Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rat King - Larva

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.

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