Genre: Death/Doom Metal | Label: Dark Descent Records
Location: Helsinki, Finland | Listen: Bandcamp
Over the last four years, Krypts’ sophomore full length has cemented itself in my listening rotation. I can’t get enough of its gloomy death/doom atmosphere that is especially appropriate for the long, dark months of winter. This is the second full length from this Finnish outfit, whom I’ve been following since the release of their demo. The first album didn’t really do much for me, as I recall it being a lot more straight forward. Thus, “Remnants of Expansion” really surprised me when I first heard it.
The album opens up with its lengthiest track, “Arrow of Entropy,” which clocks in at 11 minutes. This song takes its time and has a lot of breathing room, but it never feels like it’s meandering around. There’s a build up to some more mid paced, double bass dominated death metal parts. Krypts make good use of dissonant chords that help emphasize the ethereal slow sections between. They layer in some nice lead melodies which further add some more desolate sounds into the mix.
Dark Descent Records has put out some really phenomenal death/doom records over the last decade, including the sole albums by Anhedonist and Spectral Voice. This record definitely has a lot in common with both, yet it maintains a uniquely Finnish sound. The second track, “The Withering Titan” starts off with some ritualistic sounding moans, and similar eerie vocals are used by their labelmates. This song builds up to some blasting sections, but it still has this very ominous tone that keeps it all together as one coherent song. They don’t quite go as full diSEMBOWELMENT like some other bands, but the instrumental title track has traces of it.
Finland has a rich history of death metal that has its own unique characteristics, and Krypts are at the forefront of the modern Finnish scene as far as I’m concerned. Bands like Rippikoulu pushed that heavy Finnish death metal sound into the doomiest of territories back in the early 90’s, and I have no doubt that Krypts take influence from them. Unlike a lot of those classic Finnish albums, the production here sounds more refined, but it retains the proper atmosphere. The drums sounds massive in both the simpler parts, and also cut through well during the busier blast sections, not to mention they have a nice amount of reverb. Likewise, the guitars, bass, and vocals all sound just as huge, utilizing reverb and layers. The last track, “Transfixed,” contains everything from more ominous vocal chants, to more haunting leads, and you can really appreciate how well all these parts and layers breath over each other.
Surprisingly, this album is only 34 minutes long. It says what is has to in a short amount of time, especially for a death/doom record. It offers a lot of variety without any wacky juxtaposition. Instead, Krypts masterfully utilize the momentum of each part to flow to the next, no matter if they’re breaking away to slower territory, or if they’re building towards some pure death metal moments. The artwork for this record perfectly represents what their music sounds like, capturing that dismal feeling from the cold northern skies. The album they released after this is great too, but I would recommend “Remnants of Expansion” over it if you’re new to the band.