Tag: groove metal

Album review: Krysthla

KRYSTHLA Worldwide Negative [PHD] Formed in 2013 Wellingborough’s Krysthla have been carving out their own niche in the realm of extreme metal. Their first album A War of Souls dropped…

Worldwide Negative [PHD]

Formed in 2013 Wellingborough’s Krysthla have been carving out their own niche in the realm of extreme metal. Their first album A War of Souls dropped in 2015 and was followed in 2017 by the critically acclaimed Peace in Our Time. Their third full length Worldwide Negative comes hot on the heels of a triumphant main stage appearance at this years Bloodstock Open Air festival, and this record is the sound of a band confidently reaching maturity and standing on the verge of world domination.

By way of an introduction opening salvo ‘Negative’ is the perfect calling card. Beginning with a brief, cascading guitar motif that gently reels in the listener, it creates a moment of serenity that means when Krysthla arrive as a band they hit with the force of a hurricane: a blast beat that’s overlaid with a tortured scream breaks the still, and heralds a musical maelstrom. The guitar motif recurs throughout as Liam Turland’s powerhouse drumming dictates the pace and gives proceedings a groove metal feel as the group constantly shift gears and effortlessly switch tempos. The incendury ‘Negative’ would make a great set opener for Krysthla’s live show, and it seems destined to ignite mosh pits wherever they play. Next track ‘Reawaken’ is bookended between two punishing riffs, and the mid section evidences an intelligent use of light and shade as clean vocals juxtapose the more guttural – while the intricate guitar lines highlight the hammer blow riffs.

‘Grief is New Love’ has a real industrial, surgical feel, kinda like Fear Factory on amphetamine, the drums fire like pistons while the guitars capture the cold, brittle atmospherics of black metal. Next cut, and lead single, ‘Zero Sum Game’ continues in a similar vein, relentless without being repetitious. Krysthla have a modus operandi similar to Killing Joke, but whereas the Joke use the same riff as a battering ram Krysthla have more in their arsenal and attack your senses from different angles. Guitarist Neil Hudson also produced Worldwide Negative and his wizardry unobtrusively brings different instrumentation to the fore at various junctures, and subtly repositions the listeners perspective. Despite the band drawing on different strands of extreme metal this album has a unified feel. That’s partly due to the production, but primarily it’s the introspective lyrics that deal with alienation and the impact of our actions on ourselves and the planet. Linking all the songs thematically gives Worldwide Negative the feel of a concept album, and ensures it hangs together as a cohesive whole.

‘White Castles’ is like facing an artillery barrage as vocalist Adi Mayes tackles his lyrics with hardcore fury and sings with indignation. However the band aren’t all about pure bludgeon, as some nice guitar work provides brief respite; the band lulling us into a false sense of security before we’re attacked sonically once more. On ‘Psalm of Heartlessness’ the band have created a song that simply sounds huge and towers over the listener – threatening with a monolithic enormity. Penultimate track ‘Aurea Mediocritas’ swirls in a musical tempest with sinister guitar flourishes that suggests we’ve arrived at a dystopian future. Befitting of an album closer ‘The Gift’ is truly epic and neatly pulls all the bands influences together. It begins by thrashing like Metallica’s ‘Battery’, before undergoing a transmogrification and then sinking like Immortal’s ‘Beyond the North Waves’ which ensures the album ends of a rather ominous tone.

Artists often speak of the ‘difficult third album’ but obviously Krysthla haven’t had that problem. By refining their sound and playing to their strengths they’ve produced an album in Worldwide Negative that could propel them into metals top tier.

Peter Dennis

Worldwide Negative is out on Friday. Pre-order here

Feature Photo credit: Amplified Gig Photography

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New Music Friday: Mutiny UK

Mutiny UK are a five-piece groove metal band from Northamptonshire, featuring former members of Torch, The Witness and Full Contact. New Boots spoke to guitarist Kieran Murphy about their brutal…

Mutiny UK are a five-piece groove metal band from Northamptonshire, featuring former members of Torch, The Witness and Full Contact. New Boots spoke to guitarist Kieran Murphy about their brutal new single ‘Warfare’ and much more besides.

Who is in the band, where are you based?
We’ve got Niall Billingsley on vocals, he’s based in Daventry, Jamie Hitchcock on bass, Joe Linnell on drums [both from Moulton], then myself Kieran Murphy and Ben Swingler on guitars, and we’re based in Kettering! 

How did you guys get together?
Ben, Jamie and Joe used to be in a band together a couple of years ago, they started jamming around this time last year for this project, which turned into Mutiny. Soon after they got in touch with Niall to do vocals, and I joined on guitar last August. 
How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
We try to combine as many influences as possible within our music, both to keep ourselves invigorated and listeners likewise. Predominantly we provide a groove metal sound, with elements of old school death metal and new wave metalcore. Influences range from bands such as Meshuggah, Architects, After The Burial, Sylosis, Carcass, At The Gates…I could sit here all day giving you bands, haha! 
Tell us everything about this single, ‘Warfare’.
‘Warfare’ was the first full song that I wrote for the band; it started with the intro riff at a practice. We played it live for a few shows and eventually changed certain sections, until we were finally happy with the finished product. At this point we headed up to Dundee, Scotland in February to record with Kieran Smith [drummer of To Kill Achilles]. He did a smashing job producing us, and we’re chuffed with the final outcome.
What are your live shows like?
Without sounding like your generic metal band, we just try to keep it as energetic as possible and keep the crowd entertained and involved, whilst having a laugh at the same time. That’s what it’s all about really. We aren’t some super elitist band that’s angry at the world and everyone in it; we’re all pretty chilled out/laid back. 
Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We recently played at The Roadmender in Northampton. In terms of local venues that’s a place we’ve all been going to since we were kids, so it was cool to finally play a show there. In terms of local metal bands Krysthla are smashing it, likewise with From Eden To Exile. Would definitely recommend checking them both out! 
What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Collectively, it was probably recording ‘Warfare’ up in Dundee. It was great listening back to the final product after we’d spent months working away at it. 
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Kieran: I’ve recently pre-ordered Ride’s This Is Not A Safe Place on vinyl.
Ben: The Maccabees Colour It In
Niall: JID The Never Story
Jamie and Joe: Architects Holy Hell
What are your burning desires for the band to do? What plans do you have?
We’re about two or three songs away from finishing writing for our debut album. The plan up until then is to continue playing shows. We’re hoping for a release early-mid 2020, but we’ll have more information to come on that soon.
Warfare is out now via the usual digital platforms


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