Rifftastic. Riffomania. Rifforama. Riff central. Riff city. I’ve run out of riff references but I’m sure you get the picture. This album is one chock full of, well, top riffs. Make no mistake.
Hailing from Bangalore, India, Kryptos have been puncturing eardrums for over 20 years and Afterburner is their fifth outing. This powerful metal outfit plays classic metal with classic riffs reminiscent of Judas Priest in their pomp.
Whilst the riffs may be classic and 1980s, the vocals, courtesy of Nolan Lewis, are somewhat gruff, more in the style of death metal (to a lesser degree), and much less ‘pure’ than, say Rob Halford or Bruce Dickinson.
Lewis and bassist Ganesh Krishnaswamy formed the band in 1998 and after some musical chairs which included Krishnaswamy taking an 8-year break, the band has settled on the two founding members along with lead guitarist Rohit Chaturvedi. Lewis also plays rhythm guitar.
There is currently no permanent drummer since Anthony Hoover departed in 2013.
Kryptos are widely acknowledged as being the trailblazers for metal in the sub-continent and supported Iron Maiden in front of 17,000 fans in Bangalore. They have also successfully played the massive Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany.
True 1980s metal with a nod to thrash is the order of the day and Kryptos deliver and deliver with a fist to the guts. From the opening riffs of the title track you know you’re in safe metal hands and by the end, you’ve been taken on the ride of your life through 80s heavy metal.
Have I mentioned the crashing riffs? Good! Added to that there’s fantastic solos, metal melody, and well-constructed songs. Lewis’ voice may take a bit of getting used to but once you’ve bought into the tracks, you’re in for life.
I cannot recommend this album highly enough, so do the decent thing and get it in your grubby mitts. Afterburner is out now on AFM Records.