#Mephorash Krystl-Ah

3 min read

Band: Mephorash
Album: Krystl-Ah
Label: Shadow Records
Release Date: 10 November 2023
Country: Sweden
Format Reviewed: High-Quality Digital Recording

Mephorash has managed to create a reputation for themselves in the black metal underground through their impressive live performance and growing catalog of impressive releases that build on a specific atmosphere unique to the band, that is based around their themes of Occultism, Esotericism, and Spirituality. Their latest full-length album, “Krystl-Ah”, released on the 10th of November 2023 saw the band expanding in new directions, which were first introduced to the public via their previous effort, Shem Ha Mephorash. “Krystl-Ah” builds on the style shifts which were brought forth by its predecessor, making them the main focal point of the album.

The main elements mentioned are, first of all, a synth-driven atmosphere, accompanied by guitar riffs that follow in a similar fashion, while still maintaining a sort of musical diversity, that would have been impossible without a huge amount of well-thought songwriting. This was especially crucial to the “success” of the album, given that it tends to lack tempo variety, the songs being on the slow, doomy side. This certainly has an effect in maintaining the atmosphere, but it narrows down the possibilities for, as mentioned previously, more varied tempos and song styles. On the bright side, however, despite holding back certain musical aspects, the almost doomy, atmosphere-infused sound is absolutely masterful, making “Krystl-Ah” seem almost cinematic at points, with the epic passages that carry a specific grandiosity.

Another important aspect of the album, is of course, the production quality, which, at least in my opinion, was brought to perfection on this particular record. Overall it is on the clean side, allowing all the instruments to shine, but while also including reverb effects, to further emphasize the atmosphere. This, along with the fact that the songs tend to be on the lengthy side, gives the album a natural flow, making it a very relaxing listen, almost, although it can become slightly boring at times. Tracks like “Gnosis” and “Catoptrophilia” are the perfect example of such situations. Another factor that contributes to this is the unconventional song structures, which combined with the aspects mentioned previously, make the album seem slightly too long, and by the end of it, slightly tiring.

One positive aspect of the length of the album (of over an hour) is the fact that it is justified by the best songs being placed around the end of it. This is a smart move on behalf of the band because it doesn’t leave the listener with a bad sensation. Another strong point would be the vocal performance, which features both black metal vocals in classic Mephorash fashion, which give a feeling of strength although having a sort of whispering to them. These are accompanied by choir-like sections of clean vocals, which help accentuate the grandiosity and cinematic feel of the overall music. The tracks that excel in this would be the title track, Chrysallís, and, the best song on the album, from my point of view, “I Am”. I can recommend listening to “Krystl-Ah” only because of this song. Everything is perfect about it, from the piano intro which goes into the synth ensemble, the doomy drums and guitars, and of course, the wonderfully executed vocals, both clean and harsh. The solo guitar parts are, of course, the perfect ornaments for this masterpiece of a song.

In the end, I can safely say that Mephorash did not disappoint with this album. Although it surely has some flaws here and there, they are fixable and there are surely people that won’t mind them at all. “Krystl-Ah” is for sure a very personal experience for every listener, but it leaves the question of what will follow after it? It continued the path started by its predecessor while managing to sound fresh at the same time. For any fan of extreme metal interested in epic music with its own unique touch of darkness, this is definitely an album for you! 8/10 Ioana

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8/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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