NECRYTIS - Dread En Ruin

Necrytis - Dread En Ruin

6 songs
49:39 minutes
***** ****
Pure Steel


Toby Knapp is what one generally calls a workaholic. Discovered in the early Nineties, at the tender age of eighteen years, by no other than Mike Varney, the neo-classical shredder was soon signed to the legendary Shrapnel label. In the new millennium, he started his power metal band Onward, but when that band fell apart after the death of their vocalist, it was time to look for new endeavours. So right now, he is juggling three different projects: his instrumental solo career, his solo black metal band Waxen and since very recently his new power metal band Necrytis.

The latter released in Autumn last year their debut album Countersighns on Pure Steel Records, and not even a year later are back with their second longplayer Dread En Ruin. Currently Necrytis are a duo consisting of Toby Knapp on lead, rhythm and bass guitars, and Shane Wacaster on vocals and drums. The biggest difference to the debut is that there are this time only six songs, but at fifty minutes they take up more time than the debut. This essentially means that Necrytis have become more progressive and also more experimental. After repeated listening, I have also discovered that the songs are quite different from each other, making Dread En Ruin an exquisitely varied album. The opener Starshine is an up-tempo power metal in the best American tradition, followed by Necrytis the song , which has sort of very silly lyrics, but is another fast metal track that reminds positively of Helstar in the late Eighties. Where the first two tracks were between six and seven minutes long, the next two make it to eight minutes each. Blood In The Well is a hard hitting progressive metal track with enough room for melodic parts, and itís right here where Wacasterís vocals remind me of Psychotic Waltzís Buddy Lackey. Call Us Insanity is also finest US metal, and itís usually not the kind of song thatís running for so many minutes, but Necrytis make it work flawlessly. Odyssey Divine is at seven minutes one of the albumís shorter track, and trumps again with great guitar runs and an impressive vocal performance. The concluding Heresiarch Profane is at thirteen minutes the albumís magnum opus, and once again highlights the duoís progressive side.

I doubt that Necrytis have even been accused of being overly original, but their late Eighties sounding American progressive power metal must appeal to everyone who loves bands like Helstar, Fates Warning, Psychotic Waltz and Sacred Steel. Toby Knapp comes from a generation where he grew up with the originals, and he himself as a musician started early enough to distil the essence of American metal into his own kind of progressive power metal. The first two tracks on the album are instant classics, whereas the other songs need more time to unravel all their little secrets. But in the end you will be delighted by this little gem of authentic US metal.

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