KRYPTERIA, All Beauty Must Die (2011, Liberatio Music)
Another obviously female skull (see Skull434), what with those pretty eyes and all. The smile is not one of happiness, nor is it maniacal. It looks like a forced giddiness…and it is. You see, we here at Big Dumb Skulls HQ are often privy to various goings-on behind the scenes of the covers we present to you, dear reader. And we know that a gun was indeed being pointed at her in this frame, the weapon wielded by a villainous cretin repeating the album title to the skull, ordering her to smile for the artist painting her portrait. Kind of an old-school version of the snuff film. The feathers are there to add even more “beauty” to the whole scene, but why? That skull is beautiful enough, and…no…wait…what’s the deal with the Snidely Whiplash mustache? Despite that bit of confusion, we were just about to intervene and save this skull from its fate. We normally wouldn’t interfere — we are mere watchers and chroniclers, after all — but in this case we felt terrible for the gal. But then we heard the music and decided to leave the skull to its fate.
With such a lame album cover, should I have been surprised at the junkiness of the music? I faintly remember this band riding on a wave of hype in the mid 2000s, something talked up by people who like this sort of female-fronted symphonic gothic power metal crud. The whole album is junky, but “Turn the World Around” has a ridiculous sub-nu metal sort of male vocal accompaniment that is beyond unlistenable. It’s a sound and genre strictly for girls who know nothing about metal, guys who have never been laid and never will be, and little children. The vocals of Ji-In Cho are way, way too melodramatic, and are especially nauseating in “(How Can Something So Good) Hurt So Bad,” which sounds like something from a Little Mermaid soundtrack. If that’s your thing, go for it. As for Krypteria’s inclusion here on Big Dumb Skulls, if it weren’t for the Chris Broderick-level sweep-picked leads, I would have not recognized a single iota of this as “metal.” And even if there are a couple impressive riffs and other musical passages throughout final song, “The Eye Collector,” this is mostly the sort of music that makes me have to listen to something else immediately, as if to wash out my sullied ears with soap. (And Sadus debut Illusions will be that soap.) Please, kill the beauty. Now.
— Friar Wagner