Kyrios, Saturnal Chambers (Caligari Records, 2020)

Seeping out of the gutters of New York City, Kyrios is a black metal outfit that found its way into my inbox this month.

After first listening to their debut EP, Saturnal Chambers, I was immediately struck by the group's balanced sonic approach.

The epic grandeur and dissonance of classic Dissection and Sacramentum comes to mind.

Opening cut "The Utterance of Foul Truth" sets the tone with its atmospheric assault. It's a journey that features nightmarish synth lines that enter and exit the ride with no warning.

Guitarist Hypatian even brings forth some lead worthy of a Shrapnel Records release. Don't worry, though, it's not some wankfest.

Whether they're rhythm parts or lead runs, Hypatian's guitar work never scream "look at me!" or feel forced.

The layered arrangement on "The Utterance of Foul Truth" would have overwhelmed a lesser band.

The EP continues with "Saturnal Chambers," a soundscape that further sets the ominous mood.

"A Mare in the Wire" closes the collection with a fury. 

Kyrios vocalist Vornag spews out one disgusted-sounding line after the other. The synths float behind the mayhem, adding another shade of darkness to the proceedings. While drummer Satan's Sword switches tempos and patterns up with expert ease.

Featuring a well-rounded mix by Hypatian and Arthur Rizk (Cro-Mags, Red Death), Saturnal Chambers is an impressive debut.

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