Entartung- Krypteia

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Germany’s Entartung formed in 2011 and released their full length debut Krypteia a little over a year later on World Terror Committee. The label has managed to find some of the better underground black metal acts out there since the year 2000, and it seems as though this duo is one of the latest. Krypteia offers six lengthy tracks that weave their way through mid-tempo and fast paced riffs that have a good deal of second wave influence, and while Entartung still has a little ways to go to truly find an identity of their own the quality of the songwriting still makes this a worthy effort.

While the way that their songs are structured will remind listeners of a number of standout 90s black metal albums, this group doesn’t go for the same extremely raw production values that were common for that time period. Instead Entartung utilizes a much more balanced approach that is able to give the harsh tonality that listeners expect from the genre while still allowing melodic elements to break through. With song lengths that often head into the seven and eight minute mark, it isn’t uncommon for the group to start off with a slower section that has very prominent synths and then transition over to faster and harsher elements. Despite the prominence of the synths throughout Krypteia they aren’t overdone and help to add to the overall atmosphere rather than coming off as a cheesy afterthought. What’s impressive about Entartung’s debut is how well everything fits together, as the instrumentals switch gears several times on each songs but each of the transitions feels natural and there aren’t any sections that overstay their welcome. However, despite the fact that there are plenty of bone chilling riffs and somber melodies that grabbed my attention this band doesn’t quite have an identity of their own just yet. Krypteia did start to stand out a bit more towards the end as the last two tracks have some of the best riffs, but with a bit more growth this duo will move from a strong but familiar band to one that truly stands out.

The vocals are another element of Krypteia that are constantly changing, as there are more pitches on each song than some black metal groups have on their entire album. Although the primary style is an extremely raspy screams, the vocals are able to switch things up and head into higher and lower ranges as well as some clean singing that retains the somber mood of the instrumentals. Entartung is quite impressive in this regard, as not only do they touch upon so many different ranges over the course of the material but they pull them all off with relative ease. Sometimes the switch from harsh to clean ranges can create an awkward transition or completely deflate the momentum, but this isn’t the case here and the way that the release was recorded places additional emphasis on the vocals. This is one area where the group is already at a very high level, and it will be interesting to see how they continue to use the clean/harsh mix as they progress.

Although they still have some growing room left, Entartung has started out at a much higher level than your average black metal act. They have skipped the demo stage entirely and debuted with an album that has high quality production values and lengthy songs that are able to perfectly balance abrasive and somber elements without feeling too long winded. If you’re looking for black metal that takes a good deal of second wave influence and does it well this album is worth checking out, but expect even greater things still to come from this band.

http://www.w-t-c.org/

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