Kryst the Conqueror - Deliver us from Evil [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Kryst the Conqueror

Deliver us from Evil [EP] (1990)

Cyclopean Music

What do you do after one of the most talented, most visionary, and most eccentric songwriters in the world quits the band he started, leaving you and your brother without a frontman? Apparently, you start a Christian Rock thrash metal band that uses a Viking aesthetic.

After the Misfits snapped to a stop, Jerry Only and Doyle returned to work at their father’s factory in New Jersey. Still hungry for the fun and adventure of music, around 1987 they identified that thrash had usurped punk as the underground landmark, and formed a thrash band called Kryst the Conqueror.

Perhaps in reaction to the ever growing sex and satanism of Danzig’s Samhain, Jerry Only, who has stated that he is a practicing Christian, veered into the other direction with Kryst the Conqueror and slid some overtly Christian lyrics into the band’s lashing riffs. Still, while his motivation may have been with good intention, Jesus presented as a conquering Viking, cutting off people’s heads and sending them to hell doesn’t really seem to preach the message of the Good Book. Moreso, it comes off more like the Simpson’s Poochie the Dog- adults out of touch trying to make something “Extreme” in order to market it to the youth. Changing “Christ” to “Kryst” and portraying him as an agent of Holy destruction verges on self-parody.

The band never actually formed fully, so for their sole recording, an obscure EP called Deliver Us From Evil, they hired Jeff Scott Soto of Yngwie Malmsteen’s band to lay down vocals just to see how the release would play. And to be fair, as far as ‘80s thrash goes, this isn’t terrible. The riffs rip. Soto sings as well as any second tier thrash band vocalist. The songs have energy and clip along. Take out the Christian rock theme and you have a record that would be deemed  a "lost almost-classic" that would fetch a hundred bucks or so at the metal flea market. Still, it’s hard to shake off the feeling that this is a band analyzing trends and trying to make it a hit. Plus, Jesus as a cool and vicious warrior just doesn’t really play in any arena.

The band would hang about for nearly seven years, never touring and never getting a proper singer. Eventually, they would recruit a guy named Dr. Chud on the drums and decide to reformat the band as the “new” Misfits. Indeed, even a few Kryst tracks were re-recorded as Misfits tunes – “Dr. Phibes,” and others would be cannibalized for portions used in new songs. If we assume Jerry Only’s intentions were pure- in that he really did want to make music and really did feel that Jesus presented a good message (in wild contrast to Danzig’s message, amusingly) well, then, at least he tried and he gets a few points for that. But, if the intention was to capitalize on market demand for bucks, well, the whole endeavor comes off in a much darker light. How you view the existence of the “new” Misfits, doubtlessly colors how we should view this little known, and frankly fairly bizarre, release.