Review Summary: One of the better screamo album of the last couple of years shows promise for the future of the band.
When one thinks of screamo, they may think of the post-rock inspired bands with epic tracks which mesh serenity, chaos, and beauty altogether flawlessly. Others may think of the very rough, rigid, short, noisy bursts of passionate intensity. Nowadays, bands that fall into this somewhat stagnant genre are oftentimes either one of the aforementioned stylizations or the other. Some bastardize both genres to create something “new.” And several of those bands end up sounding eerily familiar, eerily similar to their counterparts. So in this stagnant pond of screamo music, where does Killie lie? On neither side of the fence, that's where Killie lies. And don't take me for one who doesn't realize that several run-of-the-mill bands are also praised as being original, because I fully recognize that this happens all too often.
Now just how are they so separate from the rest of the crop? Well, one of the first things you'll notice about the pleasurable aural assault that is Killie's “Offering A Sacrifice That Presents And Indicates A Mournful Resentment Of Today” is the long, monotonous, Japanese spoken word that begins every one of these six tracks. This spoken word is atop barely audible melodies generated by the band, and what seems to be numerous Christmas tunes from shopping centers throughout the whole album; it segues perfectly into the steadfast, chaotic, spasmodic, aggressive screamo music that Killie performs practically perfectly.
Another thing you'll notice is the actual music here. Killie's signature style of screamo combines guitars with a post-rock tinge to them, noise that bands like Jerome's Dream used oft, Japanese vocals with avant-garde stylizations thrown in frequently, and excessive use of dynamics and samples. The guitar riffs are extremely catchy and switch constantly in a way that shows that Killie is comfortable with switching time signatures up several times. The drums are fast and frenetic when apposite, and can switch to a very hollow, ethereal sound that so many post-rock and screamo bands accomplished beforehand. However, Killie takes this to new heights, and they oftentimes use it as a mode to fit in those changes with samples and dynamics. Lastly, the vocals incorporate odd sounds on occasion like Japan's notorious noisecore bands are infamous for. Clicks, screams, grunts, and cries can be heard on this record, all whilst keeping a basic first-wave screamo feel to it throughout every single minute of this pleasurable listen, and throughout every single track present.
From tracks like “H19.09.07,09.” with two minutes of actual aural altercation and five minutes of said spoken word, to the spastic, hearty, intense, nineteen-minute long epic, “H19.08.18” (which incorporates several lengthy samples, bellicose rhythms, aggressive vocals, noisy guitars, and an overall intricate, violent, spasmodic, fantastic composition throughout) the fifty-six minute long album is, needless to say, an interesting affair. The latter of these two is a definite highlight as it begins again with this Japanese monologue and then segues effortlessly into a chaotic song so intensely passionate that it hurts. Raucous screams are present here more than ever, and as the track progresses, it slides into another sample. This then merges into another half-minute of chaotic, fast, loud, intense music, before it finally ends with yet another sample, this time, of cars rushing by, and the sound of something electric being altered. Another great moment on this album is “H18.05” where a more metal vibe comes off and is reminiscent of 65daysofstatic, or the more orchestral, more cinematic moments of Kayo Dot's early works. But all is not without its faults.
One of the major problems with the album is its length. Clocking in at approximately fifty-six minutes and four seconds, with only six songs, there are some obvious epics here. A lot of the album is musically proficient, but there are some huge gaps that, whilst they aren't incoherent, they don't seem all that necessary. If the album is a concept album and all of these samples amount to something (Christmas leading into religion and electricity could work, could it not?) then this arrangement seems far more sensible. So while I will still count the excess as a negative, I'll give the band the benefit of the doubt and hope for the best out of the negative. But nevertheless, despite a minuscule negative, this is a truly magnificent effort for anyone looking for passionate, intense music with more than a pinch of originality thrown into the mix. I hope the best for Killie in the future as well, for they have generated a crowning achievement.
FINAL RATING:4.5/5-One of the better screamo album of the last couple of years shows promise for the future of the band.