Fist-pumping chorus anthems, electrifying guitar solos, high-energy percussion, and lyrics delivered with the perfect snarl, Kryptos' Force of Danger offers eight pieces of throwback heavy metal perfection. With its diverse song selection and impeccable execution, the recording is certain to please longtime followers and surprise those few who weren't won over by the band's worthwhile past efforts.
The magic behind Force of Danger is its ability to consistently balance an aggressive, thrash-tinged attitude with deeply engaging melodic hooks and timeless songwriting sensibilities. These tracks are simultaneously deep and accessible, hitting the heavy metal sweet spot that connects extreme metal outgrowths back to the genre's hard rock roots and radio-friendly anthems.
Kryptos puts their finely tuned songwriting skills on display upfront with the speed-metal assault of "Raging Steel." The opener will give you a visceral rush the first time you hear it and become Pavlov's harmonium by the third play, triggering a deep hunger to hear Force of Danger in its entirety. "Hot Wired" arrives in the second spot and demonstrates the band's depth with a rock-flavored chorus anthem that harkens back to heavy metal's golden era. The aggressive riffing on "Thunderchild" feels custom-made to help you crush speed limits on the interstate, while "Nighthawk" is a classic carpe diem anthem with rousing lyrics and rugged emotional energy.
The first seven tracks on Force of Danger are more than enough to squash any doubts about the excellence of the recording, though the final entry cements the album's place in heavy metal history. "Shadowmancer" is one of the most carefully composed and deeply rewarding NWOTHM tracks to date, partnering its addictive guitar hook with a perfectly matched chorus melody for a song that will live in your ears long after you hear it.
In contrast with bangers like "Nighthawk," and "Hot Wired," "Shadowmancer" is so wonderfully subtle you barely notice it creeping up on you until you have the volume so loud you can't hear yourself sing along to it. It's a consummate final entry, pulling together Force of Danger's admirably diverse song selection and confirming the high caliber of its creators.
Kryptos has been a fan-favorite contributor to the heavy metal revival for years, but Force of Danger marks them as one of its finest.
Listen to Kryptos and related artists in the always-updated NWOTHM - New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal playlist on Spotify