ReviewsKryptos – Decimator (AFM Records)

Kryptos – Decimator (AFM Records)

The execution of traditional heavy metal with thrash, power, or speed inflections may be a niche market compared to the 1980s, but there’s still plenty of quality musicians capable of filling that category even in the modern landscape. India’s Kryptos has been a reliable force in this regard, their releases chock full of those anthems at mid-tempo or slightly faster paces that scream faithfulness to a genre that has been rock solid for decades. Decimator is the latest record that contains bullet belt, battle vest praiseworthy anthems which assuredly cause spontaneous cheers, unison audience appreciation, and a flurry of activity that evokes feelings similar to taking in the best work of Accept, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, early Def Leppard, all the way through to deeper NWOBHM or early Metallica influences.

After a small instrumental start to “Sirens of Steel” that possesses the atmosphere that penetrated “The Hellion” from Judas Priest or the opening strains of “Replicant” from the Digital Dictator album of Vicious Rumors, the confident twin guitar / galloping nature of the riffs takes you on that mesmerizing harmony-fueled journey that strides into Kill ‘Em All / Metallica land. The follow-up “Fall to the Spectre’s Gaze” lays down into peak 80s Accept meets Iron Maiden territory, the drumming razor sharp while Nolan Lewis’ seething vocal delivery channels the best of Ron Royce meets Joe from Evil Invaders – the lead break from second guitarist Rohit Chaturvedi heroic beyond its mesmerizing bag of speed tricks or thoughtful note choices that appear in its almost minute-long spotlight. Smartly using a mix of steady headbanging riffs that also open up interplay possibilities between guitars, bass, drums and vocals keeps “Turn Up the Heat” into an instant classic – the supplementary gang-shouted vocals a bonus earworm while “Decimator” as a title cut takes in some Ozzy-like thunder next to Teutonic power and double kick fury to drive its hooks deep into your cranium. Add in the combination of sci-fi, futuristic themes next to the metal platform, it’s an obvious one-two punch that captivates all generations into this style.

Jamie Elton helms the production for Decimator – previously working with Tribulation in this capacity, and it’s obvious that his ability to capture crisp purity aligns to the analog-oriented, old-school ambiance Kryptos lives for while they create a new set of anthems for today’s generation. Nine tracks in just over half an hour, this could be the band’s finest record of an already praiseworthy discography – let’s hope that this will move them a few rungs up the ranks.

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9 / 10