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Bizarre Swedish DM - 70%

Andromeda_Unchained, September 16th, 2013

World Of Myths was the only full-length Sweden’s Crypt Of Kerboros managed to put out after a string of quality demos. The band is active again though, so who knows, we might see a new release somewhere down the line. Anyways I’d like to think that if you’ve heard of Crypt Of Kerboros it’s for one or more of these three reasons: Firstly is their demo period which have a pretty good underground reputation which is deserved particularly concerning their Cyclone Of Insanity single from 1992 which is quite frankly bad-ass. Secondly is their interesting take on the Swedish style of death metal which they delivered upon this here World Of Myths fusing technical, progressive and neo-classical elements into their sound. Thirdly and this probably only applies to progressive metal fans is the fact Pain Of Salvation's Daniel Gildenlöw was once in the band.

Here on World Of Myths the band pretty much conducted a semi-successful experiment with their home grown brand of death metal. The band’s technical prowess paves the way for tight, almost unpredictable structures. Within these structures the band utilize a range of vocal styles from clean to the obvious death growl, and guitar sounds from chugging, gut-busting riffs to almost neo-classical lead guitar playing and motifs. It’s no wonder this album went largely unheard of when it came out, as few acts were experimenting with the genre in ways Crypt Of Kerberors were.

For those who missed this release the first time around Pulverised Records have recently reissued the album with a good few bonus tracks to boot. For the uninitiated Crypt Of Kerboros’ sound here on World Of Myths sounds somewhat like a lunatic mix of North From Here period Sentenced, Nocturnus, a slight spot of Adramelech and a of course a healthy dosage of the old school Swedish death metal sound. Thrown into this mix are the aforementioned clean vocals and guitar segments that lend from the progressive and power metal schools, as well as some slight keyboard use (not as inventive as Nocturnus before you ask). The recipe looks good, but the final dish comes off a little undercooked. For every moment of burning intensity here there’s a dull segment right around the corner. When considering the straight up face ripping of the band’s earlier material it does feel as though they’re biting off a little more than they can chew on World Of Myths.

In saying that though, when this rips it really does let loose, as seen in the brilliant “Cyclone Of Insanity” and the neck breaking “Ancient God”. I’m not sure where the bonus tracks are from - included on this reissue - but the sound quality is relatively poor. From what I guess these are either pre-studio demos or at a push soundboard live recordings (doubt it). It’s a shame they couldn’t include the Cyclone Of Insanity single or Demo ‘91 here but stands as a minor niggle considering it's bonus material.

On the whole World Of Myths is an interesting release that for the most part is quality, I would definitely recommend it to death metal connoisseurs, and for anyone who has been busting their balls tracking down an original pressing of this; it’s time for rejoice. Performances are largely good, and the guitar work certainly verges on intimidating (if there’s one thing good about the bonus tracks it’s that they show how ridiculously good the guitar players were). Not the classic some might have you believe but worthy of a place in any death metal collection, if not for its quality then for its unique take on the style.

(Oh and the new album art is way cooler than the psychedelic sperm which originally graced the album cover)

Originally written for http://www.metal-observer.com

A Sleeping God - 84%

GuntherTheUndying, September 17th, 2012

"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

Dissapointing album, I must say - 60%

dismember_marcin, November 20th, 2010

I guess “World of Myths” could be considered as one of the most underestimated albums that were done in the early 90’s in Sweden. Myself I’ve first got this album and heard about Crypt of Kerberos in the beginning of the 00’s; so rather late, but one can say better late than never. But honestly, my mind was more obsessed by such Swedish acts like Dismember, Hypocrisy, Necrophobic, The Conorous Circle, Sacramentum – so, bands that were still releasing killer albums - than something I’ve never heard of before and what split up years ago. But of course it’s always great to find out about new bands, especially if they come from your favourite scene.

But to be honest I wasn’t much convinced by “World of Myths” then and also today I think this is rather average album. To put it simply, it just doesn’t bring what I like about this genre and Sweden most. To me it’s just not brutal enough! And nowadays, when I also know all demos and EPs from Crypt of Kerberos I can say that I prefer elder recordings much more than this CD.

What I can hear here is that these guys (and a female keyboard player) tried to put out something more progressive, epic and technically advanced; definitely less death metal oriented from what they used to do before. I’m not saying that to try to be original and different than everybody else was wrong – especially that at the time everyone was just complaining that each Swedish band sounds the same and plays the same riff – but nowadays I'd rather listen to great Dismember clone than atmospheric / quasi proggy band like Crypt on this album.

Not everything on “World of Myths” is that bad. My favourite songs definitely are “Cyclone of Insanity” and “The Ancient War”, so tunes that Crypt of Kerberos released on 7”EP year earlier. These new versions are definitely more advanced, with some extra ideas and elements, like acoustic guitar in the former song and more structured, better played guitar leads. “Cyclone…” turned out to be really great song and even if I like the EP version better, this song definitely belongs to the most aggressive and most catchy at the same time, with some cool riffs and great growling from Christian Eriksson and really nice calmer fragment in the middle of the composition.

