Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Krallice - Ygg huur

Written by Justin C.

It feels weird to categorize Krallice as black metal at this point, given their latest album, Ygg hurr. Granted, they were never dyed-in-the-wool second-wave worshipers, so the shift in sound on their latest album isn't quite as abrupt as it might seem at first. To be honest, my first thought was, "Krallice made a Gorguts album!" But listening to it back to back with Colored Sands, I realized that wasn't quite the full story. There's as much of Dysrhythmia's torturous prog goodness here as their is Gorguts, but given that all of these acts share members, it's not surprising that a lot of influence would bleed through them all.

Krallice at Incubate Festival 2014. Photo by Jostijn Ligtvoet

There's still a hefty dose of the Krallice's patented, extra-dissonant tremolo riffing, but those riffs butt heads with plenty of much stranger fare. Check out the first minute or so of "Over Spirit." The intro sounds like some kind of demented wind-up toy losing steam, but then it runs headlong into a truly righteous tremolo riff. The switch from chugging aggression to an airy, suspended guitar line in "Bitter Meditation"? Utterly beautiful.

The album opener, "Idols," has what might be one of my favorite riffs so far this year. It's a snaky single-note line, complete with counterpoint, that at times sound almost like a canon. (And I mean the musical type of canon here, not the artillery type of cannon.) You know how shredders in the 80s were always going on about their classical influences, which meant that they'd occasionally throw in a Bach line or a trill in a solo? Yeah, this riff puts all of that wankery to shame.

Krallice at Incubate Festival 2014. Photo by Jostijn Ligtvoet

What else is there to like here? Plenty. The bass is up in the mix and hard driving. The percussion is fascinating in its own right, but as with the best rhythm sections, it blends in with the rest of the music rather than trying to stomp all over it.

All that said, I did find this a hard album to warm up to. It took a while for my initial disappointment over this being "not a Krallice album" to fade. But once I learned to stop trying to dissect how much Krallice vs. Gorguts vs. whatever it is, I liked it a little bit more each time I listened to it.

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Tagged with 2015, avant-garde black metal, Justin C, Krallice
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