Thursday, September 27, 2012

Class of 2012: Krallice - Years Past Matter

I was surprised when I saw that Krallice had a new album out.  Last year's Diotima was nearly 70 minutes long, and I didn't expect them to release their next installment of American black metal just yet.

The six songs on Years Past Matter are basically untitled.  The first track is "IIIIIII," and each track increases by "I" so that the final track is "IIIIIIIIIIII."

Despite the two vocal styles employed, vocals are not a top priority.  Consequently, at times, this album has more of an instrumental feel to it. 

If you're familiar with Krallice, then you won't be surprised that four of the songs clock in at over ten minutes.  At under two minutes, however, fifth track "IIIIIIIIIII" is not even a song - it's more of an avant-garde black metal interlude.

Whether the songs are eight or sixteen minutes long, they tend to have a certain sameness.  Nevertheless, at a few points, Krallice breaks out of their mold and begins to shine.  At the end of third track "IIIIIIIII," the band slows it down and goes atmospheric.  On the following track, "IIIIIIIIII," there's a drum breakdown that's almost tribal.  And finally, on the album's closer, "IIIIIIIIIIII," we're left with a grand-finale ending that instantly brings to mind the last few minutes of a Fourth of July fireworks show.

Krallice play their style of U.S. black metal very well, but if they could incorporate a little more variety, then they would take their music to another level.

Grade: C+  (78.6%)

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