Tuesday, August 28, 2012

HEAVY FRIENDS: Krallice - Years Past Matter

(HEAVY FRIENDS is the segment where Robby babbles on about metal in the underground or kinda-mainstream. Basically anything heavy that's worth talking about, 'kay?)

Krallice has been one of the most celebrated bands of the recent stream of black metal groups coming out of the United States. While some criticize them and put them under the "hipster black metal" umbrella, others praise every work they put out and deem them to be among the best in modern black metal. I find myself right in the middle. I sadly have never been a Krallice fan, even though I love a lot of new American black metal bands and I love the brand of technical black metal that Krallice seems to be pulling from. There are bands like Weakling, Deathspell Omega, and yes, Liturgy that bring a ton of technicality to their black metal but make it enthralling for me. While I always admire that Krallice is composed of such accomplished musicians, the music just never translated to me; sometimes it was a bad mix, sometimes the songs just didn't grab me, I don't know. I feel like I just missed the boat on these guys.

However I was curious to listen to Years Past Matter when it was announced, because I was still holding on to some hope that the band would finally click with me and I would be in love. Well, Krallice hasn't completely won be over, but I must say this is the most I've liked a Krallice project thus far. While I still have issues with the muddy mix with little emphasis on the mids and highs, some of the band's compositions are finally starting to wow me, particularly tracks two and four; moments on those tracks are enthralling, exciting, and sometimes beautiful. The end result is an album that's more memorable to me, and doesn't just sound like a black metal band playing really fast.

While I'm still not in love with this project, I'm glad to say that Years Past Matter will not be an album that will be a chore for me to return to. That sounds like faint praise, but if the band stays on the path of writing memorable compositions and refine the way the music is mixed, we could end up with an album that puts me on the Krallice bandwagon after all.

Stream Years Past Matter courtesy of Krallice's bandcamp account below:

(Sacrifice yourself on the altar to Robby via his Twitter account @ClydeNut)

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