After their acclaimed success of first album A War Of Souls And Desires, KRYSTHLA are back with their second record Peace In Our Time. Taking on the hard hitting subject matter of worldwide blindness to war and killing, and what that means, the band have grown in their musical prowess and their tackling of complex social issues within their songs.
Kicking off with The Minor Mystery Of Death, it booms with intention and scale. If there’s one thing that KRYSTHLA do best it’s make big noise, well. You can feel the scale they’re going for as the onslaught catches you, the no nonsense behind the music, which encompasses a mass of energy in its drums and exceptional riffing. Bass laden, deep rich tones run throughout while once and a while a soaring string of notes breaks through. Vocally, it’s a coarse, terrifying track, with some great lyrics. Already you can tell this is going to be top class.
Coming up next we have Yawm al-Qiyamah, which in its most basic terms translates from the Arabic for the Day of Resurrection, where we will all be judged. It’s a track that encompasses that feeling of dread, that apprehension and confusion. Technically, it’s very well done, with a low swooping bass line that grabs you by the jaw before thrashing you around through the verse and into the chorus. In case you hadn’t noticed, KRYSTHLA have some social commentary within this album that really wants you to start thinking a little for yourself about the bigger picture. Depths is yet another unburdening of the bands utter weariness for the worldwide obsession with slaughter and blind killing in the name of the nameless powers. This time, a more tempered start, while looking from a less angry, more compassionate point of view. It’s a change for KRYSTHLA but displays a maturity and a refinement in their material as they’ve toured and worked better and better as a band. Be assured though, the melodic brutality kicks you in the ribs before you can start to get too mellow. Depths adds scale and scope to the blistering thudding and crashing of the overall message of this album and is all the better for it.
Make Disciples Of The Nations takes things to the next level. Speed and consistently trying to break your neck, all the while expelling a great. There’s a real groove to this track, and the lyrics become all the more poignant. Not a track for your more optimistic feeling days, but hopefully a track that will inspire you to have courage and be optimistic about your choices to not conform to what is expected in these warped days we live in. KRYSTHLA have talent and real passion behind them to create such a track that comprehends the extend and the breadth of our actions. It’s quite a pure process, to have a band make such havoc in their music, all with reasons against the carnage in the world around them. Many will understand this mentality already, and those who haven’t grasped the nuance will find something in the textures and tonal variety.
Likewise, Within The Lie Of All Lies once more bring in some gnarly bass work. So many tracks could be a highlight on this album, though it truly makes its lasting impression as a while collective thought process. However, this is a peak, for mastery of message, tone and melody. Taking on a slightly more academic stand point, In Death We Shall Not Die has an overall feel of duality. Through the sublime playing, honestly, the solo is sublime in the context of the emotional message they are putting out, the meaning through the track, and the actual name of the track in interesting. While we are consumed by the track itself, do we take the meaning as a positive, that through the everlasting onslaught of killing, those who have been needlessly killed are still with us, or is it in fact a commentary on the absurd thought that death for a cause will make us more than if we are living?
If you thought that KRYSTHLA would have backed down by this point in the album, you’re clearly mistaken. Age Of War is another corker that takes to beating into you slower than before, but with just as much intention and keen playing. On a rhythmic level, you can lose yourself to the blast beats, while submitting to the surreal guitar work.
Eternal Oceans, our final outing on this record, rings in with more morbidity, more doom in its veins than thrash. It’s a takedown, a final plea and in such a final blow, to take the find from your sails. At eight minutes, it’s the longest track on the record, and feels all the more like a journey because of it. Oddly poetic, there’s the biggest emotional sense of loss and pain in the riffs here, as if the very band have been worn down to their most raw. Raw vocals, sincere and in harmony. The last moments of the track are a little treat, however, and as the final notes beat through to the end, there is a feeling that here at the end of their second record, KRYSTHLA still have plenty to say.
It’s clearer than ever that KRYSTHLA have something to say, something important in their words. More so, their ferocious style and fevered expression, uncompromised in its outlook and relentless musicality show that Peace In Our Time is an album with weight. The clarity of the message is clear, that the way society functions as a killing machine must end. Hopefully we can look back on this album in many years’ time and see it as a commentary on the historical, and not find it so relatable as we do now. Until then, enjoy the brutality.
Peace In Our Time is set for release on April 7 via Plastic Head. The band are featured in this month’s issue of Distorted Sound. Buy the latest issue here.
For more information on KRYSTHLA like their official page on Facebook.