Entartung – Krypteia

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Review by Jason Guest

Entartung’s Krypteia is the product of the collaboration between Lykormas and Vulfolaic, two black metal activists who see the black metal scene as being dominated by a bunch of inadequates inflicting their mediocre views on an audience unfit to fully understand black metal and its true Faustian spirit. And so, Entartung’s intention to wake fans from this slumber of pedestrian blackness comes in the form of Krypteia, a “relentless, uncompromising music void of any notion of commercialism.”

Predictably, the blackened grandeur of Krypteia is cast in the lo-fi production values of the early days of black metal with Lykormas’s hissy hi-hats, tinny cymbals, cardboard drums, his wasp-nest guitars, a hint of bass, and Vulfolaic’s raw, scowling vocals emanating from a throat torn by the claws of a thousand hellish beats. Okay, so it fits the sonic mould that befits the band’s desire for obscurity and commercial inaccessibility (in black metal terms, obviously), but such declarations (and defamations) made about such a blasphemous cacophony of the dark art should be manifest in much more than style, yes? While Entartung’s sound may harken back to the days when black metal first emerged and had something to say, the tracks that make up Krypteia bears much in the way of substance.

Ranging between six and nine minutes long, the track’s structures are as solid as they are elaborate without being over-indulgent, conceited, or burdened with the blackened pomp of much that floods the underground. Indeed, Entartung’s success in stripping their music back to the raw and primal is admirable, their substance being void of even the vaguest ostentation. Of particular note are ‘Der Sieg der Vergänglichkeit’ and ‘Drei Milliarden Herzschläge’, two tracks whose dynamic range are utilised to devastating effect. The mid-section of the former has a slow, funereal feel, its impact enhanced by the track’s fire-wall bookends, whereas the latter’s instrumental orchestration and epic grandeur stands out as the most accomplished track here. And sharpened by the military-esque drumming in the haunting echoing vocals of the brief mid-section and the overwhelming power that accumulates as the track makes its way to its devastating coda, the atmosphere of the nine minute closer ‘Wenn die Jagd beginnt (Christenverfolgung)’ is another track that is sure to cement Entartung’s place amongst the elitists. It may be their first album but Krypteia is evidence that its two originators are well-versed in the black arts.

Don’t expect any gigs from Entartung any time soon. Besides currently working on new material, it seems that Entartung consider the very notion of shows pointless because “black metal is not about converting the masses to whatever new trend or fad, but rather an incitement of individuals to rise up to their full potential.” Elitism in black metal? Who’d have thought… I wonder what this pair of kvlts would have to say about Eternity or Thy Darkened Shade

7.5 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Flucht in die Finsternis
  2. Der Sieg der Vergänglichkeit
  3. Über die Grenzen des Todes
  4. Drei Milliarden Herzschläge
  5. Boreas, Gott der Nordwinde
  6. Wenn die Jagd beginnt (Christenverfolgung)