Tag Archives: Reign in Blood

The Coils of Apollyon by Kryptos


A very prominent feature of the old school metal ethos is that the third album in a band’s career has very often become its landmark album. Whether it is Master of Puppets or The Number of the Beast or even Reign in Blood, third albums have reached legendary statuses in countless cases. But would equating such legendary success to a similar possibility in the case of Bangalore’s Kryptos be too much of a long shot? Read on to decide for yourself.

For the uninitiated, Kryptos essentially play a very unique brand of melodic death metal, tightly encased in a steely packaging of old-school heavy metal, thrash metal and doom metal sentiments. Their latest album The Coils of Apollyon is of course, their third offering and had already garnered a lot of hype ever since its opening track The Mask of Anubis‘ was released to the public in February. The track deserves the hype in every bit. It has an epic arpeggiated hook, a beautifully orchestrated set of chorus harmonies and a tight percussive foundation which is reinforced by the steely bass from Jayawant Tewari. The starkest feature of this album though is the vocals. Vocalist/guitarist Nolan Lewis has managed this great combination of a sneer and a rasp, made even more delightful by its dual-channel presence in the mix, with a slight hint of a death growl for added flavour.

The band carries forward the same sentiment for the subsequent title track which sees slightly faster riffs but maintaining the old-school practice of essentially having the one arpeggio around which the entire song revolves. In general, The Coils of Apollyon is more on the fast side but it does have its lower tempo breathers. ‘Serpent Mage‘ is reminiscent of the old-school doom metal style made famous by Black Sabbath, Candlemass and the like. Personally though, it seems to be the only sub-par track of the album. While it starts really fast, it ends up becoming a really boring hammer-on verse riff for the verse. However, since it has so many tempo variations, it keeps itself from becoming a song that you would altogether skip.

Now the next song is the anti-thesis of boring. ‘Nexus Legions’ has it all: a thrashy 2/2 intro beat, a pentatonic intro rhythm that matches the pace of the beat and probably the most epic verse riff that this band has ever written. If by this stage of the album you are already wondering as to where the tremolo riffs have gone, here they are! The riff plays not just with octaves but in extension plays with the timbre of the song as well. ‘Eternal Crimson Spires’ then brings in another doom metal breather, this one being a lot more exciting, dark and versatile than the previous one. The speed then resumes with ‘Spellcraft’, yet another dark offering from the band, reminiscent of the glorious days of thrash metal when the music still had heavy NWOBHM traces in it. However, it is the following semi-ballad ‘Starfall’ that will definitely grab a lot of attention. This song contains a lot of well-orchestrated chord play harmonized perfectly by one of the catchiest lead hooks an Indian band has ever written, driven on perfectly by a thundering bass/drum low end march. Finally, the album’s 8-minute magnum opus Visions of Disshows up. The song exemplifies the influence that old-school melodic death metal bands like Dark Tranquillity and In Flames have on the band by essentially being a doom metal song written in that style. The verse riff has a great balance of tremolos and a singular chord to hold those tremolos in place for every bar. The surprise package of the song is its mid-section which turns into a fast arpeggio attack that plays around with the octaves really well. The album then closes with the short acoustic instrumental ‘The Isle of Voices’, a beautiful way to end the album.

Lyrically, the album explores mostly mythological themes, covering everything from Egyptian to Greek and even Biblical mythology. It is not, however, a concept album but just an album with an overall idea to put across. The overall verdict is that this album is easily the best one that the band has put out till date, in terms of songwriting, technique and production. The instruments have been mixed in nearly perfectly. Most heartening is the bass mix which has managed to stay a low throb without which a song would be empty, and yet the ‘clang’ of the strings increases the overall attack of the song as well. It is an album that should be heard by fans of both old-school metal as well as the more recent bands. And while this might run into the danger of overbilling a band, this album could very well be the ‘it’ third album from India, spoken about in the beginning of this article.


Trendslaughter Fest 2011 at Kyra Theatre, Bangalore





The Trendslaughter Fest was held on Saturday, 19th March 2011 at Kyra Theatre, and was organised by Cyclopean Eye Productions in association with Undergrind Productions and Gigbox. A lot of the crew for Trendslaughter seemed to be the same as that for the Undergrind Fest in January and it’s remarkable how gigs are organised by them with little regard or none as to how many people will come to see or like the acts and preference being given on keeping the lineup extreme and having only those bands play which they themselves would like to see. Headlining this fest was the straight-forward Death/Thrash Metal act from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Orator whose music deals with the occult, the Left Hand Path (Vamachara) philosophy of Hinduism.

