There is something so appealing to the eye about black and white photography, it feels dramatic and creates a juxtaposition within the contrast of lights and darks. Similarly, black metal sculpts this direct comparison within the lights and darks of music. The pounding moments with the growling vocals would not be as substantial without the lights that adapt the impact around the sound.
Kyprian’s Circle is not a new band, having their first release in 1996 which was only a demo to the EP of Noitatulen Vartija, where their sound was fully realized and utilized to include more instruments, greater depths of sound, with a unique spin on the common style of black metal. Noitatulen Vartija is fairly complex in the way that Kyprian, the band’s leader approaches the instruments.
While there are the often assaulting drum blasts that are common with black metal, there are also these pianos and key patterns that spawn a new illustrative glory within the works. Taken directly from the self-titled track “Noitatulen Vartija”, Kyprian is a master behind these cascading keys that forms a gothic appeal to the record, and while there is variation, there is never a loss of direction within Noitatulen Vartija.
As the screams grow and become more flagrant, the ability to show drastic change within the tracks are continually impressive from Kyprian’s Circle. The band might consist of only one member, but the manipulation through instrumentation is progressive. “Helvetin Pajassa On Miekkamme Taottu” is surprisingly short but packs a whole lot of sound into these bite-sized cracks. The consistency of the bass and snare that push the beat along, while the overlaid screams and guitars recoil control this dichotomy.
Kyprian’s Circle continues to balance overarching pain, with the thrill of danger. Resembling somewhat of a rollercoaster, Noitatulen Vartija starts with this rising motion and anticipation before reaching a climax that begs to be played again. The record is quite lacking in length, as the longest track is only 6:27, a rarity within black metal. But through the shine and the deceit, there is a reason to return to Noitatulen Vartija through the trial and tribulation.
Kyprian’s Circle holds these doomsday keys with Noitatulen Vartija. The record is striking and continues to illustrate some of the better reasons of why metal was so exciting in the first place. It feels unpolished, approachable, and evil.