Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Not even in my darkest dreams had I ever imagined that some day I would listen to black metal combined with avante-garde style. However Mick Barr and Co, envisioned such a sound by thinking out of the box, and successfully succeeded in creating a more progressive style of black metal as heard in their band Krallice. And Dimensional Bleedthrough, their second studio effort is a perfect example of their anti-stereotypical, megalomaniacal style of handling instruments that simply leaves you in awe when you first hear them.
Lacking almost, all the customary undertones of Norwegian influenced black metal that sharply relied on blasting tremolo lines, Krallice incorporates elaborate song structures that are held together by their mind-bending riffs played at fast tempos. Inspite of breaking away from the usual black metal musical style, Krallice maintains a n atmospheric ambience through out the album like a buzz of primal fear and chaos waiting to envelope you within itself and plunge your persona into the void. Drums, however aren't all that different from their guitarist counterparts.Sticking to the same old hard hitting blast beats with regular breaks in the rhythm, the drummer doesn't take his performance over the top and plays just the right beat for the hypnotic surges of the guitar tones.
With so much bundles of creative talent in these members, Krallice have almost built themselves their little own corner in the black metal musical world. The songs in the album once again take a week long to end, however the sheer labyrinthine efforts gone into linking several equally complex riffs and patterns to create one large scorching track, makes listening the album a very different experience of the positive kind. Autochthon, the title track and Intraum are some of the tracks that clearly speaks in favor of the band's brilliant dexterous skills.
Nonetheless, had the tracks been composed for a shorter time, then maybe the understanding of the tracks of Dimensional would've been achieved much earlier. And to be brutally frank, at times you do lose touch with the epic feel of the guitar lines amidst the growls and blast beats. However these matters are very trivial, and the achievements of these top-notch musicians breaking frontiers in black metal genre with more progressive infusion definitely deserves proper praise. So listen to Krallice's new album to check out black metal with some unique flair.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
If I am ever asked, how I prefer my plate of death metal, brutal and crushed, the old school style, is what I would say. And thats exactly what Rottrevore delivers in their album Iniquitous. As soon as the album plays, it feels like a bulldozer treading waist deep over your guts, crushing your innards and what nots along with it. And play the album on the loudest volumes, only to let the humongous basslines in the album explode your brain right out through your eyesockets. And all this is achieved without the blastbeats,drum triggers and that truly shows that Rottrevore are truly, one wicked old school brutal death metal act.
Rottrevore may not be playing death metal, lightning fast pace, but they strike the right note with their brand of slow yet heavy,raw and dark music in Iniquitous. Also you get to hear the raw, primal energy of the band in its truest form through the not-so-great sound production of the early nineties era. And that works just perfect, as the album would have lost its appeal had it undergone a more modern treatment in the studios. The bass is a tad too high, as noted from the starting track Jesters of Recession where it thumps into your skull. In fact the bass is louder than the drums, and at certain times the drums are lost behind the basslines. However this particular point doesn't make much of a difference in the entire album.
Moving on to the vocals, one thing which is clearly distinct about it is, the growls are tremendously low-pitched and at times you lose hold of the lyrics. In fact the vocals are very similar to Immolation vocals, and on an offbeat mood you'll be surprised to note that the logo of Immolation was designed by none other than Mark Mastro who does the vocals for Rottrevore in this album. The riffs in the album too aren't anything great to rave about, as they are simple and no where in the album do the guitarists go over the top with their solos. Action For Loss and Unanimous Approval are some of the best tracks in the album.
To sum it up plainly, the guitarists stick to simple,easy riffs which happen gel perfectly with the basslines and drumming, to create the the perfect heavy ambience of an old school era of bygone times. Iniquitous is pretty much an example of the death metal albums of the early nineties era, when sound production was a rudimentary issue and the brutality in the music was amplified by the not-so-perfectly-mastered discs which in fact lend an extra dose of credibility to its crushing sound. So if you ever want to hear some brutal, crushing death metal minus the enhanced sound effects, checkout Rottrevore's Iniquitous.
Before starting the review I must add that I am a novice when it comes to listening avant-garde metal. With so many nuts and bolts spinning around death and black metal, I never bothered to check this relatively untouched genre till I came across Rat King. When I first heard Plague of Hamelin, I was visibly taken aback by the mixing of varied styles ranging from industrial to classical and even jazz to folk in the album. But the amalgamation of these varied choice created a perfect blend of ambience in the album, which left a dying urge in me to check their next album Larva.
If Plague of Hamelin was about a distorted version of the famous story Pied Piper of Hamelin, then Larva is about ''a man's unremitting dream and his crawling descent to his physical disintegration, through a series of horrifying phantasmagorias''. Sounds a bit too far fetched at first, but then it sure does leave a horrifying imprint in your mind when the opening track Egg's sonic burst of dark ambience ridden sounds sparsed with drumming fills your ears. And thats how the album proceeds over the next thirty five minutes. Larva is a very conceptual album as it lacks a vocal support just like their previous album, and yet they manage create a vocal impression with their dexterity in instrumentation, which clearly shows how clever the band are.
Drumming plays a very important role in the album, as the maniacal blast beats heard in Larva perfectly sums up the the frantic horror going through the man's mind. Guitaring too is cleverly done as heard in tracks like Hour of Wolf, where the guitarist cleverly changes gear from soft acoustic to a more industrial black metal side and in Wake, where there's a canny interaction between acoustics and electric guitars. All through these sounds, the orchestral elements play an equally effective role in maintaining the perfect dark ambience for the theme, through out the album just as though you're experiencing your worst nightmare.
In short, with Larva, Rat King have come out more matured than before with greater expertise in instrumentation and an even greater knack in songwriting that manages to conjure the perfect horror-imagery in mind which perfectly conforms to the album's storyline. And the fact that they have done this without lyrical support once again and yet adding to a good listening experience, deserves a commendable applause from the listener. So if you ever want to knowhow the soundtrack to your worst nightmare would be, then check out RatKing's Larva to get those shivery spine chills.