A heavy aural suffocation of the senses, Unending Degradation the debut album from Finnish death metallers Krypts is an overwhelming sonic consumption which simultaneously sucks the light and breath from body and emotions whilst invigorating the very same aspects. It is intensive smog of overbearing erosive atmospheres caged in a framework of merciless ravenous sounds and doom sodden intent, and a thoroughly compelling treat.
Unleashed through Dark Descent Records and via Me Saco Un Ojo on vinyl, Unending Degradation has been a highly anticipated release from the band which formed in 2008. Their reputation and presence within the metal underground has grown through their Open the Crypt Demo of 2009 and self-titled EP two years later to an extent where there is definite excitement around their first album. The release is soaked in the origins of death metal, the heart and essence of the time the corrosive air to an album which ravages the listener with atmospheric brutality as demanding and persuasive as the towering and oppressive sounds created by impressive musicianship. Once engulfed in its cavernous black expanses there is no light to aid escape or relief, just unbridled onerous ugly beauty.
The album starts to slowly immerse the ears and beyond with the laboured Introeon: Perpetual Beyond, an instrumental which smothers every pore and emotion with heavy seductive yet imposing shadows brought through predatory rhythms and riffs which sway and mesmerise like a cobra, resisting the urge to strike but just teasing until submission to their intimidation is given. The destructive crawl leads straight into Blessed Entwinement, a track immediately gnawing on the senses though a murderously snarling bass, a wonderful feature of the whole release, and a grinding insidious sonic groove from the guitars from within the grasping stifling breath of the riffs and song. The vocals of bassist Antti Kotiranta are as venomous and deadly as his basslines to stifle any remaining hopes for the listener of escape and with everything combined it is a ruinous confrontation which leaves one magnetised.
The excellent Open The Crypt steps forward next with muscles pulsating and intensity as voracious as a pack of starved beasts. The guitar of Ville Snicker is unrelenting in its caustic persistence upon the senses whilst drummer Otso Ukkonen brings an unpredictable and diverse raptorial attack to leave one fully engaged and cowering. The song again is never prone to unleashing its aggression and vehemence into an explosion of violence but does shuffle its gait and pace constantly to provoke and bully to intense satisfaction.
Through Dormancy Of The Ancients and Inhale… the band never offers any sign of mercy from their continuing stifling satanic embrace, both songs without finding the lasting riches of their predecessor, leaving emotions and appetite primed for further deep reaching violation. The second of the two with its heavy earth sodden atmosphere an exhausting mass upon the listener, feels like being buried alive with the realisation of no escape adding a richer claustrophobic dread to the encounter.
The following track The Black Smoke is another pinnacle of the release, its unpredictable and melodic slights deeply entrenched in the thick intensity little glimmers of light soon snuffed out by the lumbering and carnivorous decayed sounds and intent of the excellent slab of mental jeopardy.
Finished off by the maelstrom of energy and invention within Day Of Reckoning, a track which is for want of a better word anarchic with its devastating chaotic ferocity, and Beneath The Archaic with its titanic atmospheres, Unending Degradation is an album sure to bring a torrent of pleasure to death metal fans, doom favouring ones too. If old school death metal snuffs out your candle of discontent then Krypts is a mausoleum of corruptive atmospheres to immerse deeply into.
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