Review Summary: We bleed all over and we can't wait to infect all those coming next.
How does a band follow up a colossal slab of an album like Challenger? Knut could try the same formula and hope it all works out so perfectly again or perhaps try to look backwards in order to move forward with their sound. Knut chose to do what many bands do and experimented with their sound. They didn’t try to make Challenger part 2 like some would have but they didn’t go try something completely new either.
From the opening moments of 7.08 it’s apparent the album is not going to fly into a diabolical mix of speed and fury as it did with Challenger. 7.08 morphs into Wyriwys, a slow thundering track that is just as heavy albeit much slower than the usual fare.
It continues with a couple of the more standard Knut songs in the form of Kyoto, Torvalds and Seattle. All three tracks, while good songs, don’t offer anything incredibly new or different from previous albums; they are dominated by flourishes of fast riffs followed by calmer flowing breaks where before it would be a non-stop musical assault. Many of the songs feature very few if any vocals from Didier which for those who don’t like his yelling will be a welcome change. Instead quite a few sound clips have been utilized to emphasize the almost paranoid direction the album grows towards as it approaches its magnum opus. Solar Flare is the center piece of the experience being the longest and best song here. It invokes the sensation of drifting through space while observing heavenly bodies; a peculiar piece of heavily distorted static experimentation that works beautifully. There was a user made video on Youtube that used Solar Flare set to clips from the movie “Sunshine” that fit perfectly with each other.
The mood becomes continually more oppressive towards the end but this is where it starts falling apart. It almost seems that they couldn't come up with anything that could compete with the brilliance of Solar Flare so they wander between short fast songs and longer slow ones. None of them really flow well off of each other so it feels like a collection of random ideas. None of them really stand out, sure they’re fast and you can rock out to them but they don’t stick in your head like the earlier songs likely will so you're left with a feeling of indifference about most of them. Fibonacci Unfolds makes no real sense being on here at all. It’s really just a collection of volume swells that never seem to really gravitate towards anything. It can only be assumed it has something to do with the Fibonacci number sequence although for those who don’t understand it this is rather pointless.
Knut had the impossible job of following up a monumental release like Challenger and didn’t succeed in besting or even equaling it. They did take some artistic chances in some spots and play it safe in others. While it’s not on par with their previous release it is still a good album that deserves a listen. Hopefully their next album will rise to the glorious heights previously reached by Challenger.