Bevar Sea took the stage first. A relatively new band with a bunch of chilled out guys with a sound like they put it “No bullshit stoner-doom with an old-school heavy rawk foundation”. Their influences of a Black Sabbath sound rings through and you in some way cannot help but fantasize being in a time capsule, taken back to a time in Birmingham when metal was raw and majestic. Ganesh on vocals gave an edge to the slow, grinding and chugging guitars. Their infectiously catchy number ‘The Smiler’ was the first on the list. A new track titled ‘Mono Gnome’ got its first live play. They also covered a Black Sabbath song. Like their earlier show, each song was matched with catchy artwork and beer can treats to head bangers who could the catch attention of the band.

Back to the future, Culminant geared up to play next. However during sound step up, there were unexpected technical difficulties with guitarists Pranay and Anup’s gear. With a little help from the Dying Embrace and Gorified, both were armed with different guitars again and the show was all set to get a notch crazier. A very well played cover of ‘Heartwork’ by Carcass was the teaser sound check. After which followed a set of their original compositions which included a new track and a hell raising ‘Reign in Blood’ cover. The band headed by Bharad commanded a tremendous sonic presence, and drove the moshpit, which pulled in quite a crowd. We later learnt that technically the sound was not at their usual settings. However, the technical issues were not a hindrance to putting up a great show. This goes to tell why this band has been picking up attention in the scene lately.

Warhorse Chained from Cochin were also supposed to play at this fest but it couldn’t happen since their drummer was unavailable due to his exams.

Dying Embrace, with absolutely sick bloodcurdling growls by Vikram “Sik Vik” Bhat and a sickly bright and thick guitar tone by Jimmy Palkhivala, was probably the most loved act of the night. On drums was Deepak Raghu of Bevar Sea and Rat King. Their brand of Death/Doom Metal has a creepy feeling which you are engulfed into but at the same time has an ecstatic one as well due to the heavy metal Black Sabbath-esque vibe in their music. Autopsy is one of their prime influences and a cover of ‘Twisted Mass’ was done. They ended their set with an improvisation to their song ‘Daagda : The Time Has Come’ with Jimmy churning out a facemelter of a guitar solo at the end. And while most rock/metal musicians would be parting with their drumsticks or guitar plectrums if at all they wanted to give anything to the audience but the Dying Embrace guys went further as they gave out copies of their 2000-released Grotesque EP especially re-issued for their 20th anniversary as the Trendslaughter Fest special edition. Surely a treat for the fans who were lucky enough to get one.

The Gorified boys, Charlie and Ganesh, with Holi around, were totally in the mood of playing it with blood. The familiar drum recordings rolled on and as they went about with the soundcheck it was great to see that the sound was going to be better today than it was at the Undergrind. A little more hiccups with the sound as they started but as it went on they displayed no mercy as Charlie belted out his roaring abrasive vocals and Ganesh lashed out his ear-grinding guitar attack as the monster called Gorified slashed, devoured and committed several other heinous acts upon the populace (especially on those of the fairer sex). The sickos in the audience had plenty to headbang and mosh to and they did, ensuring that there was open space among the audience, with the sound being good enough to satisfy most of them.

Orator comprises of Amit on Vocals and Guitars, Cezan on Bass and Partho on drums. As they started their set, sound volumes were found to be low and even after raising the levels up the sound wasn’t at its best. There were some complaints about Amit’s guitars not being audible at the back. Performance-wise, the band hit spot on though. Comparing it with Western Metal, think of theirs as some of the unholiest; with Satan arriving in all his fuming glory and bringing destruction along with him. But perhaps a better way to describe it would be as if you and all your surroundings are being vaporized as Kalagni (the flame of time) attempts to consume every manifested being and object. But before that happens, what would be ensured is that your skull would be thoroughly crushed as the nerve-pounding drums, the thundering bass and riffs after riffs of melded metal keep piling on top of you. One of their songs ‘Samhara Tandava’ is dedicated to Shiva, the Lord of Destruction. Mayhem ensued and mosh flowed freely as the audience were left enthralled and spellbound by this death/thrash metal madness.

Looking at this fest overall, it provided immense satisfaction for the extreme metal cravings. Bangalore extreme-heads and those who attended the gig from other places are thankful to Orator for coming all the way from Dhaka to do a show here. Kudos to the organisers for promoting extreme metal, giving such bands a chance as well as for giving the fans exposure to them.