Wistful melancholia? Perhaps not, but Krypts’ very solemn doom/death metal album Remnants of Expansion is just what a ritual needs for sacred music to accompany dark rites. The vocals are some of the deepest I’ve heard in metal. The rung notes lend some dark dysphoria to the mood induced on the album. I even hear small measures of blackened death metal here. It’s a surprise that Remnants of Expansion hasn’t seen too much buzz since its release. Die-hard Dark Descent Records fans would have exalted Krypts by now, as Remnants of Expansion is no desolate wasteland left behind by the band’s debut, Unending Degaradation. It’s better by far, and a few listens while playing this in the background won’t mesmerize the listener as much as a really intent listen on headset will. Until then, the majesty of Remnants of Expansion doesn’t make itself fully apparent.
Slow for the most part, the occasional blast section adding nuance, the songwriting on Remnants… is not one that can be described as porous. It is air-tight, beautiful in its rich detail and incredibly substantive. Dark Descent Records fans have been awaiting this release for some time. Now that the wait is over, the resulting music by the band is sublime and the wait proves to be worth it.
Getting down to the music, there’s still much use of Unending Degradation’s double-kick sections in mid-tempo. There are blast sections that make way to transitions with tasteful riffs. They don’t make use of plodding tempos in track two, “The Withering Titan, “where the band picks it up in multiple segments as they flow from one uptempo section to the next. Track three, “Remnants of Expansion,” is suitably slow and doomy, like a slow descent into the fathomless depths. The plucked notes in the intro of track three is fitting for the slow funneling descent into ruination that follows.
In hindsight, this album hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. Wunderkinds of death/doom aesthetics, Krypts carves Remnants of Expansion out of a cinder block, and creates profound beauty from the heavy slab of concrete. It isn’t merely heavy or dark, it is refined, intelligent dark metal artistry, and one any metal fan should not miss with what’s left of 2016 and beyond.
Now the crème de la crème of this style of doom/death, Krypts excels at every instrument used here. The drums are fairly creative and precise. The guitars go between quality dirgy riffs to icy rung notes. The bass adds gusto to the rhythm section. And, the vocals show competent range, going from deep gurgles and bellows to mid-range vocal roars that very effectively set the mood.
Remnants of Expansion is expansive musically, no matter how depreciative the mood it attempts to convey. And one has to marvel at all the minute little riffs and rung notes the band uses here. The songs are epic, evolving, and structurally cohesive. Death metal rightfully turned depressive, Krypts Remnants of Expansion is death/doom metal jugular, and Dark Descent Records’ best release this year.