Release Date: April 22, 2011
For some reason certain bands seem to be continually overlooked by the general rock population despite being high-caliber talents. Y&T comes readily to mind for one. Another is German-based symphonic power metallers, Krypteria. Perhaps it’s the unique niche they represent in the symphonic metal community. Learn more about the band here.
Part of Krypteria’s sound and style is very over-the-top and dramatic. Like seeing and hearing a metal show on Broadway with a church choir. Their sound goes beyond genre staples of epic songs with moody atmospheric tones. For them, every song is built for the stage. To tell a story and hook the listener.
Their fourth and newest album, All Beauty Must Die continues in that vein, though perhaps less gothic in feel than 2009’s My Fatal Kiss, it’s arguably more stunning in its scope. Despite being a quartet, they manage to create a massive wall of sound with every song, layer upon sonic layer.
The opening track, “Messiah”, is quintessential Krypteria, opening with a hooky guitar riff over a thundering rhythm section. And then of course in come the wall of theatrical vocals, elevating it all to the next level.
The album is balanced quite nicely swaying from prodigious aural beasts, to brilliant moments of dramatic nuance. The second track on All Beauty Must Die, “As I Slowly Bleed”, paints a sonic picture of tortured and emotive angst. One can almost visualize vocalist Ji In Cho running through the darks halls of a castle somewhere in Europe, white gossimer gown flowing, her tormentor unknown. Well, that’s the image I get. You may see something else, but it has that tormented feel.
From moody and dark, “Fly Away With Me” takes the album to uplifting and majestic. The track is filled with driving guitars, and some fine drum work from S.C. ‘Kusch’ Kuschnerous.
For fans of the more traditional symphonic metal sound, the track “You Killed Me,” fits the bill as well as anything out there right now.
Listen to “You Killed Me”:
The album’s first single, “Live To Fight Another Day”, combines a melodic and catchy chorus with soaring harmonies. Still, unlike most singles, it’s not nearly the best song on the record. It does feature a very tasty guitar solo.
For the first time the band has invited guests to perform on an album with the band. Metal Queen, Doro Pesch, whom the band toured with frequently in support of their last record, makes an appearance on “Victoria”. She and front woman Ji In Cho share lead vocals on the song. Said Ji In of Doro’s appearance:
“Doro and Krypteria have shared the stage many times and have been friends for a while now. She has been very good to us over the years, so the desire to have her sing on this record was unanimous. Her vocal performance on this song is stellar and working with her has been a fun experience again.”
One of the album’s most dynamic tracks, “Higher”, features two special guests. Edguy bassist Tobias “Eggi” Exxel turns in some stunning lead guitar work.
Said drummer Kusch:
“Eggi has been a good friend of the band since 2005 and we’ve always talked about how having him appear on one of our albums would be a cool thing to do. This winter the stars aligned right and we finally got it done.”
Axe-wielder Olli Singer (ex-Lolita Nace), who filled in for Krypteria guitarist Chris Siemons when he had back issues last tour, adds his own talents to this guitar-a-trois.
“The best part about the guitar solo shoot-out threesome thing as a whole?” queries Kusch. “Everybody brought his own style and attitude to the table, so you can easily tell the three amigos apart – it’s a must-hear!”
“Turn The World Around” kicks off with an almost eerie intro before the hook and melody of the chorus sink in and you’re spellbound. Ji In’s voice has a plaintive and earthy quality on this one, which is counterpointed by the stark growling male vocals which appear on the bridge.
For a pure adrenaline rush of speed and thunderous pedal work, check out “Thanks For Nothing”. Bassist Frank Stumvoll gets some nice moments in there, and throughout the record, for that matter.
Perhaps the album’s most intriguing song is the final cut, “The Eye Collector”, which comes in at over 11 minutes long, and also features male vocals. Something new for the band. In fact, all three of the guys got a chance to sing some leads on this record.
“The Eye Collector” takes the term “epic” to a higher level. It is extremely diverse, and shows the vast scope of the band’s musical and songwriting abilities. At moments creepy, others ethereal, and still others just feral and full of dark energy. This song sums up Krypteria.
Every band will tell you their newest album is their best, or their signature album. For Krypteria, All Beauty Must Die is both those things. This the album that should break them out to a much larger audience.
If you are a fan of gothic, symphonic, or power metal, this album has to be experienced. It bears repeated listening to truly get the essence of what Krypteria are all about.