Krypteria may have formed in Germany, but the soul of the band is tattooed on your senses through the ethereal voice of Korean vocalist Ji-In Cho. The quartet manage to create a monster wall of elegant melody with biting metal guitars, a thunderous rhythm section, and even Gregorian chants. They combine elements of gothic and symphonic metal mixed with an aura of drama, mystery and visual presence.
The Korean born, Ji-In, who is fluent in German, studied vocals and piano at the renowned Musikhochschule in Cologne. While in Germany she connected with guitarist/producer Chris Siemons (who is almost always seen playing his Ibanez Iceman guitar), bassist Frank Stumvoll, and skins-meister, S.C. Kuschnerous. The band formed in 2004, and have been blowing audiences away with their sound, style and stage performances for the last half-decade.
In reality, an original formation of the band existed as far back as 2001, but it was not until Ji-In joined that the project truly became a full on power-metal band. The band’s first release with Ji-In came with 2005’s In Medias Res. The band’s first single from the CD, “Victoriam Speramus,” which means “We hope for victory”, was a number one hit in her home country.
In Medias Res was a launch pad for the band’s sound and style, but it was not as edgy or heavy as the albums that would follow. In fact, the band’s website does not even list that first CD in its discography. Songs like “Save Me” were more light-metal, even poppish at times. An EP, Evolution Principle would follow in 2006, but it was 2007’s second full length album, Blood Angel’s Cry which brought the foursome into their own. The album is awash in weighty guitars, operatic chants, and Ji-In’s full melodious vocals. Tracks like “All Systems Go” with its rapid fire drumming and heavy crunching guitars flow into dark lyrical rockers like “Time To Bring the Pain,” and into the freight train vocals and wailing guitar on “Scream.” Melancholy piano trills are woven throughout the album. A key element of the gothic sound, which is evidenced on the CD’s single, “Somebody Save Me.” The video for the single showcases the band’s penchant for theatrical and over the top visual performances, which they carry into their live show.
This summer saw the band release their newest CD, My Fatal Kiss, which I consider their most complete and resonating piece of work yet. Fatal kicks off with the gut-punch guitars and pounding drums of Ignition and the title track. Then the band slows it down for “Why Did You Stop the World From Turning,” before rolling into the intriguingly eerie and mid-tempo “For You I’ll Bring the Devil Down.” Devil is the band’s first single, and the accompanying video is affectingly vivid and almost melodramatic.
After the single, the band starts with a gothic intro which whipsaws into the speed-metalish “Deny.” They slow the tempo again for “The Freak In Me,” which features a sweet riff reminiscent of Judas Priest‘s heavier works.
My Fatal Kiss blends an eclectic mix of rock and metal elements which give each track a unique signature while still remaining a cohesive work. It is these intangible components, which make the band’s sound so alluring to the listener. The track “Never Say Die” gives us a taste if industrial in its intro, while “God I Need Someone” brings us an acoustic touch. The fundamental ingredient that melds it all together is the voluminous expression of Cho’s voice.
Krypteria are currently waiting for guitarist, Seimons to heal from a herniated disc he recently aggravated. The band had to cancel their German tour and are hopeful of returning to the stage in December. You can find the band at krypteria.de or on MySpace.