Review Summary: What if a Krallice album could make u feel?
Krallice have never been known as an emotive band, favoring cold machinations over sweeping emotional statements. Their use of multilayered chaos belies a structured and calculating core that has seen them evolve from a rote technical black metal act into something entirely otherworldly. During their impressive eight album streak Krallice have become increasingly untethered from Earth, flinging headlong into the vacuum of space with Years Past Matter
only to drift into other worlds completely with Prelapserian
. As part of their oeuvre, Krallice have progressed their emotional despondency and furthered themselves from any semblance of "humanism." Even the most lively part of their music, the vocals, is relegated to a fuzzed out background; blotted out and smudged away. This makes Go Be Forgotten
, the band’s new(er) album, all the more confounding. It’s weird and inconsistent; messy and imperfect. It’s the most flawed Krallice record to date.
It’s also the most human. So much in fact, that for the first time, the band provides truly revelatory moments; cathartic and elucidating proclamations that are at odds with the band’s typical persona. This isn’t readily apparent, with Krallice bathing themselves in a traditionally black veneer. All the while they have behind the scenes made one of the most blissful metal records of the year. Swells in the title track lead into beautiful climaxes while subtle melodies make themselves known in “Ground Prayer.” It’s not often that Krallice construct music for an emotional pay off, but there are plenty of moments of genuine wonder here that elicit a response other than technical awe.
Much has been made about Go Be Forgotten
and it’s cover. With a wry smile and knowing looking, Krallice have released an album whose art features plenty of black metal overtones. The “kvlt” lettering and (lack of) color scheme leave little to the imagination with what the band is getting at. The homage, surprisingly, is more than a mere call out on a cover. Otherworldly synth work calls to mind early Burzum, while the ambient track “Quadripartite Mirror Realm” feels ripped from Wolves in the Throne Room’s Celestite
. There is even a Beastlor (who") cover in there. The band has always eschewed genre conventions, or rather, contorted them to their own liking, so a “return to their roots” feels surprising.That being said, Go Be Forgotten
feels much closer to a modern Krallice album than it does to their earlier, more traditional black metal work. Aside from a couple of aesthetic nods, Krallice’s latest shares about as much with genre norms as Prelapserian
or even Hyperion
. It isn’t standard black metal, hell, it isn’t even standard Krallice—it’s an amalgam of eight years worth experimenting condensed into one unpredictable release.
This unpredictability makes Go Be Forgotten
feel chaotic in a way Krallice have never felt before. As stated earlier, the band’s work is mechanical and calculating, converting black metal from a sound of earthy emotion to artificial precision. Go Be Forgotten
, on the other hand, features songs like “Failed Visionary Cults” that act as bursts which don’t immediately feel at home next to the title track, but couple with “Choas of the Living” makes total sense. Each song in itself feels like it’s matched with a counterpart, split in two and spread across the album. These constant start/stops feel intentionally jarring and disorienting, a feeling not typically associated with a band whose albums traditionally feel smartly planned.
From this haphazard nature to the surprisingly warm production, Go Be Forgotten
is an album of conflicting ideas, produced by a band whose very existence defines convention. Frenzied and and disorienting, Krallice’s eighth album is a monument of experimentation and a true surprise from a band that has become the model of consistency.