Krallice Krallice

Seemingly to prove they can play and write circles around established virtuosos in any genre, Behold... the Arctopus/Dhysrhythmia 12-stringer Colin Marston and Ipecac-endorsed lunatic Mick Barr (of Orthrelm fame) have formed a black metal band, and an incredibly good one at that. Equalled this year in the genre only by Nachtmystium’s offering, this record delivers an expansion upon the hypnotic, atmospheric style of Weakling and Wolves in the Throne Room, capped off with ridiculously accomplished musicianship and some of the more inventive and spiralling soloing this side of Mithas’s latest. Epic but voraciously focused pieces in the ten- to 20-minute range stack one memorable riff after another, never slumping into monotony. The drum performance is staggering, mostly buried but occasionally brought to the forefront of the assault to lock in mercilessly with the guitars, tossing the listener about in a furious maelstrom before receding back to a supporting role. Barr’s vocals, while workmanlike in the scheme of suicidal black metal, are by no means anything to scoff at. Krallice are leaps ahead of most USBM, compositionally, and the playing abilities of their members set a near unattainable bar for contemporaries. Let’s hope these scattered whispers of planned live appearances are more than just rumours. This is superb in every way. (Profound Lore)