Back in 2015 Krysthla announced their arrival to the UK metal scene with A War of Souls and Desires, a record that, in a nutshell: was nothing short of an exceptional debut, and one that is absolutely worth a listen back to for anyone who might have missed out on that release. Comprised of three members from the sorely missed and widely lamented Gutworm, tracks like ‘The Human Cipher’ and ‘Caged Earth’ are just three examples of the blood bearing hooks the record possessed that got punters interested in the first place. In similar fashion, 2017’s Peace in Our Time garnered international attention from critics and listeners alike with a ferocious follow up to their debut album. With all this considered then, it's fair to say the Northamptonshire five-piece set themselves a high bar of quality with the release of new record Worldwide Negative.
Krsyltha rarely go out of their way to box themselves into any specific sub-genres of metal across any of their promotional material or social media, and this is only reflected in the diversity of their songwriting. Any listeners new to the band will only find a unique and well crafted sound emerging from the track list of this latest effort. There's a standout mix of technical prowess and raw energy radiating from this album, from within the explosive sections of single ‘Zero Sum Game’ to the sonic whirlwind of riffs that is ‘Psalm of Heartlessness’ - there is an organised chaos that fans of math-metallers Car Bomb will enjoy listening to, but with the polish of French giants Gojira. But it almost feels futile to compare Krysthla to other bands on Worldwide Negative, mostly down its unique mesh of crushing power and haunting melody, fully demonstrated in the opening of ‘Auora Mediocratis’ in particular.
A lot of what makes Krysthla such an exciting proposition is vocalist Adi Mayes, who stands out among modern metal vocalists with his powerful mid-range scream that fits perfectly among the scalding hot riffs across the record. Importantly, Krysthla do not forgo meaning in their lyrical content aside the brutality of this albums composition. Listeners to this record will find their heads flooding with ideas as they bang it to and fro, with lyrics that address mental health issues, grief and political themes. This is a thematically concrete release from start to finish with a unique marriage between lyrical themes and musical delivery that can often be overlooked.
Following up such a spectacular debut and sophomore album may leave some fans of Krysthla waiting with bated breath for the release of Worldwide Negative. However, there has been absolutely no loss of momentum with the release of their third effort. Krysthla have only channeled and built upon what made their previous record stand out, forging a signature sound of their own.