Review Summary: Norwegian black metal act release true masterpiece on their debut
Norway is the number one source of black metal, producing many wonderful black metal acts over the years. One of the latest outputs from its cold landscape is Krake
, a symphonic act that have released their debut album Conquering Death
and what a release it is.
Opening with a great instrumental A Murder of Crows
it sets the tone perfectly for what you will experience; cold, thought provoking and beautifully composed, it is a taster of the symphonic delights installed for you.
The best thing about this album is the composing of the songs, the way they piece together, all the different elements, from the band to the orchestration it all comes together to form a wonderful symphonic soundscape that you can't help but get drawn into till you are merely riding a wave of sound, and find yourself sad when it ends. All the music is written by Dreugh, the guitarist and keyboardist for the band, and he has done a wonderful job. The music draws comparisons with fellow symphonic black metallers Dimmu Borgir
, but Krake
have managed to avoid the trap that Dimmu
did and havent become the orchestra, to the point where their latest album could be considered Orchestra feat.Dimmu Borgir.
In comparison, Krake utilise the orchestration to the fullest effect, using it to boost the power of the band and make it much more epic.
Vocal duties on this record come from Beist, who also writes the lyrics, which are another strong feature of the band. The lyrics are intricate and poetically composed, dealing mainly with themes such as loneliness, death and nature, a contrast from many other black metal bands which mainly concern themselves with satan and anti-christianity. They add an extra level of depth to the band, that the lyrics are on par with the intricate nature of the music itself. It is in the vocal department though that the main flaw is found, whilst the hoarse growl of Beist means that the lyrics are discernible which, given the nature of the lyrics is a huge bonus, is good, the voice lacks great range, mainly sticking to a monotonous midlevel growl, whilst it does suit some of the songs, it does get boring after a while, draining some of the magic out of the listen.
This album is a true masterpiece of symphonic black metal, each track is different, from the pounding beats of Ed
to the fast blast beats of And A Colder Breed
this album has everything you could ever hope to find in black metal. For any fans of the genre, this is a must have, Krake
here have composed a true slab of true black metal.