03. The Clearing
05. Litany of Regrets
06. Telluric Rings
07. Dust and Light
2011 was arguably the best year I have ever personally seen in terms of album releases. We had great releases from Protest The Hero, Machine Head, Anthrax, Trivium, Textures — the list is mind-boggling. However, one enticing underground act from New York City released possibly the greatest Black Metal record of the past 10 years, and it went relatively unnoticed. It is my hope to change that today.
For those not in the know, Krallice was formed in 2008 by Colin Marston, a big name in underground music for his other projects Behold…The Arctopus and Dysrhythmia. Since that time, Krallice has released a total of three records including their latest opus Diotima. Each one has been a stepping stone for the band; as each new album is made, a new idea emerges. In fact, some — if not all — of the songs on Diotima were all demoed before the band even released their first full-length, but were tabled and revisited with new ideas and a different approach. Each piece of music is “initiated” rather than traditionally written, giving a greater sense of musicianship and a sense that the band is a collaborative effort.
Diotima opens with ‘−’, a 2-minute introduction that gives you a warm-up for the aural assault you are about to hear. After ‘Inhume’ kicks in, it sweeps your feet out from under you with one fell swoop. The vocals kick in, and the fun begins, with bassist Nick McMaster performing the low vocals while guitarist Mick Barr handling the duties of the highs. They work quite well together, sometimes going back and forth within the same song to increase the effect. The instruments really shine through; having little use of ProTools, it gives a very “live” sound, which is fitting for an album of this nature.
‘The Clearing’ and ‘Diotima’ follow, and I must say are two flawless tracks. The album — which was recorded without a click track, drum samples, and very little editing — is truly an album you can throw on and listen to the entire way through and not be disturbed by gaps between songs. With the entire album clocking in at around 69 minutes, it is best listened to when you have alone time and want to ponder the existence of man and the mysteries of the unknown. The album is filled with very powerful lyrics, delving into the subjects of the afterlife and death. This may not seem at all groundbreaking considering the genre, but it is a refreshing change of pace from those terrible Emmure lyrics I saw recently. Interestingly, ‘Litany Of Regrets’ and ‘Telluric Rings’ contain one set of lyrics that follow in sequel. The closer, ‘Dust And Light’, says farewell as only Krallice could — with a totally fucking amazing song that does not hold back and leaves you begging for more blackness.
I love this album. It is, to me, a combination of the best elements of black metal — atmosphere, amazing vocals, live drums, and tremolo picking. I always recommend this album to any black metal aficionado. Easily the most underrated album of 2011, and in my top 5 albums of the new millennium for sure.
Krallice – Diotima gets…