REVIEW: Krampus – Kronos’ Heritage EP

Band: Krampus
Album: Kronos’ Heritage EP
Release: 2010
Label: Self-released
Genre: Folky melodic death metal

After first impressions of incredibly cool artwork and claims of similarity to Eluveitie and Equilibrium, Italian 8-piece Krampus were bound to get my attention soon enough. Their 2010 EP Kronos’ Heritage presents 3 novel tracks of quality songwriting, weaving flutes and bagpipes around heavier passages, and topped off with a punchy message linked to environmental destruction and human nature.

The opening title track is perhaps the most interesting, Geremia’s violin and Sisti’s bagpipes segueing neatly into pounding melodeath provided by guitarists Gallera and Leonardo, who also make room for catchy solos and riffs. The rhythm flows well underneath from the bass of Zampato and Andrian’s tight drumming, although the low end feels a little tinny from the production. There are some slightly out-of-place electronic moments in “My Siege” from Adriano’s keyboard, but the atmospheric moments like Kronos’ Heritage’s chorus more than make up for it. It all sounds very hectic, but I’m sure it would be a treat to see onstage.

To add to the confusion, we have three vocal styles presented to us by Gianotti: an almost constant barrage of mid-level screams complemented by his nasal but pleasant singing voice and Gallera’s fantastic growls. They can drown out the music, but the lyrics make it worth it, reading like bitter eco-warriors: “Don’t forget that you are just a guest/In this perfect balance that we call Earth/Every damage she suffers doubles on you”. Closer “My Siege” differs somewhat in this respect, dealing with a soldier’s battle, and is thus a bit less memorable. However, Krampus are one of the few Italian metal bands I know with well-written lyrics, neatly breaking a country-wide stereotype.

In short, Kronos’ Heritage EP is a highly enjoyable taster session, paving the way for a longer EP (Shadows Of Our Time) which was released recently. The title track alone with its addictive chorus and powerful meaning makes it worth getting, and I expect this band will be seeing a boost in fans given the quality of this EP. Folk metal and melodeath fans would do well to check this out.

Rating: 7.5/10

Song to try:

Thanks to Devin at Team All About The Music for provision of this EP, check their site out here!

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