17For a little-known band from India, Darkrypt is getting quite the push. The band’s debut, Delirious Excursion, was mixed by Dave Chandler at Priory Recording Studios in the U.K. and mastered by Dan Swano at his Unisound studio in Sweden. The album also features cover art by Turkka G. Rantanen (the artist on Finnish death metal classics by the likes of Demilich, Demigod and Adramelech) and spotlights a guest appearance from Swedish death metal veteran Rogga Johansson, because that son of a bitch apparently plays on everything. For a rookie band to receive such support, one would presume that Darkrypt must make some pretty damn good music. I am happy to report that that is, in fact, the case.
As you might have guessed from the amount of Nordic talent contributing to Delirious Excursion, Darkrypt takes a more than fair amount of influence from that part of the world. To these ears the band sounds more Finnish than Scandinavian, owing much to the aforementioned Adramelech, but there are bits of other classic death bands to be heard, and Darkrypt puts some of its own spin on a classic sound.
The band’s style is more polished and measured than some of its more rambunctious peers, and they don’t really pursue brutality as its own end. Delirious Excursion is a heavy, dark and menacing record, but organically so. Darkrypt proceeds with confidence in its own songcraft, and without any unnecessary muscle flexing. This makes the album a more tuneful affair than most death metal records, albeit somewhat lacking in white-knuckled intensity.
I hesitate to use the term melodic death metal, because Darkrypt does not sound like any band that would typically bear that label, but melody is a big part of what sets Darkrypt apart from most run-of-the-mill old-school death metal bands. There are no Maiden-styled harmonized lines, but in ways both subtle and overt, melody is woven into the fabric of Delirious Excursion without ever over-sweetening the affair. Though it must be mentioned, the guitar solos are pretty sweet – verging on flashy, but tasteful and succinct.
Quality wise, Delirious Excursion is front-loaded. Early tracks like the semi-eponymous “Dark Crypt”, “Chasm of Death” and “Cryptic Illusions” match Darkrypt’s inventive melodicism with up-tempo aggression and particularly crunchy riffs. There is a snarl and swagger to these cuts that make them vibrant and memorable. In the middle of the album, the music slows down a bit and meanders into a rut, though even in these less-than-scintillating moments, the music is still well played.
Like oh-so-many other death metal bands, Darkrypt is not pushing the genre into new frontiers. But the band brings a lot of its own flair to a well-worn style, and its execution of said sound is nearly flawless. Though they’ve gotten help from some big (and even legendary) names in death metal, Darkrypt is more than capable of making a name for itself on its own merits.