right, but the most important factor in the success of ButN is that Kryptos seem – sensibly, to my mind – to have decided to ease off the thrash and death metal almost entirely here in favour of delivering a tight, compact set of songs that deliver in the melody and memorability stakes whilst still retaining that all-important metal edge. The songwriting on this album really is streets ahead of anything the band has released before, whilst still retaining the band’s inherent individuality. Key to this are the deliciously raspy vocals of Lewis, who gives the British-sounding guitars a nicely Teutonic vocal counterpoint, giving the listener quite literally the best of both worlds to enjoy.
Kryptos have the happy knack of being able to cram loads into a song without it sounding cliuttered or confusing. Consequently tracks like The Summoning sound epic and brooding, yet at less than five and a half minutes in length lose nothing in impact or effect. The trick is in the arrangement of the song, and throughout this album Kryptos demonstrate a firm grasp on the importance of this. Longest track Unto Elysium is itself less than six minutes long, but the band cover enough musical ground over the song’s sinuous, unsettling duration to kid you into thinking you’ve just listened to a fifteen minute odyssey.
Standout track One Shot to Kill is a classic mid-paced galloper replete with superbly chugging guitars and spirited gang vocals, but absolutely every track here has something going for it, and I’d unreservedly recommend this to anyone who loves a bit of trad metal in their ears from time to time.
Burn up the Night is released through AFM Records on September 23rd.