Review Summary: Inter-dimensional black metal.
Mick Barr is coming back down to earth, constructing his most accessible work as a guitarist with his self-titled album Krallice
in 2008 and progressing even further as an artist in terms of songwriting with his sophomore follow up Dimensional Bleedthrough
. It’s not that Barr has strayed too far from his Krallice
template that has solidified him as one of the most forward thinking black metal artists; look closer and you will find that Dimensional Bleedthrough
actually focuses more on song structures with plenty of psychedelic guitar riff patterns rather than just turning up the amps and blasting away tremolo picked guitar lines that seem to have a mind of their own and meander in all different directions.
Formula is a word I hate to use to describe any part of Krallice because this is black metal that has never been done before, period. Dimensional Bleedthrough
is actually the next logical step in Krallice’s bag of black metal tricks. Not exactly refining what he had already created with his psychedelic black metal journey on Krallice
utilizes the same methods while finding a cozy little niche, inter-dimensionally placed between modern black metal and avant-garde excursions. The most notable difference on here is the abundant use of actual power chords, which were rarely ever used to create a rhythm backbone to their self-titled. Using these structured power chords, especially on songs such as “Autochthon” and “Aridity”, the songs themselves sound much more focused and yet allow Mick Barr to race up and down on the fret board with his wildly exhausting tremolo picked guitar lines. One other thing that the use of minor key power chords also adds is the element of darkness that contrasts well with his upbeat (by black metal standards, this is upbeat) progression. This isn’t the case for every single song on the album, but it sure does help out with the bands case against some of the backlashers who claimed that Krallice
had no song structure and were pretentious as ***. But unfortunately, this isn’t really going to cool any nay-sayers on the one note, who will surely have plenty to nit-pick at when they realize that those noodley guitar lines are still up front and command most of the direction in the music.
Comparisons aside, Dimensional..
contains seven tracks that will surely take the listener multiple hours of digestion to even begin figuring out where the hell one good part is from another. These are all mini-epic journeys in themselves and one could even listen to a song or two at a time for something rewarding in modern black metal. The amount of detail that goes into creating monotonously intricate music like this takes time. Creating shifty, rhythmic guitar riffs, circulating into psychedelic patterns that are seamlessly integrated into these detailed songs (not so much “Untitled” which is an exercise in atmospheric dissonance) could kill a musician in his creative stance. A good example of this can be found throughout the last half of “Aridity”, which most listeners will probably not pick up on until the fourth or fifth listen through. That’s a particularly easy one to find when trying to figure out where the hell the juggernaut of a song “Monolith Of Possession” is taking you next. Who really cares though, the song flat-out puts me in awe with its textural nuances and mind blowing guitar work.
Listening to this as whole is a fully rewarding experience and only if you’ve given this multiple experiences. Each track will eventually open itself up to more depth if the listener enjoys the challenge of elongated, inter-dimensional black metal mini-epics. With top notch musicianship, much like what we got on Krallice
, Barr takes Krallice to a somewhat new level showing actual song writing and a denser sound through the use of power chords. Black metal done with a unique flair; it might just take the top spot for best BM album of 2009.