Review: “Worldwide Negative” by Krysthla

The highly anticipated follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed “Peace In Our Time” from Northampton Metallers Krysthla is one that was recorded at Initiate Audio and Media Recording Studios with Guitarist Neil Hudson at the helm as not only the Producer but also handling the Engineering, Mixing and Mastering duties. That fact can only mean that Krysthla have ended up with the album that they wanted to make, without any external influences muddying any waters or bringing ideas to the table. “Worldwide Negative” is a concept album of sorts, taking an introspective view point on the human race, it’s endless pursuits and the darkness within.

The first thing that hits you about “Worldwide Negative” is the depth of meaning behind the lyrical content. Opening track “Negative” is a prime example of that as vocalist Adi Mayes talks of the ways to take the pain away when you’re trapped in your own mind with depression and thoughts of Suicide. It’s effectively the title track of the album and has all the infections riffs and drum grooves you’d expect from Krysthla with an ocean of neck snappingly headbangable material setting the tone around those thought provoking lyrics. The second song “Reawaken” is the sequel in concept the the opener, reminding your that no matter how lost you are, there is help out there and you’re not alone. It features some impressive tribal drum fills and a dirgy almost DJent groove hook that is absolutely fantastic, while the addition of a clean sung bridge with a sort of grunge era overtone brings greater range to the plate. Probably best kit performance on the album comes from Liam Turland on “Grief Is New Love”. The track is one that attacks in waves with probably the best blast beat bridge we’ve heard this year in a repeating sandwiched section between some more Progressive and even Black Metal inspired guitar parts that showcase the depth of talent between Noel Davis and Neil Hudson. There are places in the the just shy of 7 minutes that you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a Strapping Young Lad tune. It’s that epic. Indeed if SYL should ever reform and for whatever reason the legend that is Gene Hoglan wasn’t available – Krysthla drummer Liam Turland would be the obvious first choice to step up to the plate. As with the whole album, the mix makes every instrument sound big and frankly its a beast of a tune with an interesting almost choral vocal bringing it to a crushing closing. First single “Zero Sum Game” has a similarly battering start, hitting like a thousand miniature Juggernauts. The addition of the clean vocals injects sense of Melody into powerhouse of a cut that is delivered at blistering pace. Conceptually it’s one about the human existence being in a constant state of birth and death while chasing things that are ultimately meaningless in between. Musically it matches those lyrical depths in fine form with a few nods to early 2000’s Metalcore as well as more “classical” Metal influences in the guitar tone and riff work, however the brilliance of it is that there is so much variation it has plenty to offer over repeated listens.

After a 12 second melodic warped vinyl piece of guitar work acts as a palette cleaner, the instrumental opening of “White Castles” has an almost Black Metal vibe to it before the vocals get under way and things change up with some staccato riffage. There is a mid-track melodic break and some Fear Factory inspired guitar work that lifts things but its the return of the Black Metal sound that takes it all to grandeur as your archetypal mid-album bruiser. The industrial rhythmic patterns continue into “Psalm Of Heartlessness” with bursts of guitars and drums hitting with metronomic precision. A cut with a haunting undertone of menace and a straightforward lyrical premise, it batters its point home in solid steel fashion. Creating division to thrive and conquer hasn’t got a place in this World. Taking the DJent to Meshuggah levels, “Aurea Mediocritas” grooves but also adds a number of lead parts over top to keep things fresh and add an alternative texture to the songs core sound. Those lead parts make the song by creating a haunting almost melancholic vibe that is smashed to pieces by the crushing DJent before being picked back up again later. It’s a impressive use of expansive polyrhythmic patterns that creates the undercurrent of the guitar sound and that’s not something you might expect from a band made up of older personnel. Another full throttle Black Metal introduction brings in album closer “The Gift”, which also features some Thrashier tones and there are a couple of points where you almost feel like they’re going to burst into a Crowbar song. Instead, Krysthla bring the house down with an epic mid-song lead part that pays homage to the likes of Metallica and Megadeth. Lyrically telling the tale of what is left after a suicide, the darkness of it when you think about it, is as hard hitting as it comes [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Negative
  2. Reawaken
  3. Grief Is New Love
  4. Zero Sum Game
  5. White Castles
  6. Psalm Of Heartlessness
  7. Aurea Mediocritas
  8. The Gift

“Worldwide Negative” by Krysthla will be out on 16th August via PHD.

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