Krallice
Years Past Matter


4.0
excellent

Review

by JF Williams USER (18 Reviews)
November 18th, 2012 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist


“Hipster”. Never has there ever been a more conveniently dismissive term for black metal genre purists to throw at any band who dares to take their precious little niche genre too far from the sonic and philosophical themes of years past. Granted, bands like Liturgy unfortunately substantiate that stereotype, but fellow New Yorkers Krallice make beatnik black metal music that’s experimental, without sacrificing vital passion and intensity (and without crumbling under it’s own obnoxious, self-indulgent weight).

I’ll be honest, this is my first attempt at giving the American experimental black metal band Krallice another chance, after being resoundingly disappointed by their previous release, last year’s Diotima. That release struck me upon first listen as suffering from excessive long-windedness, and having a surplus of technical acumen in place of a compelling atmosphere or engaging songwriting. Fortunately, Years Past Matter is a record lacking none of the above, even though it took roughly 7 listens before its truly glorious nature was revealed to me.

Like the unnamed song titles (irritatingly titled as a series of lines), the songs on the album tend to blend together as if the entire disc was one epic, sprawling piece. The opaque, heady songwriting requires many, many listens before any amount of understanding can be gleamed from the music – for the first 3 or 4 listens, a good 95% of the album goes in one ear and out the other. It teases the listener with fleeting promises of some sort of revelation of understanding that ultimately disappear as soon as they appear. Indeed, this is not something to listen to passively. This is not meant to be a knock to the band – it’s as challenging and intriguing as it is somewhat baffling.

Some of the more legitimate criticisms of the band take aim at the somewhat monotonous and aimless songwriting; metalheads who prefer their black metal cold, grim and hateful with an emphasis on riffs will find little to enjoy here – the production is warm and lush, the mood spacey, contemplative and minimally aggressive. Songs like the second track take you on a ride through the infinity of the cosmos, but this is no Darkspace or Thorns. Blastbeats and tremolo picking take the listener on a cosmic journey through gaseous celestial bodies and nebulae, swelling and shimmering and bursting with color. All of the stylistic tropes are intact (repetitive high pitched tremolo picking, mid-paced blast beats, shrieking vocals, illegible band logo, etc.) but seemingly done to an opposite emotional effect. Years Past Matter could even be seen as an atmospheric antithesis to that of traditional black metal of yore – black metal that’s positive and empowering (without sounding hammy and forced).

Love or hate these polarizing New Yorkers, it would be misguided to dismiss such passionate, ambitious and unique black metal as quickly as many metal fans have (including me at first listen). Given the right attention, Years Past Matter reveals itself to be a rewarding, evocative experience.



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user ratings (110)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
rmill3r (4)
Krallice's first self-released album is a testament to the kind of power they can achieve on their o...

hyperi0n STAFF (1.5)
cosmic trems of dick...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ChopSuey
November 17th 2012


2392 Comments


no comments yet

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012


21101 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

“Hipster”.


i honestly cant think of a worse way to start a review

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

ChopSuey
November 17th 2012


2392 Comments


those are some weird track names. "Hey guys. My favorite song is IIIIIIIIIIII!"

Tyrael
November 17th 2012


20879 Comments


spaaaaace metal

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

JF Williams
November 17th 2012


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"i honestly cant think of a worse way to start a review"

Your constructive, articulate criticism is duly noted.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2012


21101 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

heh not really a criticism it just immediately turned me off from reading the rest of the review, sorry.

Youtellme
November 17th 2012


1351 Comments


"Your constructive, articulate criticism is duly noted. "

Lol but really, it's a horrible way to start the review.

Hipster is just a buzz word with absolutely no meaning now.

I haven't read the rest of the review and honestly I'm interested in doing so now.

JF Williams
November 17th 2012


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's aite, Insurrection.

Youtellme - The fact that "hipster" is a useless buzzword is implied pretty clearly in the following sentence. But thanks
for the interest dude!

Man, you guys are a tough crowd!

zaruyache
November 17th 2012


6488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never has there ever been a more conveniently dismissive term for black metal genre purists to throw at any band who dares to take their precious little niche genre too far from the sonic and philosophical themes of years past.

Posssssss'd. Although I think your descriptions of their sound could've been a lot more specific.

Digging: Alpha Male Tea Party - Droids

JF Williams
November 17th 2012


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's true, the last two paragraphs could've probably used some more examples from the songs themselves, but eh. This review gave me a lot of trouble; for a while I was struggling to be able to articulate what I thought of the album.

Youtellme
November 17th 2012


1351 Comments


"The fact that "hipster" is a useless buzzword is implied pretty clearly in the following sentence. But thanks
for the interest dude!"

Heh, yeah I noticed.

Ah fuck it, I'll read the review.

Youtellme
November 17th 2012


1351 Comments


The review is great, and I get why you would use the word hipster now, even if I hate it.

In fact I may get this now, the review has made me interested in it.

Pos.

JF Williams
November 17th 2012


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome, thanks man.

zaruyache
November 17th 2012


6488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's definitely a good album. The long tremolo passages can get really annoying sometimes, but when
they do it right they do it very right. And apparently I'm one of the few people that like Diotima :-
P

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2012


18490 Comments


cosmic voyages to resonant chord structures of universal celestial meaninglessness

Digging: Objekt - Cactus / Porcupine

ViperAces
November 18th 2012


12430 Comments


Crysis's avatar is awesome

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2012


14373 Comments


How do you actually enunciate those track names? Do you repeat 'I' over and over again? Is it some stupid interpretation of writing roman numerals? Do you take a deep breath and say "iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii" for however long the track name warrants? I'm confused!

Digging: We Will Fail - Verstrung

hongjinho
November 18th 2012


8 Comments


‎‎‎

Tyrael
November 18th 2012


20879 Comments


The song titles are year counts. The title is "years past matter", and the song titles are years counted after matter. So the first song is 7 years, the second is 8, etc.

ViperAces
November 18th 2012


12430 Comments


They shouldve used V's and X's.



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