In a metal world that at the moment seems to be saturated with old school re-unions and blatant copy cat newbies, as a reviewer I savour the day that something new, fresh, awe inspiring and maybe even the next big thing lands in my inbox. A legion of new bands are out there fighting for the same spotlight and that ultimate, almost unreachable goal: the headlining spot. Not all will get there in one piece (if any at all in the current climate), the weak will inevitably fall and in the cut throat world of today’s industry, only the strong can survive and even then, an amazing band can vanish overnight and be lost forever due to lack of exposure.
So perhaps it is time for us the metal music lovers to take note and back a new horse rather than returning to the old stallions who are set in their ways and will only agree to run the course for the huge cash in! In this global economic downturn when money’s tight, it’s a daunting task to take a gamble on a horse you might not know anything about. But fear not, because I have a tip for you – a new thoroughbred is ready to race and I’m tipping it to win. Kryn from Croatia have got it all. Now, spread the word!
‘Scars Remind Me’ is the band’s first full length studio release. Hailing from Rijeka and formed in 2003 playing under the name ‘Downfall’, the band’s initial sound was melodic Death Metal. They gained much praise from a variety of reviewers and magazines for their early demos, with almost all of them predicting a bright future for the band. However the band became disenchanted and unsatisfied with the industry as a whole & headed back to the drawing board to rightfully remind themselves of what’s important; great songs! Steering away from confusing virtuoso for the sake of it, technically heavier than your swagger that many new bands attempt, the band yearned to create something new, shedding skin to re-invent not only their sound but also their name.
Their front man Karlo Horvat put down his guitar to fully concentrate on his vocals, and after a long search for a new guitarist to compliment Rade Malobabic’s guitar style, the band finally settled with the excellent Mario Tomaskovic. Line up is completed by Marko Vladilo on bass & Igor Malobabic on drums.
Panned dirty guitar scratches & crunches into the atmosphere ‘And The Scars Remind Me’ opens you up to a thunderous sound, pounding and groovy – this is what I like to hear! Horvat’s vocals are superbly melodically driven that shift to throat bursting brutality. Heavy and hard off beat arrangements that are solid and sublime fill the sound waves. ‘The Silent’ comes charging and doesn’t stop, with lyrics and delivery that are nothing short of spectacular, this guy is the real deal, in fact holistically this band are awe inspiring. Haunting, pounding unrelenting Metal. The epic ‘A.D.D.I.C.T’ is up next, wow what a song! Sublime metal, memorable modern yet timeless – I’m addicted! I urge you all to seek out this song, this band are the future of metal – no doubt about that!
The haunting piano of ‘Reminder’ guides us to a pulsating mid tempo beat drilled by metallic guitars. Hovat’s melody but power is original and he is as good as anybody out there, now a lot of reviews are likening this band to Disturbed which for me is a kop out. I’ll happily go out on a limb and say Kryn are better and I don’t think likening or comparing this band to any other is justified or fair.
‘Meditiva’ is an onslaught of blistering technical riffage that doesn’t confuse or go off on a tangent. Kryn know when to put their foot on the gas and also know when to ease off. By this point of the album “I Feel Some Things Need To Be Said”: Horvat balances grace and belligerence with such catchy and infectious vocals that are so clear and concise to such great effect. This doesn’t just happen. This song has been carefully plotted, and this my metal friends, is a song and a half. Kryn – on behalf of the Metal World, I positively salute you!
‘New Disease’ kicks in, screams with barbarous roars that turn into soaring melodic choruses. Battering tempo changes with the crunch of Metalcore running through it’s veins, this song is another great example of what sets these guys apart from other 21st century acts. ‘B.L.E.A.K’: the mood turns darker with the haunting guitar leading to opening blasting beats coated with a blend of Death Metal that drives the song with a machine like execution. Kryn dictate power and poise. ‘Second’ dishing out the intent with some old school thrash blended with a large splash of the 21st century Stentorian screams, anthemic choruses show off their ‘balls of steel’! Confidence and fearlessness runs throughout this album, they believe……I believe, do you?
Trent Reznor’s (N.I.N) ‘Hurt’ is covered with a beautiful acoustic intro that has an interview with Johnny Cash running over it and I’ve got to say that the song has been beautifully done, brutal and sombre. ‘Released’ is pure Groove Metalcore, catchy, infectious & surprisingly radio friendly, but we metal heads have been here before. It’s been debated for decades and still not much has changed, metal bands don’t get enough air time even though it is probably the most faithfully followed genre of music on the planet.
‘Scars Remind Me’ could and should set Kryn well on their way and I think they can potentially mix it with the best of them and I sincerely mean that. This debut is one of the finest debut’s I’ve ever heard, carefully plotted grace and belligerence which is brutal, battering and harmonious. Kryn are my new favorite band and I adore this power house of an album. ‘Scars Remind Me’ for me is not just a good Metal album it’s an essential one – buy it!