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"World of Myths" stands as the only major release produced by Sweden's Crypt of Kerberos before the project went into eternal sleep, until awakening in 2005. Crypt of Kerberos is much more important than you'd probably guess; they were one of the first progressive death metal bands in Sweden, and "World of Myths" was coincidentally released during a critical period when seminal cohorts like Cynic and Atheist were promoting creative growth in death metal. The album, although largely left in the vaults of time, became somewhat of a cult classic many years after its release, which is the only reason I found this record to begin with. You see, interest inspired Singapore's Pulverized Records to give it a re-release, and now it can channel its weird energies to a larger audience and perhaps become somewhat more than a diamond in the rough.
No, Crypt of Kerberos wasn't flaunting around vocoders or jazz flukes, but they didn't need to. No, what Crypt of Kerberos was doing here honors the credibility and velocity of Swedish death metal in its prime, yet simultaneously incorporates unusual textures and semi-frequent keyboards blotting into the relentless brutality with subtle progressive touches. Despite their experimental leanings, Crypt of Kerberos remains an authentic death metal project throughout their endeavors, always producing heavy, primitive riffs and guttural growls that were customary of Swedish death metal circa 1993 or so. The basics of the record are beefy, gritty, rare, and unquestionably connected to death metal's roots. The real goods, however, are layered in the group's experimental trickery, which alone makes "World of Myths" worthwhile.
Now, the progressive themes aren't totally showcased in nutty influences flying out the pipes or whatever as I previously stated. Instead, the guitar work is frequently virtuosic, shredding, and at times bizarre with all the notes that are heaved around, and added keyboards for an atmospheric color are quite common as well. The clean vocals are definitely a highlight of the record despite appearing only a handful of times; the bleak, harrowing hue they add looks remarkably creative and unique. Specifically, songs like the instrumental "Sleeping God" or "The Canticle" wonderfully transmit signals between the sturdy, punishing death metal identity and a cryptic semblance produced by the clean vocals, keyboards and weird guitar work all colliding in one idiosyncratic swoop.
Its legacy lacks the universal stability and fame of many essential progressive death metal albums, yet "World of Myths" remains intact. Time itself has buried the works of Crypt of Kerberos deep within the sands of obscurity, but now, thanks to building interest and a timely re-release, it has a second chance. A second chance to find oblivious listeners and bring them to a forlorn land of vivid landscapes beyond the bones of death metal. A second chance to reanimate the strange mythology that defines the unknown essence of Crypt of Kerberos into something relevant and dominating. A second chance is sometimes all we need, and "World of Myths" now has the shot at glory it deserved so many years ago.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com