Kryptos – Force of Danger Review

Kryptos have made quite the successful little niche for themselves over their 20-something year career. Hailing from India, they’ve slowly but surely made a name for themselves internationally by crafting faithfully retro heavy metal material reeking of the 80s but with slightly more extreme vocals in place of the expected balls-in-a-vice wailing. Albums like 2016s Burn Up the Night and 2019s Afterburner were solid slabs of hook-tastic 80s metal loaded with more killer riffs than a 70,000-ton cruiser could safely take out to sea. Asking them to maintain that same level of olde school ass kickery is a tall order, but I still approached sixth album Force of Danger with high expectations, high tops, and absolutely no high brow sensibilities. This is Kryptos we’re talking about, and thinking is dangerous when forceful metal is running through the mainline.

The Kryptos blueprint remains much the same, with everything kept 80s-centric and steeped in the traditional and classic style. If not for the Millie Petrozza-esque vocals, every song on Force of Danger could have appeared on a Dio, Ozzy, or Judas Priest album in the early 80s, and some could have fit in on, dare I say it, an early Dokken platter. Rockin’ with Dokken aside, the band has a strong ear for catchy, classic riffs and song structures and their ability to craft a catchy chorus continues to grow. Classic Kryptos cuts like “Dawnbreakers” and “Thunderchild” are impossible to resist retro killers that slug you in the ear, kick you in the rear and run off with your gear. High energy riffs and dual guitar harmonies pulsate and flow like an alien power reactor and Nolan Lewis rasps and roars over the top making things feel heavier than they actually are. It’s simple as Hell but effective as fook and these are among their best songs yet. “Omega Point” also stands tall as the longest track (over six minutes) and one of the most consistently ear wormy. It’s packed with the glory and grandeur of the olden days, with just enough harsh edge to sound a wee bit threatening and maybe even a tad modern (perish the thought).

The song quality is consistently good throughout and there are no songs I would consider bad. However, there are a few cuts that don’t hook me as deeply as the usual Kryptos fare and the overall intensity of the material here feels a bit muted and less urgent. Songs like “Nighthawk” will surely get you fired up and throwing mutherfuckers at other mutherfuckers, but the title track is more restrained and simplistic. It’s still fun but it doesn’t completely grab me or get my blood and backhair fully moving. Elsewhere, opener “Raging Steel” is energetic enough but doesn’t deliver the level of kick ass I expect and I find it a bit underwhelming. There’s a bit too much mid-tempo chuggy stuff across the album and it results in slightly less testosterone shock and fist-pumping mania than I’ve come to expect with a Kryptos fix. On the plus side, at a slim, tight 35-plus minutes, there’s not much fat on the bone and most songs are kept in the 3-4 minute time frame, which makes Force of Danger fly by and end before you expect it. This is The Way.

The core ingredients I love about the band are all here in spades. Rohit Chaturvedi and Nolan Lewis continue to impress and awe with their stellar sense of 80s riffcraft and harmonies, and they know how to construct simple but killer metal tunes. There are a plethora of slick, sweet guitar hero moments scattered through the songs and this tandem is always money in the metal bank. Nolan’s vocals are completely one-dimensional but they’ve become a trademark of the Kryptos experience and they work in the way intended to dial up the intensity. There’s a rock-solid rhythm section to cap things off and the talent level is apparent as always.

Force of Danger may feel a bit more restrained than past works, but it contains some of the band’s best moments and a decent share of fun, memorable bangers. They excel at this kind of throwback, brainless metal and always bring a lion’s share of skill, polish, and class to the joint. Kryptos have slowly wormed their way into my favorites list and while Force of Danger may not be as powerful as its predecessors, I can’t say I’m really disappointed by the end product. Tune in, turn up, rock out.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: AFM
Websites: | |
Releases Worldwide: October 1st, 2021

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