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Kryptos - Afterburner

by Martin Knap at 01 July 2019, 9:20 PM

KRYPTOS is a band from Bangalore, India who debuted in 2004. I would describe their sound as prototypical Speed Metal: it’s a bit punchier than the classic NWOBHM sound, but it’s less aggressive then Thrash. The band has made a name for themselves over the years: they’ve supported IRON MAIDEN in their hometown Bangalore, played numerous times at European festivals, most notably at Wacken Open Air, which makes them the first Indian band to have played there; they also had their own headliner tour in Europe in 2014. “Afterburner” as well as their 2016 album “Burn Up The Night” was released by the German label AFM Record. Not many bands from their neck of the woods have a record deal with a bigger label, I can only think of is DEMONIC RESURRECTION, so that is also pretty remarkable. “Burn Up The Night” was received well by critics, so I was quite eager to check their latest release.

As I’ve said above, KRYPTOS play driving Speed Metal and could be considered a retro-band. What becomes apparent after a spin or two of “Afterburner” is that the songs are tight, the album is also concise – classically lean, as they say. The riffing is really slick, the guitar work is top-notch – when it comes to blistering solos they surely deliver –, and the songs have hooks. Most of the songs are up-tempo, driving, a bit aggressive with galloping riffs, the raspy vocals have a lot of bite, the punchy delivery would has almost a Thrash level of aggression. There are less pumped up songs with a darker, MERCYFUL FATE kind of vibe, especially “Dead of Night” stands out with its catchy, melancholic chorus. But most of the songs are fast and furious just like that sword wielding metallic man jumping through raging flames on the cover. Most of the songs are really fun to listen to, the opening song/title track, “Cold Blood” or “Mach Speed Running” are really enjoyable ragers, and I’ve mentioned “Dead of Night” with its memorable chorus. My problem with the album is that the songs are a bit cookie-cutter: if I listen to an individual song I can appreciate how tight and slick it sounds, but after listening to couple of them the whole thing starts to wear a little bit thin. The vocals, for example, feel a little monotonous – this kind of delivery is okay in Thrash or more aggressive genres, but here it starts sounding unexciting after a couple of songs.

My verdict is that this is a fun album, but unfortunately a bit lacking in ideas. But if you like this style it’s well worth a couple of spins.

Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Afterburner
2. Cold Blood
3. Dead of Night
4. Red Dawn
5. On the Run
6. The Crimson Queen
7. Mach Speed Running
8. Into the Wind

Ganesh K. - Bass
Nolan Lewis - Guitars, Vocals
Rohit Chaturvedi - Guitars (lead)

Record Label: AFM Records


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