Review Summary: How I learned to stop worrying and love Krallice.
Over a year ago I wrote up something about how I had grown to appreciate Krallice; dropping the bullshit metal elitist attitude that clouded me with bias was an enlightening experience. The junk metal-cum-"trancendental" blackened whatever never sat well with me. The detached technicality gave way to homogeneous streams of uninhibited guitar nonsense. The irony of this being a reason for the Krallice hate is that it describes so much of the modern metal scene; cold and indifferent instrumentation acting as a vehicle for derivative bunk. But I digress.
Since that diatribe, Ygg huur
was released with the sublime, death leaden Hyperion
quickly following. In this time I have learned that my infatuation was more than a passing admiration, more than fling--Krallice are everything vital about metal and are growing into something revelatory.
Colin Marston, one of the necessary cogs in Krallice's machine, has, in the last decade become something of a metal icon. I mean, he was part of the ***ing Gorguts revival
for Christ's sake. His side projects seemingly have side projects, all unique but warmly connected. He's always brought his encyclopedic knowledge of metal to Krallice, but managed to leave the human behind.
What impresses most with Prelapsarian
is that the more human moments, the lows that accompany the highs, add so much without taking anything away. Krallice are still aggressive; still ravaging with reckless abandon. If anything, the calm within songs like "Transformation Chronicles" gives more heft to the bestial "Hate Power" that follows. Moments in "Lotus Throne" are, dare I say, beautiful? However, the rest of the heafty track features some of the most mind melting atonal guitar work that Krallice has ever crafted. The interplay here is brilliant, showing a masterful side to the band's songwriting. Where Years Past Matter
sometimes felt like an accidental patchwork, Prelapsarian
feels meticulously plotted while retaining the former album's characteristic insanity.
"Transformation Chronicles" is a microcosm of how much Krallice have come into their own with Prelapsarian
. Featuring the metal gnashing that was highlighted in the death metal influenced Hyperion
, the song shows the transition the band has taken from "tech-black metal" to something more organic. There are many influences at play here, most notably the quirks and atonality Marston must have picked up during his time with Luc Lemay. Aside from these nuances the song moves much in the way any Krallice song does--with calculated rapidity. Halfway through, the band shifts into a menacing
calm; a roiling and hazing atmosphere settles over. Surprising, considering Krallice are never one to throw in such gimmicky and forced parlor tricks. In spite of everything, it works. Such a downshift feels genuine, natural even. Of course it all picks back up and finishes strong, but to find such unexpected turns makes even the most trite Krallice moments feel wholly engrossing.
Due to the density found in a song like "Transformation Chronicles," it makes Prelapsarian
almost unwieldy in discussion. One could prattle on about the bombshell "Hate Power," or the rather beautiful harmonies found in "Lotus Throne," but to do so would be an exercise in endurance. Krallice have managed to pack a career's worth of growth and maturity in a mere 40 minutes. With their latest record, Krallice have entirely loosened the sound codified with Dimensional Bleedthrough
and set in stone with Years Past Matter
. True, Prelapsarian
is more or less in the same vein, but with more freedom and inspiration than ever before.