The third LP from Finland's gloomy death metal act takes you on a disgusting exodus through depravity.
For people who have really decided to dedicate their time and energy into understanding heavy metal and all it's weird and esoteric intricacies, most roads of exploration will inevitably lead to a single country: Finland. The Scandinavian country with one of the hardest languages to learn has also put out some of the hardest and most top shelf quality metal since the early 1990's. From the now well known extreme metal bands like CHILDREN OF BODOM and AMORPHIS, the true doom of REVEREND BIZARRE and MINOTAURI, the old school depravity of DEMILICH, CONVULSE and DEMIGOD to the slow and pummeling like THERGOTHON and RIPPIKOULU, the country has your bases covered. It's when some bands take from each of these styles and fuse them that things can become very interesting.
Enter KRYPTS. Starting as more of a straight forward death metal band in the capital city of Helsinki, the band put out the Open the Crypt demo in 2009 and the Krypts EP in 2011 to rapturous praise from the underground. The group began to blend the savage death metal attack of bands like CRUCIAMENTUM and ASPHYX with the Finnish death doom mystique of RIPPIKOULU and HOODED MENACE on their debut LP Unending Degradation (2013). After a short but agonizing wait of three years, the band unveiled their sophomore outing Remnants of Expansion. The album saw a shift into more of a "cosmic doom" oriented approach to their death metal. It seemed that along with Colorado's SPECTRAL VOICE, Spain's ATARAXY and their fellow Finnish brethren in CORPSESSED, the group would forge a headlong path to the rising of death doom in the late 2010's.
Fast forward three years from the release of Remnants and now EVERYONE is wanting to jump on the cavernous death metal train. With an explosion of bands coming from the Pacific Northwest, Denmark and most recently Costa Rica, Russia and Italy, how would the guys in KRYPTS stand out from the pack? How would they further their artistic abilities without sounding too much like their contemporaries and repeating past efforts? Well, they do what MORBID ANGEL described on a song from their 1995 LP Domination; they found out where the slime lives. Whereas Remnants had the astral lean that could be applied to certain moments within a DISEMBOWELMENT track, Cadaver Circulation has itself immersed fully in the world of Graves of the Archangels-era DEAD CONGREGATION, FUNEBRARUM, INFESTER and GRAVE MIASMA. In layman's terms, this is KRYPTS at their most heinous, vile and wretched.
In a way, the doom metal influence is only more of a flavoring aspect to this putrid stew but it will undoubtedly please the fans that came to this band for a death doom sound. As soon as Sinking Transient Waters begins. you feel the weight of a thousand rotting corpses being thrown right on your unsuspecting ass. Bassist/vocalist Antti Kotiranta belches forth the most insidious verses as if in doing so, he is trying to invoke Hermaeus Mora from the Elder Scrolls franchise.
The Reek of Loss fuses BOLT THROWER-esque lead harmonies with the feel and grandeur of a CANDLEMASS cut before it goes straight back into the bloody bile. Guitarists Ville Snicker and Jukka Lilja have definitely come into their own on this album. The three year gap has done wonders for their interplay and they have written some of the best riffs for all of us eager fans to enjoy. What's interesting is that the guitar work from this album may have been able to work on Unending Degradation or Remnants of Expansion. However, I feel that they would've had to have been shoehorned in such a way that it would have been out of place. On Cadaver Circulation, they match the songs and atmosphere perfectly to the point where it almost seems too good to be true. While it does have an oppressively heavy aura, Cadaver Circulation has a few moments that allow the listener to catch a breath. It's a gasp of fresh air before the nasty claws drag you back into the muck.
The album flows incredibly well as a whole and doesn't get too comfortable in it's own lane. The three minute Mycelium adds some blood to the corpse while still force feeding it decaying flesh through a shovel. There are times when I felt a tad of influence from the UK's CRUCIAMENTUM and their sister band GRAVE MIASMA in that there are blackened sparks throughout the listening experience. Dark sticky melodies are taken to their most depraved, yet they stay cohesive and never wander too far off the ranch. It's also interesting to note that while these comparisons can be made superficially, KRYPTS make every influence palpable while retaining their own core identity.
As far as criticisms go, I can see people complaining that this may be "yet another cavernous death metal album." Yes, that argument can be made but damn it if KRYPTS can't make it their own. They have proven time and time again that they are not one trick ponies and that they bring a massive amount of vitality and energy. It's that energy that allows them to shine far brighter than the other bands that are content with mere INCANTATION/DEAD CONGREGATION/DISMA worship. KRYPTS separate themselves as one of the best new(ish) bands from the home of reindeer meat and the Kalevala.
Cadaver Circulation has firmly established KRYPTS as the premier cavernous death metal band from Finland, alongside their other Scandinavian and American brethren. This is the band at their most primal as well as their most dynamic. You'd be hard pressed to find a better death metal album to come out of Finland in 2019, so grab that Rottrevore shirt and pop on John Carpenter's The Thing because shit is about to get gross.
Cadaver Circulation is out on May 31st via Dark Descent Records. You can pre-order your copy HERE.