Sweden has seemingly dominated the current death metal scene with its insane amount of quality bands - Necrovation, Tribulation, Repugnant, Morbus Chron, and Bastard Priest are just a taste of what the country has delivered in the past few years (which shouldn't be a surprise given the country's rich history). Be that is it may, though, Finland isn't too far behind (Kind of like back in the day too) and thanks to Dark Descent Records, it's pretty easy to find the cream of the crop of today's groups, like Krypts. "Unending Degradation" may be the band's first full-length album, but to say that these guys are a few rookies worshiping at the altar of their forefathers would be inaccurate. Sure, these Finns evoke a chilling atmosphere that could haunt a graveyard like Convulse and Sentenced did before, but the music on this record is fairly varied (as far as old-school death metal goes anyway) featuring riffs and moments throughout that cling to the ancient tenets of the US and Swedish bands of the past as well.
Of course, Krypts has their own sound, and aren't just an amalgamation of riffs and melodies from "Left Hand Path" and "Onward to Golgotha." It's almost mandatory that the atmosphere of this record be reiterated, because it's so crucial to what this band does best, and that's crush the listener with monster riffage while simultaneously sending shivers up and down their spine with chilling melodic sections and a lot of riffs that just scream "DOOOOOM." The intro to "Open the Crypt" is nothing more than simple powerchords and one doomy riff, but it feels like someone is releasing a re-awakened corpse from that crypt, as the sound is so bleak and heavy, creeping at the pace of a cadaver. This same sinister sound lingers throughout "Unending Degradation" and it serves well as an enhancer of sorts to the monolithic riffs and bellowing vocals of Antti Kotiranta, who do a hell of a job in making this album as heavy and dark as possible.
The backbone of this record, though, are the riffs. They're all kind of similar to be honest - plodding, midpaced powerchords find a spot in just about every song, and are usually accompanied by some kind of melody or doomy ensemble, while there are also plenty of riffs that feel like they could have found a nice home on an album like "Into the Grave," where headbanging constantly is the norm. And how remiss would I be if I didn't mention the tremolo sections that at times sound like Morbid Angel (evil and fast), and others sound more like Demigod and Incantation (HEAVY). "Dormancy of the Ancients" provides plenty of shifts from evil and slow to heavy and fast, making the seven and a half minute song painless to get through. After listening to "Unending Degradation" multiple times, it's pretty obvious that Krypts is a band who gets it, and knows what it takes to survive in the death metal underground, where for every 10-20 shitty bands, there's one like Krypts just making everyone else look foolish. As good as this album is (and, it's pretty damn good), it wouldn't surprise me to see this band release an even better one, the kind that makes people take notice like Necrovation did last year, or Tribulation with "The Horror," and I for one cannot fucking wait to be buried by it, but until then, this one should get me about 4 feet deep.
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"Open the Crypt"
"Dormancy of the Ancients"
"Beneath the Archaic"
4.3/5 or 86%.