Three Years Eclipsed

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2010 marked the 14th anniversary of Kryoburn, a band that hasn't exactly gone out of its way to build a huge catalog. Formed in 1996, Kryoburn had been together for almost a decade when their debut album, Enigmatic Existence, was released by Candlelight in 2005. And after that, it took another six years for a second Kryoburn album, Three Years Eclipsed, to come out. There were some lineup changes after Enigmatic Existence, but stylistically, Three Years Eclipsed pretty much picks up where Kryoburn's first album left off. Fear Factory and Strapping Young Lad were prominent influences on Enigmatic Existence, and they are prominent influences on Three Years Eclipsed, as well. And Kryoburn still operate on the harsher side of alternative metal, favoring an abrasive, claustrophobic, viciously dense approach. There are some relatively melodic moments that provide a little mercy for the listener, but most of the time, Three Years Eclipsed thrives on bone-crushing ferocity. Like before, lead singer Todd Brashear offers angry barking vocals that bring to mind Fear Factory's Burton C. Bell; there are some clean vocals as well, although the extreme vocals are dominant. Now for the bad news: Three Years Eclipsed simply isn't very memorable. Enigmatic Existence wasn't a five-star masterpiece, and it wasn't exactly the most original alt-metal release of 2005. But even so, it was a noteworthy, if derivative and inconsistent, effort that had more plusses than minuses, and all things considered, it was more memorable than Three Years Eclipsed. This album has plenty of brutal aggression, but it never sounds genuinely inspired and never loses that going-through-the-motions feeling. Nonetheless, one has to admire the fact that Kryoburn have been around as long as they have; many metal bands are lucky to stay together one or two years, let alone 14 or 15. And even though this album is disappointing, one cannot help but root for Kryoburn and hope that their third album will be stronger.

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