Kryptos – Force Of Danger (Album Review)

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An archaic danger looms.

Though heavy metal may not be at the point of supplanting English in its de facto status as the common tongue of the global community, it’s reach continues to expand, and within the past few decades it was able to take root in India, a far distance from its birthplace in the British Isles, though a fitting destination given its former commonwealth status. In the late 1990s, this root blossomed into a formidable player in what would become the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal, beginning at roughly the same time Sweden’s own Wolf was crafting the eponymous debut that arguably kicked off said revival movement. But in contrast to their Swedish rivals, Bangalore’s own Kryptos would wind up forging a different take on the old school sound that would draw equally from the early sounds of Germany’s thrash metal scene, resulting in something that’s a bit rawer, yet still tied to the orthodoxy established by Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and other early metal pioneers.

After more than 20 years of toiling in the metal underground, unleashing five rock solid studio LPs and achieving the rare distinction of being the first band to hail from India that played a full set at Wacken Open Air in 2013, it goes without saying that this is a band that has achieved veteran status. As such, their sixth studio full length album “Force Of Danger” is an exercise in expert emulation of the olden days of metallic thunder, running the gamut of Teutonic metal influences from Accept to early Kreator, and doing such a convincing job that one would have to check the names of the band’s members on the liner notes to confirm that they aren’t actually German. This is perhaps best underscored by guitarist and lead vocalist Nolan Lewis, whom despite being surrounded by an assortment of early speed metal riffing, mid-paced rocking grooves and melodic lead guitar bursts that scream 80s like denim and leather, employs a near monotone gruff shout that sounds somewhere between Mille Petrozza and Schmier.

“Force Of Danger” Album Artwork

The name of the game on this album, as if the title didn’t give it away, is impact-based metallic fury, and each of these songs delivers in its own way. The tone is set on an absolute fever pitch with the thrashing crusher “Raging Steel”, which manages to pass for a standard mid-80s speed thrasher that would be in the purview of 1983 despite almost being insane enough to have made it onto Destruction’s “Infernal Overkill.” Similarly agitated stories are told with the somewhat more Iron Maiden-tinged banger “Hot Wired” and the raging yet highly catchy cruiser “Thunderchild”, sealing this band’s thrash credentials quite convincingly. Even when things simmer down to more of a controlled groove as on the pounding groove of “Dawnbreakers” and the obvious nod to Accept’s “Metal Heart” with a slightly busier guitar presentation and title song “Force Of Danger”, the energy level is not diminished and the forbidding mixture of influences endures.

There likely were several bands in the transition era of 1983-84 where the NWOBHM was beginning to give way to the thrash metal craze that either attempted a blend of the two or accidentally fell into on while moving from the former to the latter, but it’s unlikely that it came out sounding as methodical and together as this. It could almost be argued that Kryptos created something new by exploring divergent influences that possibly could have been combined, but ultimately never were, at least in the manner that has occurred on their albums since 2004. It underscores a level of diversity within the broader heavy metal revival that has been booming for the past decade or so that most of its detractors insist doesn’t exist. But more so than anything else, it’s a well realized and fun sound that any fan of the darker side of the early 80s heavy metal sound should welcome, and Force Of Danger is among a number of prominent albums that showcase why the NWOTHM is here to stay.

Released By: AFM Records
Release Date: October 1st, 2021
Genre: Heavy Metal

Musicians:

  • Nolan Lewis / Vocals, rhythm guitars
  • Rohit Chaturvedi / Lead guitars
  • Ganesh Krishnaswamy / Vocals, bass
  • Vijit Singh / Drums

“Force Of Danger” track-listing:

1. Raging Steel
2. Hot Wired
3. Dawnbreakers
4. Thunderchild
5. Nighthawk
6. Omega Point
7. Force of Danger
8. Shadowmancer

8.4 Great

Continuing in their established New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal credentials with a thrashing twist, Bangalore, India’s own Kryptos puts together a collection of 8 raging anthems that could have come out of 1983, but ultimately did not

  • Songwriting 8.5
  • Musicianship 9
  • Originality 8
  • Production 8
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