Melodic Death/Folk Metal
Over the past few months my exposure to Spanish extreme metal has increased exponentially, with most of my encounters being of the black and death metal varieties. Kritter is admittedly one of the first Spanish melodic death metal bands that I have encounter, and the style that they play certainly brings back memories of some of my earlier encounters with extreme metal, with the power metal influenced style of melodic death metal that they play in. Genesis is this Spanish outfit’s debut full length album.
Opening track Genesis sounds almost like an industrial album with the sound samples that are included, but as the album begins proper with Your Soul is Mine, the resemblance to Finnish bands such as Norther and Children of Bodom are clear, especially with the heavy usage of the keyboards as not only an ambient instrument, but also as one of the main driving forces behind the band’s music. There’s also the heavy emphasis on the melodic components of the music such as the riffing patterns and the lead guitar lines of guitarists Marco and Javier. The chugging riffs that the axe-wielding duo at times include also helps to create a heavier impact in the music, in attempts to prevent this from being a cheese-fest with the often cheesy lines that are played. However, unlike the aforementioned Norther and Children of Bodom, Kritter on Genesis has included some folk metal moments as well, such as the usage of folk instrumentation on tracks like Fight to the End, and could remind listeners of bands like Eluveitie and Ensiferum.
And this would have been a nice surprise and a good trip down memory lane if it weren’t for a couple of factors that marred the enjoyment and the quality of the music on Genesis. First, the production quality of the album is rather unpolished, and unfortunately does not fit the style of music that the band plays. Furthermore, the drums are so triggered that at times it feels as though it were programmed, causing the album to have an artificial and sterile sound. Also, while guitarists Marco and Javier are certainly capable on their individual instruments as evident through the guitar solos that are on the album, they often include awkward segments, like those on Your Soul is Mine. This is compounded by the rather weak guitar tone, not managing to really leave an impact on the listener, such as on Scream of Leviathan, where the guitars are almost buried by the rest of the instruments. To be honest as well, vocalist Garoth can’t sing nor really growl. Just listen to tracks like Alone, where he sounds like he is just shouting out the lyrics in a gruff manner. Songwriting on the album is also rather inconsistent, and often sees the band spoiling what would have been an enjoyable and catchy track with unexpected and awkward segments in the middle, breaking the flow of the song.
The album isn’t completely bad though, as there are still moments that are catchy and even somewhat enjoyable. Unfortunately, the flaws of the album far outstrip the enjoyable parts, making the album one that isn’t really worth the effort sitting through just to find the good parts.
Kritter on the internet: