Review Summary: Extreme Noise Terror Is Afraid Of Us
Listeners hear a buzzing, thin sounding guitar rush and ramble through the speakers along with shoddy snares colliding to form this hazy depressing aura with an angry, pain-drenched voice wailing about whatever satanic theme comes to mind. This is black metal as we usually know it. Now abandon that and think about this: Imagine these same evilly simplistic guitar lines, and instead, calculate them in a way that makes them sound driving, complicated, and most of all, technically proficient. Not to mention that, but instead of having production that is shoddy enough to give off the typical black metal an evil vibe, put on some production that lets the riveting and infectious guitar licks truly shine. This is what Mickie Barr’s re-invention of Black Metal is trying to do for us, on his side project Krallice, and ultimately it succeeds with flying colors.
At moments Mickie Barr cleverly makes reference to black metal gods and elders, like the vibes often incorporated by the maniacal Burzum on “Cnestorial”, and the slow, introductory war drums of “Timehusk”, a track slightly more in favor of typically sped and trigged drumming that usually runs amok Black Metal. However despite this some references to the past, like any good album trying to differentiate itself from the crowd, Mickie Barr makes this album his own being. Krallice blends Black Metal and Ambiance in a way that is both technically and texturally impressive. Krallice plays out like a post-rock record trying to be metal: so immense and atmospheric, allowing the listener to get lost in its ambiance, but still allowing room for serious rocking out and technicality and impressive playing.
The problem in all of this is the fact that, lyrically, Krallice is up its own ass. The album, like famous poet Fred Gold , tries shove in silly, pretentious one liners and call those song lyrics or poetry, and it just doesn’t work. Krallice would work slightly better as an instrumental band if only the vocals didn’t play such a big part as well. Along with ambient riff oceans, Krallice also creates intense, hard hitting, head banging moments which require harsh, at times obnoxious vocals. Mick Barr sounds like any Black metal singer A or B, but it fits the music incredibly well, the higher ranged shouting of his manages to complete this solid body of music perfectly.
Krallice is easy to describe in one sentence; razor sharp, hard hitting, and blatantly riff-centric black metal that manages to both submerge the listener like they were listening to the motions of the ocean, and bring in mathy, almost progressive riffing to the table and absolutely murder the listener with over-the-top guitar proficiency. Another black metal album" Not so! Color me impressed, Krallice is one of the more impressive black metal albums of the twenty first century.