Chryst is a new name in the avant-garde psychedelic black metal scene, but not an entirely new band! Chrystof Niederwieser, was one of the founding members of the Austrian avant-garde black metal band Korova back in 1990. They released the albums “A Kiss in the Charnel Fields” in 1995 and “Dead Like an Angel” in 1998. In 2000 they changed their name to Korovakill and one year later released the album “WaterHells”. After that the band was put on ice… 10 years later Chrystof decides to resurrect them. The idea at first was to release the second album of Korovakill with the title “Chryst PhantasmaChronica”. Finally the band changed its name into Chryst and in September 2011 released the album “PhantasmaChronica” with its own label Omnivesal Records.
“PhantasmaChronica” is a concept album consisting of one song that lasts for over 47 minutes. It is divided though in 14 sub-tracks or chapters, so it’s easier to “navigate” through the CD. According to the band this album “guides into a world beyond the frontiers of time and imagination. It gives the illusion to unveil all illusions. It reveals the chronicles behind the phantasms of the visible world that have become chronic”. If this seems quite confusing and surrealistic, wait until you listen to their music! The first impression of what will follow can be seen on their bizarre and unusual artwork! Of course it is not easy to describe their music with words. If you have listened to Korova and Korovakill before, you know how weird this band was. Maybe the best way to understand what they play is to watch the preview clip below the review. Anyway, Chryst’s base is melodic avant-garde black metal, not of extreme nature, but rather melodic. They use a lot of synths and many unusual sounds / samples / voices… Their melodies are also quite chaotic and complex, while vocals move on a large expression canvas! Brutal black metal vocals, psychedelic screams, strange clean male vocals, theatrical speeches, lunatic whispers, all of them creating a unique atmosphere. I believe though that the production is a little flat and I am pretty sure a more powerful sound could make this album even better. The lyrics are in English and they are of subtract nature, like an attempt to describe weird dreams…
Chryst is a very pleasant comeback and a really interesting band in the avant-garde metal scene. Compared to their previous works I can say “PhantasmaChronica” is more complete and solid. Despite the complexity and diversion of this album, the band managed to filter all its music under a very personal and distinct sound throughout the whole “song”. It is released in a digipak version with equally beautiful and bizarre artwork! You can visit their official site for more information and definitely watch the clip below. If you like Chryst, then you can also listen to Korova / Korovakill, since they are really good too…