Italian eight piece band Krampus are intent on making a mark with their infectious folk/melodic death metal sounds ripe with belligerent aggression and melodic Celtic influences. The band formed in 2009 but it is this year where things seem to have gathered momentum for Krampus with the release of their debut EP Shadows of Our Times in March, playing major festivals in Europe, and now the release of their new EP Kronos’ Heritage. With a sound as vibrant as it is forthright there is a firm sense that things are taking a rapid move forward now for the band.
Kronos’ Heritage brings forth three tracks of direct and thrusting death metal like combativeness infused and layered with enthused melodic folk sounds brought through the use of traditional instruments like flutes, whistles, violins, and the Irish Bouzouki. Lyrically too they are as forceful as their sounds, the theme and content to their songs focusing on the ever changing state of humanity, environmental awareness, and social issues, their views and feeling openly clear.
The title track ‘Kronos’ Heritage’ opens up the EP with the harsh growls of vocalist Filippo Gianotti carrying a metal core sensibility to them, driving the track on as potent riffs and incisive power from the guitars hit hard. The song is the most accessible and melodic of the three, combining an impressive blend of both extremes of aggression and harmonies musically and vocally alongside the dark intent of Gianotti. The keyboards of Tommaso Adriano, the soulful violins from Marika Geremia, and the flutes amongst the array of sounds that Matteo Sisti brings, are an intriguing and arresting contrast to the powerful and noise led attack leaving the ear spellbound.
‘Aftermath’ is a full on wonderful assault where again intensely driven riffs and wanton blasts fly hand in hand with soaring and fresh melodies. The drum sticks of Carlo Andrian even in the quieter moments drop like shells as he attacks with relish. Alessandro Gallera and Leonardo strike firmly as well as bringing some fine melodic plays and solos to the song, as they do on all tracks, and to be honest the more one listens to the release the further away from death metal it sounds. Truthfully it bridges a few genres and is distinct to most other harder edged folk metal bands giving Krampus an exciting advantage many cannot match.
‘My Siege’ completes the trio of outstanding tracks and is probably the best, certainly the most ferocious as it batters the same senses its melodic ingenuity caresses. Bassist Davide Zampato lays down a delicious bass throbbing sound that resonates throughout the track complimenting both the mighty power and harmonious weaves that play wonderfully in the aggressive creases of the track. With the electro keyboard sound it plays more like a distant folk cousin to The Browning than to the likes of Scar Symmetry or Hypocrisy.
Kronos’ Heritage is simply excellent and will easily increase the anticipation of a full length from the band in the future though as their two EP’s are self released a wait may be in order. Certainly this and its predecessor shows that Krampus have their future and an unique creativity in their own hands as well as so much more pleasure to give to its growing mass of fervent fans.