Sunday, August 26, 2012

Krallice - Years Past Matter

Review by Andy Osborn.

Brooklyn’s finest proto black metallers are back with a new full length, Years Past Matter. The indefinable quartet has been confounding fans for the past four years with their insane virtuosic approach to avant-garde extreme music. This album, arriving just 16 months after their previous full-length, is as esoteric and mind-bending as one can expect from such a group. Arranged in six pieces, the tracks are inexplicable titled IIIIIII, IIIIIIII, IIIIIIIII and so on. But these aren’t songs, they’re slabs of metallic calculus concocted and condensed into auditory journeys.

Everything from the album art to the song names reeks of existential musings that the common listener can only begin to identify. The extremely long passages are contortions of sound seemingly guided by some long-dead sentient being, with Krallice’s signature nonstop algebraic-like tremolo remaining as the centerpiece. Nicholas McMaster and Mick Barr’s vocals rarely appear over the course of the hour-long cosmic exploration, but Colin Marston’s huge production and Lev Weinstein’s crushing skinsmanship hit so hard that you’ll never for a second think anything is missing.

Like all Krallice releases, Years Past Matter is not something that can be digested easily. It’s insanely complex, layered and multifaceted in every way imaginable, requiring dozens of listens before even the most tertiary layer is scratched. And while it’s stylistically similar to 2011's Diotima in many ways, that’s a good thing. For a band like this to progress their sound even more would not only be practically impossible, it’s something our tiny mortal brains wouldn’t be able to comprehend anyway.

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Tagged with 2012, Andy Osborn, avant-garde black metal, black metal, Krallice
  1. Listening to "Diotima", I heard a couple clear points that I figured would characterize future output from the band, namely the freak-out section of "The Clearing" and the melodic section of the title track that leads into that crazed sprint.

    What makes "Years Past Matter" interesting is that it eschewed the direction they could have gone and added more ambient and open-ended sections. It's not nearly as dense. Yet I would argue that it's a better record.

    1. I know I like Krallice, but I'm finding it difficult to put words to my linking. My body reacts to the music, my "tiny mortal brain" don't know what to say.

    2. I've been there! Words are never enough.