Monday, August 27, 2012
Krallice: Years Past Matter
I think by now we all know Colin's connection to behold the Arctopus and Gorguts, So skipping the metal family tree and going into the work at hand. First off their are going to be those who are resistant to some of the more melodic elements involved here. Far from the kind of compromising selling out would entail for these guys, it is a more interesting and palatable listen as some of the jarring shred pyrotechnics found on the last album are toned down to offer more dynamics.
The album starts full on blasting the nasty, the way some of the chords ring to begin to bring Liturgy to mind.The patterns still carry the almost free form jazz like nature of hipster black metal as the forum boards will lament. Mainstream metal press will remain pretty clueless as how to approach this as its progressive in some sense but not djent or Opeth .
By the second song, the changes become more discernible to my ears although this one still drives full speed ahead. The bass is more prominent in the mix here, the accents later in the song are in and out , go to the bathroom and youll miss them especially on a ten minute song that establishes a speedy drone early on. At the seven minute mark it breaks up into more epic proggy territory before darkening into a thunderhead before they storm of speed with lingering feedback.
Vocals are not the bands forte, I can appreciate it's a different frequency of harsh a lower coarse howl more common place in sludge. They do get close to singing on the third track all of the albums songs are named in the same roman numerals, though by counting them this one would be nine, but I'm ignoring this element altogether as it's silly.
The guitar tone is much warmer and like i mentioned earlier it seems as if they have taken a page from Liturgy's play book. The notes ring out more and it's not a tappy and tech sounding as the previous albums. This gives it the breathing room need for the sense of movement which becomes established in moments which book end some of the more blasty bursts.
I think as far as this sort of thing goes, Liturgy and Woe have a more focused sense of indentity. There is an under lying current of technical death metal shoved down below the sonics of the maelstrom here. The tempest fugit of riffs lost at sea here is astounding if you are able to differentiate them . With ten and eleven minutes songs where this type of intensity is maintained over the course of such time, they are lucky to hold my attention, but still managed to. However the three mins of ambiance at the end of this track breaks the album up it doesn't really add to the song in and of its self.
The fourth song starts with tenderly picked guitar and boils over into jack hammer styled cunt pounding already established though their are some rhythmic accents four minutes in and the washes of octaves cascading into the drone are a nice touch and contrast the almost trashy riff following this section. The slower doom paced riff is a relief at this point and feels like I'm listening to a song rather than having the kitchen sink thrown at me.
The fifth song which really begins to sound like the fifth movement , until it establishes its indentity with more of an ascendant gallop. The mix is generally pretty precise and best heard on headphones however the drum mix at times on his one sounds like its powered by the bass, which is unique of this style of music and I'm sure the double bass on this one will impress more technically minded listener the last couple minutes of this one really gets great.
Then on the sixth song we are back to the hyper powered blasting. The riffs morph into something more epic , though on my fourth pass through on this album I'm beginning to understand what doesn't click for me on this. The playing is great , these are no doubt excellent musicians a point I have not really stressed thus far, because the staying power and the timelessness of music doesnt rely on those things, while I dig the gallop of this last song, it's not speaking to me. I don't think it's a coincidence the vocals aren't really given much thought here, is because these guys don't have anything to say. I'm sure in interview views they will default to the old..." we let the music do the talking and the listener brings their own interpretation " which is a cop out for we know how to play notes but we don't know how to say anything with them.
I will give this one a 5.5, even though it's an improvement in production and the sound of what they do is more melodic it's just empty calories. Sure the execution and playing is outstanding it's generally soul less and I would go as far as saying their older material was heavier to had some faked fury to it so you almost believed thee guys were angry tech geeks at least, instead we get math and mechanics.