The debut from New Mexico's Kryoburn is a record that probably won't win many points with metal purists for being overly original. These guys wear their influences all over their sleeves, namely such heavyweights as Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Machine Head, Pantera, and Strapping Young Lad. However, it's precisely that reason that I dug this CD. Kryoburn make no bones about hitting you over the head with the styles of the bands they love (and we do as well) and they do their thing so well, that you can overlook the lack of originality and just enjoy some well executed extreme and complex metal.
Tunes like the killer opener "Transcience", complete with its chugging riffs, breakneck drums, and futuristic keyboards, or the furious machine gun guitar blasts of "Singularity", offer up excellent and well played metal that has plenty of balls. Thrash meets metal-core on the raging "Atman Project", while the industrial meets goth meets melodic death metal power of "Break Away" reminded me a little of Sweden's Soilwork (a song also noteworthy for its clever use of clean and gruff vocals).
However, for the extreme metal fan, there's plenty to sink your teeth into here. Take "Against My Evil" for instance, a blistering piece that steamrolls at Meshuggah intensity levels with just a hint of Slipknot for good measure. This tune features plenty of growling vocals, rapid rhythms, and sledgehammer guitar riffs. "De Animation" sees the band moving into some symphonic and progressive death metal territory, complete with intricate guitar work, keyboards, and blood curdling vocals. If you like straight ahead super-chunk metal riffing, you can't go wrong with the monstrous guitar sounds of "Self Dead" or the manic & technical "Leech". Progressive metal lovers will certainly dig the varied sounds on the brutal yet atmospheric "To Pieces", a song that has intense & bombastic guitar passages, intricate rhythms, clean and screaming vocals, and proggy keyboards.
Enigmatic Existence is a fun and kick ass work, and although it won't make you forget the bands that it imitates, it still satisfies on many levels. Kryoburn have all the tools, and have put together an impressive debut here, one that should be a strong seller for Candlelight Records in 2005.
3) Atman Project
4) Break Away
5) Against My Evil
6) Beneath Desire
7) De Animation
8) Self Dead
10 To Pieces