Krypteia - _Avodah Zarah_
(Independent, 2010)
by: Chaim Drishner (8.5 out of 10)
Time and again, it never seizes to amaze this reviewer how hyped bullshit, such as the new couple of Burzum albums, or the derivative last Beherit effort, are talked about and revered throughout the Internet, while at the same time nobody pays attention to great bands such as this unheralded Swedish quartet, namely Krypteia -- whose latest effort, _Avodah Zarah_, hands-down, is easily among the best black metal pieces recorded in recent times. Never mind this piece of nonsensical gossip, as _Avodah Zarah_ really transcends all this mindless metal fashion etiquette, because it is such a good album, it needs no mass recognition or the lack thereof.

_Avodah Zarah_ literally means "foreign worship" in Hebrew, a biblical term associated with idolatry, one of the gravest prohibitions of the Torah and, as the title suggests, the thematic substance with which this album deals: the Apocalypse, metaphysical, esoteric and Kabbalistic issues, and such. The music captured on _Avodah Zarah_ mirrors these subjects in an adequate manner, portraying unknown dark dimensions and other-worldly existence, all masked and clothed in a black metal costume of the darkest hues. Krypteia use slow-paced drumming and Middle Eastern Arabesques incorporated into their finely crafted riffs, emanating a different kind of sonic darkness. The relentless riff-fest and the somewhat martial, ceremonial drumming, coupled with the fine vocal delivery, build an epic and tragic atmosphere; a suffocating spiritual ambiance, uniquely constructed and delivered.

The fine elements contained in this excellent recording are too minute and elaborate to mention in a couple hundred words; their essence eludes plain explanation due to the, again, metaphysical nature of the recording's many attributes. Suffice to say Krypteia have accomplished a work of beauty and dim light using the very basic black metal elements and the most plain, distinctive black metal sound. Intertwined in between tracks are excellent dark ambient passages that tie the tracks together, forming one mesmerizing dark entity with a strong ritualistic nature. This sophomore album is one of the best black metal outputs your hard-earned money can buy circa 2011. Highly recommended!


(article published 13/2/2011)

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