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Krypteria - "Bloodangel's Cry" (CD)

Krypteria - "Bloodangel's Cry" CD cover image

"Bloodangel's Cry" track listing:

1. All Systems Go
2. The Promise
3. Time to Bring the Pain
4. Somebody Save Me
5. Scream
6. Lost
7. Out of Tears
8. I Can’t Breathe
9. The Night All Angels Cry
10. Dream Yourself Far Away
11. Sweet Revenge
12. At the Gates of Retribution

Reviewed by on March 27, 2009

"'Bloodangel’s Cry' is a gothic-symphonic work of art, layered with crunchy riffs, epic Gregorian chants, modest guitar solos, haunting vocals and dulcet keyboards."

Early pioneers of female-fronted metal discovered a niche and filled it, thus kicking off a new trend. Nightwish led the pack with Tarja Turunen’s operatic vocals. Arch Enemy rose above the rest thanks to Angela Gossow’s brutal death metal growls that rivaled the best of any male counterpart. Lacuna Coil appealed to teenaged goth-wannabes and male teenyboppers drooling over the aesthetically-pleasing Cristina Scabbia. The list goes on as more and more groups began to putting women on vocals, until these bands became a dime a dozen. Unfortunately, Germany’s Krypteria is no different from all the rest, musically-speaking, with their shtick being a hot Asian woman.

Comprising of guitarist Chris Siemons, bassist Frank Stumvoll and drummer S.C. Kuschnerus, Krypteria has released three full-length studio albums and an EP since its formation in 2001. German-Korean singer Ji-In Cho later joined in 2004, after singing for Krypteria's charity single, "Liberatio," for victims of the tragic tsunami in Asia. Krypteria’s latest effort, 2007’s "Bloodangel’s Cry," is a gothic-symphonic work of art, layered with crunchy riffs, epic Gregorian chants, modest guitar solos, haunting vocals and dulcet keyboards.

"Bloodangel’s Cry" takes off with the blistering “All Systems Go.” The energy of the thunderous riffs and the angry vocals would make this energetic lead track a great buildup to the album, except the liveliness stops abruptly at the light piano intro to ethereal second track, “The Promise.” Fortunately, the momentum picks up again by the third song, “Time to Bring the Pain" and continues on to the melodic first single, "Somebody Save Me." At times, the band would sound dangerously close to pop, even oddly like ABBA in “The Night All Angels Cry.” Soaring symphonies and Gregorian chants add a hint of grandeur to the overall sound of the album.

The lyrics supposedly tell a tale, possibly “Diary of a Clingy Emo Girl." Ji-In Cho's weak, vulnerable wails match the album theme of frailty, loneliness and helplessness, which can get irritating after a while. She is brimming with emotion, yet she lacks the grace of Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation. (Think of Amy Lee of Evanescence but with a vocal range greater than a half octave.) As much as I like to be taken on journeys through (metaphoric) oceans (of tears), seas (of flames), quicksand (of lies), winds in the sky and ice, I was ready to go to a metaphoric bookstore and chuck self-help books (plus a thesaurus just for good measure) at her after listening to the album just once. However, Ji-In’s talent shines through when she ditches the damsel-in-distress image for that of a vengeful hunter, or “venatrix appropinquit,” in the heavier songs “Time to Bring the Pain” and “Sweet Revenge,” in which she displays power and confidence, consequently proving she is a worthy singer.

Highlights of the album include the thrash-metal guitar riffs, peppered with epic choirs and topped off with a generous heaping of Nightwish-esque symphonies, of “Sweet Revenge” and the crunchy – albeit repetitive – riffs of “Dream Yourself Far Away.” Another highlight would be the song “Time to Bring the Pain.” With lyrics such as “Time to teach you about the feeling when your heart’s being ripped out” and mischievous undertones in the riffs, it’s a metalhead’s dream. What’s not to like?

In the wave of female-fronted metal, up-and-coming bands can be easily swept under the currents, but Krypteria is just strong enough to holds its ground. Fans of symphonic metal might enjoy "Bloodangel's Cry." Krypteria will be releasing an album in 2009 and I do look forward to it with hopes that they will have run out of ways to write such trite lyrics by then.

Highs: Crunchy riffs, soaring symphonies

Lows: Cliche lyrics, whiny vocals

Bottom line: Fans of symphonic metal might enjoy "Bloodangel's Cry."

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)