Krallice “Diotima” (2011)

As the portentous vortex of “Diotima” radiates into the soul as a flux of microwaves, I forget to breath. To “hear” in a quantum manner is attainable: the ear becomes the body and the sound is perceived completely by every cell at once. Each instrument merges into one another and into everything else – stomping, mirroring, expanding, whirling, sharing, multiplying, soaring, vaporizing, nuking, healing… By dragging both Apollo and Dionysus into the flaming pyres of man’s existential rage, by crushing into the spiraling chaos of creation with reckless heart, Krallice’s intense music maelstrom simply Transcends.

Colin Marston, producer-extraordinaire (Jarboe, Genghis Tron, Rosetta, Orthrelm and many more, not to mention the remastering of all 3 Atheist early albums), excellent bass and guitar player and multiple-strung weird-apparatus maverick (should you not yet be familiar with his Warr guitar jaw-dropping adventures, google him now!), is of course behind Krallice (when not occupied with Dysrhytmia, Behold…The Arctopus, Gorguts, Byla and Indriothere) alongside another American talent fully committed to highly technical experimental music, one Mick Barr of Mike Pattons’ avant-garde protégées Orthrelm. Overwhelmed? Frankly, you should be!

If there is any justice, Krallice’s new album will be one of the most deserving contenders for best album in 2011 polls across the board. Regardless of being decisively more defined and tighter in compositional skill and execution than its predecessors (“Krallice” and “Dimensional Bleedthrough”), “Diotima”, like all masterpieces, manages to stay completely free in form and unhinged in spirit. The album doesn’t even have to gather momentum: distortion feedback and time-counting by the prodigious drummer instantly propel you into a wall of mesmerizing sound which is in full flight from the very first explosion of notes/emotions. It is impossible for the listener to remain anchored to reality, since the breathtaking speed, the soaring melodies and the tidal flux of complex movements levitate the spirit amidst the dark, dense, dazzling shapes that the purposeful orchestration conjures up for the duration of this work.

Oddly, given that Krallice hail from NYC, my mind identifies in the title-track and the throbbing, oscillating “Litany of Regrets” distant echoes of ancient Greek tragedy, riding passionately between the raw power of the primeval rite and the deeply psychological choral moment of catharsis. These singular qualities clearly make of “Diotima” a space-time defying entity where the soul-ripping but never overindulgent vocals (wonderful as always the duel between Mick’s agonizing screaming and bassist Nicholas McMaster’s aching guttural bellow on the stunning “The Clearing”) remind us that this is still man-made music harnessed within completely human boundaries. Hence the perpetual dilemma of Duality presents itself glaringly once again, and full marks to the artists for coming so close to bend this mind-boggling, ageless pattern plaguing our existence in all its layers, folds, nooks and crevices. An intuitive transcending experience of such magnitude is, ultimately, a miracle within itself because, until we don’t break through the uncertainty relations that govern the quantum world (which mirrors so well our spiritual dilemmas), this is as close as we can get to guessing about what lies beyond our sensorial experience. The need for a bridge between the contingent and the metaphysical has always been a fundamental survival mechanism for mankind and today this kind of intensely experimental and – crucially – supremely emotional black metal is arguably a premier propeller towards the Great Unknown. Krallice’s new effort is one of the most dazzling I have encountered, pushing the avant-garde gauge further ahead and upwards by entangling excruciatingly intense human emotion with technical dexterity into one majestic beast.

-Mystery Flame


Release:  April 2011
Label:  Profound Lore Recordings
Avantgenre:  Uncertainty-Entangling Progressive Black Metal
Duration:  Unmeasurable
Origin:  NYC
Official site:  None
Review online since:  24.05.2011 / 18:10:03


01 – …
02 – Inhume
03 – The Clearing
04 – Diotima
05 – Litany Of Regrets
06 – Telluric Rings
07 – Dust And Light

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