Ever have frostbite? Ever touch dry ice? Ever touch something so cold, your skin blistered up? Well, if you handle the debut album from Finland’s Kryptamok, you very well might experience those things, as it’s a brilliantly frosty, nasty display of second wave black metal.

The brain child of Hex Inferi, formerly of Finnish black metal masters Horna (also one of my favorite industrial/cyber death metal bands of the 00s, Scorngrain),  and Kryptamok’s  Verisaarna (Blood Sermon), like Istapp’s The Insidious Star last year, is a superb, if not perfect debut of icy, second wave black metal, but adds a little innate Finnish nastiness to the razor sharp, melodic and very Scandinavian proceedings.

Seriously, there’s a very tangible, dry ice mist emanating from the album cover and physical CD when you take it out of the case. And when you hit play and “Loputon, totaalinen sota”, (Endless, Total War) you’ll immediately be swept away in a blizzard of hateful black metal savagery.

Second track “Apokalypsin epilooki” (Epoch of the Apocalypse), is somehow even more vitriolic before “Saastan rekviemi” (Polluted Requiem?)  delivers a controlled, militant, mid paced march comparable to say Naglfar and such, but far more menacing and nefarious, especially Hex Inferi’s spiteful vocals.

“Susien äitee” (Mother of Wolves) delivers some very well done seething, melodic savagery, while “Pimeyden tyranni” (Tyrant of Darkness) mixes stern Tulus/Khold gaits before unleashing utter fire and brimstone a few minutes in. “Tämä on enne ja kuolema sen lupau” (Prophecy of Death and its Demise?) is the album’s second longest cut and delivers a more moody, brooding atmosphere before the closing title track ends the album with pure, icy vitriol.

Though not a full on symphonic black metal album by any means, there are some well used, subtle keys (and a few clean chants.spoken words etc) scattered in many of the songs that add a regal ferocity to the proceedings (i.e. “Rottien reformaatio”). And the production is utterly perfect, slicing, and vicious, yet clear, especially the tighter than heck rhythm section, and the drums, which are the some of the best I’ve heard on a black metal album in many years.

Purity Through Fire delivers yet another great black metal record to their 2020 offerings (Noidva, Slagmark, Mavorim,  Greve, To Conceal The Horns) and shows they are one of the best black metal labels out there right now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 20th, 2020


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