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The Coils Of Apollyon

AFM (2012)
Rating: 8/10

For a few years now, the metal scene in India has been threatening to be taken seriously in the Western world with the likes of Bayanak Maut and Chronic Xorn proving there is more to the country than sitars. The Coils Of Apollyon is the third album from Bangalore-based Kryptos, but with a release on renowned label AFM hopefully it will garner them some attention worldwide.

Musically, Kryptos come across as a hybrid of early Metallica with Iron Maiden-esque melodies, but it’s the vocal delivery of Nolan Lewis (who also handles guitar duties) that may surprise some – avoiding pub-thrash clichés and in fact sounding very much like Ron Royce of Coroner. Some of the latter band’s technical influences are also present in the Kryptos mix, resulting in a record that is extremely retro in its vibe, production and song-writing, yet still relevant enough for your average Evile fan to appreciate.

The album kicks off with a false start in ‘The Mask Of Anubis’, one of the more pedestrian sounding tracks here, but persevere with the rest and you will be rewarded with an enjoyable thrash about with some amazing lead work on display throughout the 8 tracks on offer (not counting obligatory instrumental outro, ‘The Isle Of Voices’).

Things really start to gain momentum from the title track onwards, and the quartet obviously have a knack for the thrash dynamic that made all the top bands of the 80s so great and really let the music do the talking. Kryptos are also not afraid to write the odd long tune either – the epic ‘Visions Of Dis’ clocks in at over eight minutes, while three others span over six minutes, but not once does any track outstay its welcome.

Highlight tracks include ‘Nexus Legion’, with its Swedish sounding main riff, and ‘Starfall’, a mid-paced stomper with some excellent melodic lead work on display. In fact, if there was to be a criticism aimed at the album then a little bit more speed wouldn’t go amiss. As well as that, the newer generation of metal-heads may not get their heads around a production that hasn’t the sheen of a pro-tools produced band.

In short, The Coils Of Apollyon is an astonishingly good listen that should appeal to young and old alike. Whether Kryptos have the ability to break out of their country remains to be seen, but on this occasion they may be to the Indian music scene what Sepultura are to Brazil.

Neil Not

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