There’s death/doom and then there’s Finnish death/doom. Something in the air or in the water supply has to be a culprit for the immense, volatile chemistry between death metal and doom metal Finnish bands offer. Krypts continue this tradition on the daunting Remnants of Expansion.
The music’s sturdiness is an appealing quality, conditioning the listener to become invested in the rotted decay crusted over the album’s five tracks. Ten-minute opener “Arrow of Entropy” is Krypts’ mission statement, declaring themselves masters of the foreboding atmosphere. The only deviation from the funeral march into exile comes from bouts of hyperactive tempos that back off almost as soon as they appear.
And that’s not regulated to just “Arrow of Entropy.” The entire album is handled that way, only bringing the tempos up to typical death metal norms in select instances. That’s perfectly fine too, since Krypts work better at a measured pace than when their sound blurs into a realm of utter madness. Their doomy side is where the value is, especially when they go instrumental on the eerie title track placed perfectly in the middle of the album.
When vocals do appear, they are languished screams echoing with guttural pain, though some throat chanting in the first few minutes of “The Withering Titan” adds variety. The vocals are suitable, as is the incorporation of a second guitarist to the lineup. Another guitarist present doesn’t equate to a larger influence of lead work, but a focused tag-team effort on maintaining the sinister atmospheric touches.
Remnants of Expansion gels better than their 2013 full-length debut Unending Degradation, thanks to the attention given to tighter songwriting. Cutting back on the songs (this album has five compared to eight on the last one) is an invaluable move in making the album as intense as possible. Remnants of Expansion is further proof to the claim that Finland is where the top death/doom groups in the world reside.
(released October 28, 2016 on Dark Descent Records)