We at Distorted Sound like to think of ourselves as pretty well versed and professional in our output. However, this review initially was a mess of profanities and lines and lines of random letters. That’s because listening to A War Of Souls And Desires, the debut album by KRYSTHLA simply reduces you to slamming your head against the keyboard and trying to string together artless phonetics. Made up of the former members of GUTWORM, along with vocals from Adi Meyes (DEADEYE, VIOLATION), KRYSTHLA are blissfully heavy and excruciatingly extreme.
Seriously, these guys do not mess around. Ripping you a new one with the introductory track Minority of One, the riffs are not only exceptional, but it’s the heaviest intro to an album you could imagine. There’s nothing more gratifying than knowing you’re in for a real treat from the off, and it’s clear from the get go that KRYSTHLA will deliver. By the end of this track alone, it’s clear that listeners are in for a top notch album.
Listening to Luminosity, after you start to adjust to the force of this densely heavy record, you can appreciate that KRYSTHLA not only have literally tonnes of energy and drive to their music, but there’s a fantastic levelling of musicianship. Bass growling and guitars assaulting you with perfect equilibrium of grunting and riffing, whilst the drums are unyielding and technically sublime.
To level with you, there will be those who will not survive the third track H+. This one picks up the drive, especially with some inexorable drumming from Wayne Minney. The same follows suit with Caged Earth. This, ladies and gentlemen, has been worth waiting for. Meyes delivers some raw and unrelenting vocals, filled with the fervent aggression. For a debut especially, KRYSTHLA are creating intensity and longevity in their music level with the likes of NAPALM DEATH or KATAKLYSM.
By the time Praise Thee In Flesh turns around and rips your face off, it’s doubtful anyone could dispute that this is metal at its best- hard, unabashed and heavy. Some perfectly timed riffs and guttural basslines add another level of forcefulness to this insane album.
Finishing off with An Ancient Hope, you will probably feel like all your teeth have been rearranged and your eyes swapped around. KRYSTHLA do not slow down, they do not give up and the quality never drops. The soundscape of this track is perfect, and a truly fantastic way to complete this excellent record.
To get metaphorical, A War Of Souls And Desires is like being pulled through a black hole; it’s dark, it’s crushingly heavy, and your head feels like it’s gonna burst into a bloody mess all over your living room; to be literal, it’s punishingly brutal and unrelenting; and to be honest, it’s as intensely close to a perfect extreme metal album as you’re going find. Cathartic is not really the word for KRYSTHLA, but it’s as close as you’ll get to explain the experience of this band. Essentially, you can bet your sorry ass you’re not going to come out the other side of A War Of Souls And Desires the same as you went in.
A War of Soul And Desires is available on 25th September 2015 via PHD