Kruger Redemption through Looseness

Switzerland’s Kruger are one heavy band. Taking cues from the apocalyptic end-time rumblings of Isis and Neurosis, as well as thick and heavy sludge and stoner rock, they’ve created a sound that is unique and daunting. On this 45-minute album, which seems to last for days and days, the band make Isis sound like wimps on "Queen and the Meadow” and make us remember the criminally neglected Callisto on "Hummers vs. Pedestrians,” a great track that builds up to a massive crescendo, becoming the album highlight in the process. While some of their tricks get annoying, like the clean vocals on "War & Wine,” which just sound misplaced and off-key, no one can accuse these guys of not trying hard enough. On "Crusaders,” it suddenly feels like a Voivod album from back in that band’s heyday, and when the disc ends the silence is deadly. Kruger are not an easy band to deal with but offer many different metallic rewards if you decide to venture into their uneasy world. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next. Chances are it’s going to involve making some big waves in North America now that Isis are becoming a mainstream word and people are craving this adventurous, artistic take on "no longer just for dummies” heavy metal. (Listenable)