Engineered and mastered by Neil Hudson at Initiate Audio and Media Studios. Produced by Neil Hudson and Krysthla with all music performed by Krysthla.
The debut album is released Friday 25 September 2015 via Plastic Head Distribution. Order on Amazon UK.
Back in April I reviewed the 2004 debut of British death metal band Gutworm Ruin the Memory and lamented that the band had split in 2010 after only a couple of albums as this one was very promising.
Well, it would appear that my wishes have been answered: former singer for UK thrashers Deadeye, Adi Mayes, has teamed up with founding Gutworm guitarists, bassist and drummer to form Krysthla. And their debut album A War of Souls and Desires, which will be released on Friday 25 September 2015, absolutely rocks!
I’m astounded at the quality of the musicianship and writing, to be honest. It builds on what Gutworm was doing (guitarist Neil Hudson explains that after Gutwork broke up they were already writing new songs with a new sound and approach) but takes it into another league.
Their overall sound seems to be somewhere between modern Napalm Death and Meshuggah. And that is a pretty darned interesting and exciting place to be. The playing is precise, in places like math metal, twisting. And turning. Stopping and. Starting. Something that. Gutworm. Did.
Adi Mayes’ vocals are shouted but you would hardly notice. It just fits perfectly. There’s a warmth and depth to his voice that adds another texture and rhythm to the songs.
It would be unfair to hone in on Wayne Minney the drummer’s precision because both guitars and bass very much get in on the act, but the double kick drum blast beats are something that get me each and every listen. Particularly at the end of “Minority of one” (track 1) which could easily be the sibbling of Meshuggah’s I (2004), or during “Luminosity” (track 2) where they just power the song along.
And so the album powers on, as though grinding through rock. While writing this review I’m only on track 4 “Caged Earth” and I’m still grinning from ear to ear. The album is relentless and powerful, but it never stops being interesting.
Melodies weave themselves unexpectedly through the groove. Drum fills and flourishes appear to challenge the dominating beat, like a fish swimming against the flow. But it all works, and it all adds up to one of the most exciting and interesting albums I’ve heard… I was going to say this year but actually in a long time. And this is from a British band!
If you are into extreme metal. If you like your Napalm Death and Meshuggah. Then seriously buy this! To many this may be just a lot of noise and shouting, but oh! what perfect noise and shouting! This is a modern metal masterpiece.
I honestly find it difficult to pick fault with it. For me this album strikes all the right chords. It’s heavy, it’s rhythmic, it’s interesting (I say that a lot in reviews: I want the music to keep my attention), and it puts a smile on my face and a nod to my head.
When I do my annual round-up of new albums in December this is sure to feature in the top three. Is it going to score more highly than the new Lamb of God album? Do you know what… it just might.
The debut album is released Friday 25 September 2015 via Plastic Head Distribution. Order on Amazon UK now, you won’t regret it.
Review score: 100%
Stampede Press UK had seen my favourable review of Gutworm’s album here and got in touch with me towards the end of July inviting me to review the album ahead of its release.
I have no connections to either Stampede Press UK or Krysthla.
I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review. And that’s pretty cool.