REVIEW: KRYPTOS – “Burn Up The Night”
Adorn your battle jackets, pull up those spikes and open up the beers, for Kryptos is here with their much anticipated album number four titled ‘Burn Up The Night’. One look at the artwork and you know what will be served. Mattias Frisk’s tribute to the 80’s golden era of Heavy Metal features a simplistic steel fist emanating static, with the band’s name written in a razor sharp silver font drenched in a sea of black and red. It looks in stark contrast with the band’s previous offering ‘Coils of Apollyon’ in 2012 with Mark Riddick’s maggot filled demon seated with a sceptre ornamented with a skull. This is evidence enough that the band is taking a slightly different direction deviating from its thrashy mix of melodic Heavy Metal sound to a more straight-up NWOBHM influenced flavor on this new album.
The album opens up with “Blackstar Horizon”, a heavy metal anthem that instantly makes you pump your fists to its mid-tempo groove. The track has that trademark Old School Metal feel that is characteristic of Kryptos, albeit a slightly slower version of their former self. The song revolves around a melodic main riff backed by a sustained gallop and rounded up by Nolan Lewis’ raspy vocals. The second track, “Full Throttle” was the first single released by the band for this album and gives off a similar vibe but cranks up the catchiness manifolds. It is one of my favourite tracks on the album and I just can’t get enough of that intro riff. The guitar harmonies and the steady drum pattern will transport you back to the years when you first fell in love with Heavy Metal. It is hard not to feel nostalgic with the guitar work and the overall arrangement on this album. Consider “Waverider” as an example; you cannot stop but think of Iron Maiden while listening to it. Faster in pace as compared to others, “Waverider” will make you bang your head right from the opening riffs, through the chorus and definitely make you air-guitar on the solo.
Guitarist Rohit Chaturvedi’s riffs are razor sharp and his immaculate solos on this album will definitely make you fall in love with his work. I challenge you to try and keep your hands from air-guitaring on the solo of “One Shot To Kill”. It is also hard not to get lost in the innumerable twin guitar harmonies strewn across on this album. Some of the riffs on this album just get stuck in your head for hours after you have listened to the album. Nolan Lewis’ trademark hiss cuts across the melody like a spiteful snake out for vengeance. His vocals do go a long way to give Kryptos its unique identity and his legacy is maintained on this album as well. Drummer Anthony Hoover’s work is tight and crisp and Ganesh Krishnaswamy’s bass work provides a nice cushion to the distortion, his tone amplifying the thump in the composition.
The band has clearly taken a more simplistic route for songwriting than their previous attempts, especially when compared to their previous album ‘Coils of Apollyon’. Also, the guitars seem to have lost a bit of the edginess we saw in their previous attempts and the drum work too is fairly simplistic and straightforward. However, I don’t want to convey this as a weakness but merely a change in the direction for the band. They seem to have cut the frills and focused to create a sound which is a clear derivative of the bygone NWOBHM era. Although different from their previous albums but the emotions and power the band delivers remain intact despite this transformation.
The production perfectly preserves the old school ethos the band swears by. Although it is quite raw, but every member is heard equally well in the mix. However, the mix itself could have sounded a bit louder with a slightly more aggressive tone. Comparing it with the production of their previous album, I felt ‘Burn Up The Night’ falters slightly. However, it is only a minor flaw in an otherwise flawless effort. Kryptos reinforce their legacy with their latest album ‘Burn Up The Night’. The flag bearers of Indian Heavy Metal deliver a powerful sound full of nostalgia recreating the glorious NWOBHM era in this 40 minute ride. It also paves the way to an interesting new direction the band may take for the future which we should definitely watch out for.