By Christine Leonard
CALGARY — The sound of cracking knuckles, crunching cartilage and bones being wrenched from flesh; it’s all music to the ears of the four-man wrecking crew known as Krepitus. Forged in the fall of 2013, the true-to-form thrash metal outfit has had a lot of fun living up to their onomatopoeic moniker. A “pet project” ignited by guitarist/vocalist Teran Wyer, guitarist Matt Van Wezel, bassist Curtis Beardy and drummer Harley D’orazio, the Calgary-based project was quick to embrace the earthen foundations and heavenly firmaments that collectively define the heavy metal realm.
“Well, if you wanna know Krepitus, really get into our heads, hand us a beer! We’re a party band! We like to get together, have fires, go to shows or just sit and drink and listen to music and bullshit the night away. You can’t go wrong buying us a shot of Jack Daniels either,” D’orazio says of their team-building ethos. “Banging your head is a must if you’re gonna be in this band!”
The departure of founding head-nodder Roldan Reimer, who has since gone on to join the speedy traditional metal band Riot City, left a notable gap in Krepitus’s ranks. Despite this loss, the past 12 months have proven to be remarkably productive ones, with new members coming into the fold and enhancing the group’s already fulsome metal-on-metal sound.
“Over the last year the band-dynamic has changed significantly. We went from being a five-piece powerhouse with a lead singer frontman, to a four-piece epic with Teran on vocals. Teran and I were happy to welcome Matt and Curtis to the band. Matt and I used to play together in Arsenal, and Teran and Curtis played together in Hammerdrone, so we knew right off the bat that it would be a strong connection. With the addition of these two, the sound is much stronger, fuller and all together more coherent.”
Drawing on their ability to communicate effectively to transport them to the next level in the studio, the powerhouse quartet has been steadily sharpening their skillset to a razor-edge. D’orazio indicates that the completion of their solid, yet soaring, demo EP portends that the unveiling of a full-length album is just around the corner.
“Our first full-length recording, Eyes of the Soulless, is damn near complete, but the mixing and mastering is still underway. Unfortunately, the whole thing will not be ready until early October. In the meantime, we will be having a show at the Distortion on September 18th to release an EP of the album (available now on Bandcamp.com). This way, at least we will be able to give everyone a taste of what’s to come.”
Technical proficiency and gutter-bound philosophy come to fisticuffs over the eight-tracks that span the Krepitus’s visceral debut. Whether casting a blazing torch into the “Shadows or Eternity” or dining by candlelight with “Albert Fish,” the thrum-and-throttle foursome maintains a crippling pace and makes a bold statement with each anthemic advance.
“So far, the way we go about songwriting is pretty straight forward. Teran writes 99 per cent of the lyrics and then he and I work out the song’s basic structure, but we are looking forward to introducing more of Matt and Curtis’s riffs in the future. I’d say the main focus of the new album is society and the problems that come with it! Our songs can be about serious matters like addiction or depression, and at the same time there are smoke-machine songs like “Erroneous,” which is about a crazy trip I had on mushrooms.”
Tying together tradition and innovation, Krepitus’s tight melodies and heavy rhythms provide a rousing respite from modern contrivance. Victors of the Round One of Wacken Battle Calgary, the exhilaration they bring to the stage is impressively genuine, unleashing their inner demons without a whiff of hesitation or self-doubt.
Metal Nation Radio Presents the Krepitus CD release party on September 18, 2015 at Distortion with guests Expain and Slagduster.AB, Alberta, Distortion, Krepitus