"The Black Coast"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Crom's Balls, this is some of the worst fantasy metal I have ever heard. It causes literal pain to the listener! Sword-swinging fantasy metal is one of my favorite subgenres and I will usually cut bands extra slack because I'm a sucker for it, but this is beyond the pale. You expect a certain amount of child-like corniness with it, but there's a point where you just have to say "this is really stupid". And Krull is EXTREMELY stupid.

The vocals here are some of the most appalling I have encountered. The vocalist tries a dozen different styles here and fails miserably at 11 of them. There's an incredibly grating witch-like shriek that pops up time and time again causing blood to fountain out of my earholes. On the "epic" title track, it is so bad I quit listening half way through...I cannot take anymore. But that's not all. You get whiny clean vocals, some sort of mumbling gruff gibberish and falsetto shrieks so high your eyes will pop out of your head. When you combine this racket with super awkward vocal lines like those on "Marching to Mountains" and "Valhalla", it is jaw droppingly bad. Indeed, "Marching to Mountains" is one of the worst metal tunes I've ever heard....just a complete wash.

You may remember a band called Ironsword that also delved deeply into Conan-style power metal. Their vocals were also awkward but somehow it worked. Krull is Ironsword's hopeless little brother. Many of the tunes here are insanely fast, but the typewriter drum sound is abysmal and drowns "By Steel" in a tidal wave of clatter. One aspect of Krull's sound thats halfway decent is the guitar work. Nothing mind-blowing but some good solos and twin guitar work can be found if you dig deep enough. If you haven't clawed your eardrums yet....

A real Hyborian Age trainwreck here!