Monday, September 3, 2012

Metal Mondays: Krampus

Readers B. and SummertimeSadness suggested I check this band out (thanks!). No wonder I had never heard of them, the band is two years old! It's still just a baby. I had no idea what to expect except that they were an Italian folk metal band. I looked them up and it turns out Krampus is a creature that follows St. Nick around on Christmas and punishes bad children. So basically this is a Christmas-themed band. Not the best name ever but I suppose it isn't terrible. So I continued on and punched the band into Youtube.

Observe, Krampus.
Being named after an existing thing, the band wasn't the first thing that came up in the results list. A few results down though, and past all the scary pictures, was the band's first music video for their song Kronos' Heritage. Not a very Christmas-y song..

To be honest, I was pretty disappointed when I first heard it. The songs starts off nice enough, but when the metal kicks in it lacks the kick. The guitars are pretty soft and try to be more catchy than brutal. The part that really bugged me though was the flute and violin, their folk instruments of choice. It just sounded like it was trying to blend in with the metal, instead of how it should be. Folk metal bands should make metal that sounds folky, not folk that sounds metaly. The breakdown just really bugged me. Not to mention the clean vocals. The vocalist isn't really the most powerful currently, though I think with some practice he definitely has potential. The clean vocals just didn't hit a chord. He's hard to understand and those sections sound completely different from the rest of the song. In my opinion it ruins the mood.

I went back the next day to listen to the song again and check out some of their other stuff. Something about it just stuck in my head. The clean vocal parts that were so out of place the first time were suddenly catchy. This is nothing new for me, I've hated some of my favourite bands the first time I heard them. It was always something catchy that made me go back and eventually add their songs to my library. I realized that Krampus isn't supposed to be a heavy folk metal band. The music is intentionally supposed to sound docile and beautiful, not be all up in your face. The clean vocals are a good example of that beauty, fitting in with the overall idea of the band if not necessarily that particular song. The flute and violin are constantly providing background music, as opposed to being at the forefront playing a folk tune. That is why I initially thought there was a lack of folk sound in there. I decided to check out the other songs they had posted on their Youtube channel too so I could get a full impression.

My Siege and Aftermath are both much faster songs. Every single frigging comment is comparing them to Eluveitie and I kind of agree with that. Krampus has the fast guitar and drum accompanied by a persistent barrage of folk in the background that Eluveitie is known for. The vocalists also have the same screaming style. Why couldn't they have made a music video of these songs? It gives a completely different image of the band. I am glad that the clean vocals are not in every song. They're fine once in a while, but this guy really has some screaming talent that should be developed a bit.

Painting lines on your face = folk metal

In conclusion, Krampus shows quite a bit of promise and I think will be a great band once they develop their sound a bit more. There are currently plenty of comparisons with Eluveitie, but they have the ability to create their own style. The band is still extremely young and will have plenty of time to find their spot in the folk metal scene. Maybe they'll even be the top video result for "Krampus". I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this band, especially when their second album is released. After they've toured, gotten some new ideas and fine-tuned their instrumental ability a bit more, they'll be a force to be reckoned with.

-Zombie Viking

1 comment:

  1. My first thoughts were very similar to yours, I really don't like clean vocals here, they kill the mood in almost every song of theirs (there was one exception in last album, but I don't remember the song's name). I heard better, but still I'm looking forward to see them at Heidenfest (but I won't welcome them with alcohol, as I did with Trollfest :D). I wish Skalmold were as active as Krampus these days