Bloodangel’s Cry (2007) is the third studio album from the German power metal band Krypteria. Their music is powered by the heavy guitar of Chris Siemons, who doesn’t take many extended solos, but does a magnificent job creating dark rhythms, and gloomy moods in low registers, reminiscent of Tony Iommi. Working in harmony with bass player Frank Stumvoll, and drummer S.C. Kuschnerus, they produce the musical canvas for vocalist Ji-In Cho. Singing about pain, despair and uncertainty, her performance is quite special, on this vocal tour de force. Fast, slow, halting, dripping with emotion or dramatic operatic overtones, Cho is on top of it all. She does not have the greatest range, but makes the most of her considerable talents. Only occasionally is there a hint that English is not her first language. Bloodangel’s Cry is an exceptional album, with twelve very powerful tracks.
“All Systems Go” kickstarts the album, with pulsing pedal tones, it is a good introduction to Cho’s singing style, and also features a cool chorus, and one of Siemons longer more aggressive guitar solos. The band can play well fast or slow, but Krypteria seems to be more comfortable doing midtempo songs, where the lack of emphasis on guitar solos and fills isn’t missed as much. The band definitely has a talent for writing dramatic power ballads. “Somebody Save Me” is Krypteria at their most radio friendly. More typical is “Lost”, an edgier, more operatic tune. Even slower and more dramatic, “This Is The Night All Angels Cry”, which has a nice change of pace section near the end.
The band does gritty, crunching, industrial sounding metal. “Time To Bring The Pain” features some aggressive guitar that slices like a knife, and Cho’s plaintive vocals. Raspy and abrasive like a file, “Out Of Tears”, and accented by operatic themes. “Sweet Revenge” is upbeat, operatic, thrash, with a driving beat, and powerful chorus. Opening with some menacing evil sounding bass, “I Can’t Breathe”, grabs you in the gut, and pulls you along with a powerful beat and full chorus. Right out of a horror flick soundtrack, “The Promise” with its soaring walking on the clouds vocals, chugs along with some more Sabbathesque passages. With a grinding, pulsating groove, “Dream Yourself Far Away”, features Cho’s little girl voice, and a great chorus.
Cho’s rapid fire aggressive singing is counterbalanced, by her slow halting style, setting the stage for an emotional release in “Scream”. This is straight ahead punishing headbanging metal, showing what the band could sound like if the guitar was pushed more to the front. Melodic, gloomy, and dynamic, the ten minute epic “At The Gates of Retribution” concludes this great album. Recapping a long dark journey, the song explores the depths of despair. Very heavy duty stuff.
At what they do, Kryteria is an awesome, and dramatic musical force. They can rock you, make you cry, or scare the crap out of you. The music is powerful, and Ji-In Cho is definitely the key ingredient in the band’s ascendance. This is clear when the band performs live, where Cho is the center of attention, and Siemons is typically focused on playing rhythm guitar parts. With greater stage presence than her 5′-3″ height would seem to command, Cho is a powerful performer, who does her best to replicate the studio recorded vocals, as well as front the band and work the crowd. Check out the Krypteria’s music at You Tube, and see if they capture the dark side of your musical soul. If you like this album, don’t miss Krypteria’s followup, My Fatal Kiss (2009), which is very much in the same style.