Review Summary: Unending death metal depravity
If Unending Degradation
could be summed up in two words, they would be murky filth. In most other genres, such a designation wouldn’t necessarily be the best kind of compliment, but in the department that Finland’s Krypts operate in it is an admirable trait. They have made small waves in the underground since their 2009 demo Open the Crypt
, and what praise has been hurled their way has been entirely justified. It is not every day that a band can unleash such impossibly heavy lurches that comprise their core riffing while still maintaining some aspect of movement and sonic progression that pushes their music deeper and deeper into the festering depths of this flavor of death metal. While Open the Crypt
was just a slight scent of the putrid offerings that Krypts could put forth, Unending Degradation
is the full foulness that many had longed for, making it a death metal release that has purpose, meaning, and the talent to make it come alive in all its grotesqueness.
While three of the tracks on Unending Degradation
were lifted from their debut demo, that doesn’t mean that this is a “been there, done that” affair. The entire production has been revamped, and surprisingly it wasn’t for the worse. The lows have been slammed to the ground to create a satisfying crunch and a very conspicuous heaviness that permeates the guttural vocals, thundering riffs, and even the deep bass. The hurried desperation of the riffing in “Open the Crypt” uses frantic drums and sharp bass plucking to set the tone of the track – a motif used quite frequently throughout the album’s eight tracks. On the other hand, the album wouldn’t be the same if it hadn’t retained a prominence of murky, down-tempo riffing that gives tracks like “Dormancy of the Ancients” or “Inhale...” such presence on an album filled with memorable moments. The new tracks and the old melt together with impossible fluidity, with old and new as well as long and short tracks working together to make the beast come alive.
The album, though, is at its best when its two distinct styles – quick, crunchy riffing and crawling movements – are intertwined. The absolute depravity of “Beneath the Archaic” is the essence of what Krypts are about
: death metal that has mountains of substance and character instead of flat heaviness. The dissonant riffing lurking in the background of many tracks creates both melody and mood; an almost eerie accent to an already unpleasant album in terms of its theme. The visceral bellows that permeate the vocals cement in the notion that the album is not around to appease a wide fan base by bringing in unnecessary attributes – the album is intentionally focused in a way that obviously hinders creativity, but in a way that isn’t necessarily detracting from the finished work. Anyone who listens to a Krypts record shouldn’t be surprised at all by what they hear – this is old school Finnish death metal incarnate, that is what you should expect and that is what you get. Think of the most horrifying, desolate, ominous, or depraved exhumations depicted in a tale by someone such as Lovecraft, and put that mental picture in sonic form. That sound – that is what Unending Degradation