Review Summary: cosmic trems of dick
The universe is infinite. Apparently so is Mick Barr's ability to play the same riffs in any given Krallice album. Since 2008, when the first self titled effort came out, Mick Barr's Krallice has been releasing a relatively quick succession of variations on how to tremolo pick your way into oblivion. His first self titled release under the moniker was neither a threatening album nor a particularly good one, but it showcased Barr's supposed guitar virtuosity fused into a backdrop of a vaguely recognizable black metal aesthetic. This set the basis for Krallice's sound, which at the beginning was rather unique if nothing else. Krallice's second album, Dimensional Bleedthrough
, consisted of the same basic principles with a slightly lighter approach than the self-titled debut. However, other than a slightly less dark tone, Dimensional Bleedthrough
saw almost no musical development. The same basic idea that ran through the previous album was also present in this second release. Then came Diotima
, Krallice's third effort and the release that solidified the fact that Mick Barr had completely run out of ideas (if you assume he had more than one to begin with). Diotima
was a complete rehash of all the waters that had already been tread with both of the previous efforts. There was no reason to listen to that record when the two previous efforts did the exact same thing, and arguably better.
It seems that now Krallice have decided it is time to unleash a fourth hour long installment in the "how to rip off your own idea" series they've been building since 2008. Almost surprisingly, Years Past Matter
yet again showcases a complete lack of progression from the initial idea that catalyzed the creation of this band. Everything is exactly the same. The production sounds identical to the past three albums, Mick Barr still wails about god knows what over a seemingly never ending array of tremolo leads handpicked directly from the bands back catalogue, and the ideas and motifs presented are just about as close to a carbon copy of everything else this band has done as you can possibly get. There is nothing present on Years Past Matter that warrants it even being created in the first place. It quite literally already exists
, and in several other instances. As impossible as it is for you to steal from yourself, with this fourth installment into Krallice's discography Mick Barr has probably come as close as any human ever will to actually accomplishing this feat.
At this point it's not even a question of rehashing ideas, it has become a full fledged, purposeful reproduction of past efforts. It's as if someone took the Lord of the Rings
and renamed it The Lord of the Necklaces
and simply went through the book replacing every instance of the word "ring" with "necklace". With their first effort, Krallice had a distinct, personal style (of questionable quality) if nothing else. While it is certainly no transgression for a band to sound like themselves, this does not give them free reign to write an exact reproduction of an album over and over, watering down their sound until no inkling of substance remains. Krallice have succeeded in eroding what small inkling of substance they had with their initial releases into merely a bland, boring, overlong, bloated copy of previous works. There is not a single part of this album that stands on its own as a piece of music worth recognizing. It has been done before, three times to be exact, and was done better. Whatever planet Mick Barr's species is from certainly wasn't the land of creativity. Maybe someone should beam him up a few new ideas?