Here comes a fresh new project from Circle and Pharaoh Overlord’s mastermind Jussi Lehtisalo, who now can be called only Krypt whenever he sings and plays guitars, bass and synths in Krypt Axeripper. I wouldn’t know who are his acolytes on Mechanical Witch, but what matters most is probably the bizarre take on metal that these guys came up with.
First of all, let me tell you right away that on my first Krypt Axeripper spins, this stuff sounded like pure heavy metal edging on the cheesy and the alikes. Well, I’m usually not into epic or any other Machoman’s kind of hard rock metal, but, and blame it on my love for Circle and Lehtisalo in general, I pushed myself to listen to the album more and more, which is only 10 minutes long after all, and slowly but surely some weird twisted humor got into the whole picture. If you ever hear this in your headphones, light yourself something big and listen to the subtle new-agey synthesizers collapsing with a primitive, almost loosely played soft-pop boring metal. Boring as in “I seriously want to sound boring”, which is a bit more than being only boring, and it creates a distance inside the music itself, between being boring and wanting to be so. This is I think what feels uneasy as well as humoristic about their music.
The vocalist is perfect at creating a discomfort among what you think is only easy-going poppy heavy music. While his vocals themselves are strangely layered upon the instruments and produced with something more than usual (the only expression that comes up to me is cooly cool), he’s singing about nuclear dragons, mechanical witches, sky wagons, high speed thunders forever gone, diabolical forests, night revolutions – yeah right? He must be so damn serious, hey! Well he is. And he’s so naive, so enthusiastic and so convinced of himself that in doing so it comes out sounding too much honest and serious for its own sake, which is perfect for what Krypt Axeripper are aiming at. Even the drummer, who isn’t playing tight at all, does so with a jazzy, sedately abstract kind of unpro method. The same goes for the cover presentation, the lyrics, the riffs, the solos. On one side it’s ridiculously mongoloid while on the other it’s dead serious. Is this Judas Priest and Iron Maiden on lysergide or what? The thing is – I love it!
At least one could think that it’s a bloody great self-parody of old-school epic heavy metal celebrated through our arty serious new millenium. It’s the eighties being raped by today’s avant-garde retro cheesiness. It’s laughing in the face of both intello-pretentious crap and retarded macho metal. It’s almost a perfectly uncomfortable bad joke or something. I suppose it had to be done in order to make even the straightest heavy metal evolve far out of itself, but solely from and by itself, unto something much more experimental.
Or as Jussi Lehtisalo puts it:
Heavy metal can be a way to bring out the primitive side, the cave man. Those kinds of characteristics are not that relevant in our unique and elitistic music world. It is possible that heavy metal is a more psychedelic and experimental style of music than anything else if you bring it into the same context with “the avant-garde” and “the experimental” stuff.
And Metal Observer, giving this album 1/10, wrote:
[…] this outright weird kind of Rock sounds as if recorded on a bad LSD trip, with an average song length of two and a half minutes it brings odd rhythms, discordant guitars and even weirder vocals together to form, well, I am not even sure what this forms…
01 – Sacrifice The Sea
02 – Battle Of The Axeripper
03 – High Speed Thunder Forever Gone
04 – Possessed (By Trees)