“Stormbringer” is also a song worth to mention, as it’s quite aggressive, but tempo is rather slow at the start – and then Crypt of Kerberos turns to be really heavy – and then it nicely develops into other parts. I only have a feeling like the band didn’t have a clue how to finish this song, as it ends quite abruptly. “Nocturnal Grasp” may also surprise you, as this track is completely different from majority of the material on “World of Myths”; much more straight forward, very classic death metal in early Necrophobic style with simple riffing and almost without any trace of melody that is present in other songs. If you compare it to “The Canticle” for instance you may have a feeling of listening to completely different band / record.

As for “The Canticle” – this is one of the songs I really don’t like. It’s too melodic, with some clean vocals here and there, with quite weird riffing… It’s just very un-death metal, if you know what I mean, in some parts reminding me of Therion in the “Symphony Masses” era. “Dream…” with its rock / progressive beginning and other shit that’s going on in this song or the instrumental “The Sleeping God” is another part of the album I dislike totally! Sorry, I understand that Crypt of Kerberos tried to be different, etc, but this type of riffing and keyboard parts just don’t convince me completely! Sure, I can see that the technique of each member is quite impressive; I like the drumming quite much, I also like the vocals but in total it’s just not what I like to listen to.

So yeah, in total we have an album, which isn’t a complete disaster, as it has some cool songs to offer, but as overall I just don’t like the atmosphere of it and too many parts here simply annoy me. As I said earlier, this music needs more aggression, more stuff that will punch you in the face, rather than impress with technical, melodic playing. Also the front cover is just plain shit, but who cares… I keep this CD in my collection anyway, as it’s part of the history of the Swedish death metal scene. And with three-four cool songs it’s not a complete waste of time, luckily.

Could have been the start of something! - 85%

Doomrock, February 15th, 2006

When the subject of melodic Swedish death metal comes up, names like At the Gates, Dark Tranquility and In Flames are bandied about, but amongst the bands that sadly fell by the wayside was Crypt of Kerberos.

My rating for this album does not reflect the esteem that I place on it. It could have been higher, but the production has faults (certainly none of those faults can be attributed to the band themselves). Most of it was recorded live in the studio, and you can hear it in the occasional missing of notes and other minor mistakes, but for a live studio recording, certainly there is little more you could ask than what they were able to deliver.

The opener Canticle sets the stage for this great, forgotten album. Powerful leads and excellent riffing were certainly ahead of it's time, and the years have not taken the strength away from this recording. It still sounds unique to this day, and the vocals are excellent, sometimes sounding like Dissection's Jon Notevidt or the immortal Mikael Stanne.

The songs fluctuate from atmospheric and dreamy to heads down thrashing death metal madness. It's difficult to pick a standout track, as all of the songs are of similar quality. With a better record deal and promotion, this band could be mentioned in the same breath as the aforementioned Swedish giants. Unfortunately for Crypt of Kerberos, melodic (or Gothenburg style) death metal was not one of the more profitable metal ventures of the time, and they broke up.

If you enjoy Swedish styled death metal, this album was written for you - just as long as you can enjoy a record that doesn't have the shiny, polished finish that more recent releases from this country enjoy. Even if you do not mention Crypt of Kerberos when you talk about melodic death metal, they were among the first to do it, and that in itself is noteworthy.

Cult Classic! - 90%

Argento, September 1st, 2004

I bought this album a couple of years after it came out, and I was stunned by what I heard!

This band is one of the most original bands I have heard in the Death Metal genre. They sound like a unique blend of Yngwie Malmsteen (brilliant guitar work by these two young guitar players Jonas Strandell and Peter Pettersson!) and King Diamond, Faith No More and Morbid Angel and they really pull it off in a superb way!

The band was very early using so strong melodies and not too many bands had used keyboards or melodic male vocals before Crypt Of Kerberos.

The drummer stands out as a painter of the music. Not only your average "wall of double bass drums" thing. There are cool breaks with some advanced cymbal playing that stands out quite alot. The orchestration of the drum parts are sometimes mind-blowing! Check out especially the songs Dream... and World of Myths.

I was very sad when the band broke up in 1995! I was one of few people who heard the pre-production recordings for the second album (they had actually finished most of the songs for it!) and it was with Daniel Gildenlöw on vocals (he is the singer/guitarist of Pain of Salvation) and with Johan Hallgren (also in Pain of Salvation) on the second guitar. That was some amazing stuff, very melodic and experimental! Sounded quite different from World of Myths but still with that very unique Crypt Of Kerberos sound!

Anatomy Bleed Records (Australia) are releasing a compilation CD with some of this material in the near future which I am dying to hear, bring it on!