Album Review: KRALLICE Years Past Matter
Ostensibly borne of black metal, Krallice suffer from the simplicity of that label. Summoning a protean confluence of speed, intricacy, melody, and rhythmic ardor, Krallice constitute a genre unto themselves. Years Past Matter sees the band traveling into the future, progressing past evolution into amalgamate mutancy. On Diotima, Krallice forged a purposeful consonance, crossing the streams to present a grandiose vision. In contrast to that album’s orchestrated ethos, Years Past Matter feels effortless, as if the band have submitted to their own manic energy. That delirious acquiescence has yielded extraordinary results.
Direct and decoupled guitars deliver curvilinear complexity with satisfying spontaneity. Mick Barr and Colin Marston continue to push the boundaries of compositional interbeing, discovering new dimensions of sonic duality in these breakneck skirmishes. Nick McMaster’s bass embraces the abandon, careening eloquently amongst the proceedings. Lev Weinstein unleashes a preposterous percussive tempest, enthralling in its own right and unbelievable in the context of these absurd polyrhythmic pieces.
The attack on Years Past Matter is straightforward and thrashing, but it also displays more explicitly atmospheric overtones. These don’t manifest as suffocating drone, but as stratospheric contrails, flowing organically from the hypersonic acrobatics. These ambient moments are given ample room to gestate, filling up the sonic field in a manner heretofore unexplored by Krallice.
The vocals, led by Nick McMaster's tireless roar, are no less vicious on this venture. They are, however, pushed back further in the mix, becoming more a part of the rapidly shifting landscape. Mick Barr's screamed interjections sound particularly harrowed, conveying paroxysms of paranoia. No lyrics are published with the album; the prolific and verbose lyrical bent of Diotima is now obfuscated.
Part of the joy of listening to Krallice is the inherent unpredictability; they always zig when you'd expect a band to zag. The melodies never quite follow the laws of physics or banal chord progression. This tendency is maximized on Years Past Matter, without veering into the utterly alien. If you, like me, find this to be an endearing sonic oddity, you'll certainly appreciate the album. Years Past Matter just might be Krallice’s finest moment.