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Krallice
Mass Cathexis


4.1
excellent

Review

by Xenophanes EMERITUS
August 18th, 2020 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2020 | Tracklist


Krallice’s post-hiatus work has been focused on surprise releases, organized entirely around particular themes; whether it is the heavier, Dave Edwardson focused Loum or the second-wave influenced Go Be Forgotten, the Brooklyn black metal explorers have percolated experiments into crystallized experiences. Mass Cathexis, the band’s ninth album, feels both a return to their original trajectory— before Ygg Hur and it’s heavier oddities—and a new phase in its own right. Mass Cathexis takes the salient lessons learned in Krallice’s experimental years, like shorter song lengths and more diversified riffing, and applies it to the quirky metal of their Interdimensional Bleedthrough and Years Past Matter era.

To be fair, the movement of Krallice’s abject sound has been minimal over their career. The riffs and production are still clinical and sharp, with Colin Marston and Mick Barr conjuring the same technical guitar and bass interplay that’s defined the band. This laser focus and obsession with an overtly “technical” sound are felt most strongly in the rhythm section, which Mass Cathexis features, again, quite prominently. Maybe this is controversial, but the aforementioned riffs and rhythm have always given Krallice the implication of a black metal band. The pieces and parts are there, but It became clear with Years Past Matter that Krallice was doing something different in black metal, especially since heading in a death metal-lite direction. Luckily, Mass Cathexis continues that trend while retaining the sort-of kvlt flair born in Go Be Forgotten. But make no mistakes, despite re-visiting familiar ground, Mass Cathexis is Kralice’s strangest and most unwieldy collection to date.

“Feeding on the Blood of Rats” opens Krallice’s ninth record per the usual—explosively and decidedly. Krallice rarely builds atmosphere inorganically, so soft intros and interludes aren’t deployed as is typical with their peers. With this opener, the band toys with a singular cadence that builds and contorts over five-minutes. It’s a delight to hear such grooviness, with the central riff feeling like a twisted carousel track.

“Set” follows but with a deeper, more churning approach. Marston’s ties to Gorguts feel on display here, as the guitar tones and brief and consistent eruptions feel very Luc Lemay inspired. The bass work here is divine, giving the low end of the track a particular weight. “Wheel” compliments with trickier, more unwieldy time signatures, and riffing. Notably, Krallice has seemingly adopted the Loum era vocals of Edwardson almost entirely, altering the tone of the first part of the record with a deeper and menacing voice.

“Aspherance” dreams up the album’s closest approximation of Go Be Forgotten. Light electronic atmospheres and distant vocals feel haunting and dark compared to the immediacy of the first three tracks. Being the album’s longest song, it has ample time to spread out its themes. With the added breathing room, “Aspherance” builds to an absolutely mesmerizing finale. Along with “The Myth,” Krallice have created moments of true revelation. They’re actually pretty in their own way. Much like “Go Be Forgotten,” Krallice pulls together tangible evidence of beauty amongst the cold technicality and dissonance.

The title track returns to the more overt and disarming heaviness of the first few songs. Some of Krallice’s most phoned in “metal lyrics” are on display, along with the beefiest death metal passages of their entire discography. Much of these riffs and time signature shifts could have come right out of the mid-90s. Despite the jarring transition, “Mass Cathexis” is a familiar and warm piece within a collection of work not known for such.

“The Form” and “The Formed” are a pair of songs that seem to be on opposite sides. The former is a slower, more plodding bass-driven song while the later is a rapid-fire riff mosaic. “The Formed,” more so than anything on Mass Cathexis feels totally “Krallice.” It’s buoyant and impossible to follow, while the vocals are absolutely on point. For those who miss the Interdimensional Bleedthrough days, this song is for you.

Finally, “All and Nothing” wipes away that “lack of “interludes and intros” mentioned earlier. It’s an eerie rumination on the atmosphere that closes the album in a surprisingly generic and unmemorable way.

This reviewer rode the early bandwagon of Krallice aversion. For those who found a new appreciation for black metals infant terrible, Mass Cathexis will feel more of what's been so engrossing these last five years. While it feels much more reminiscent of early Krallice than anything in the last decade (maybe?), the band has retained the focused and powerful songwriting of their modern classics. But rather than revisiting any era, Krallice has revisited every era, resulting in an album that may please everyone or no one at all. For this reviewer, it’s Krallice at their most playful and fascinating; an album that prides itself on the nearly 15 years of joyous experimentation which preceded it.



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user ratings (79)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
August 18th 2020


49301 Comments


track by track revival in 2020, nice

SteakByrnes
August 18th 2020


27411 Comments


Very 2000s sput review

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2020


28584 Comments


Whoa Xeno, didn't know you had gone Emeritus. Nice to read you in a longer format though.

And also, I like track by track revs. specially when I read them while jamming the album. It's like a visit through a museum lol

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2020


17439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gonna say, thought this guy was staffing? This still looks hella nice on the front page though.

JustJoe.
August 19th 2020


10936 Comments


congrats on turning em xeno

🥳

MotokoKusanagi
August 19th 2020


4290 Comments


Krallice always has dope album art

Space Jester
August 19th 2020


10294 Comments


Album rules

DarkNoctus
August 29th 2020


11907 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

definitely their best since years past matter

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2020


17872 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice opener

YuriZakhaev
September 9th 2020


795 Comments


"Krallice always has dope album art"

I've only ever known this band for the album art tbh. Gonna peep this later today


Orb
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2020


9042 Comments


10 replies on a new Krallice record review from Xeno?? Times are indeed grim.

Regarding the artwork... that is most definitely an editted picture of those recent hq shots a satellite got of Jupiter's surface. Wicked stuff.

bludngorevidal
October 29th 2020


289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cannot believe I'm only just spinning this. Dope record

Shadowmire
October 29th 2020


6659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah. i need to give it a few more listens too, i think

combustion07
October 29th 2020


10620 Comments


Didn't know they dropped a new one! Absolutely love their songwriting. Also possibly the best discographies in terms of cover art

Shadowmire
October 29th 2020


6659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i love everything about these guys.

zaruyache
March 5th 2021


25377 Comments


new album tonight bois

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2021


28584 Comments


Shit yeah, I had no idea!

loveisamixtape
March 11th 2021


11699 Comments


gotta check this and the new one

Veldin
March 12th 2021


4809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah same, need to jam this and their new LP. I listened to Wolf EP bc it's on Spotify, but these aren't. Still available on Bandcamp! Anyone know if Wastes of Time compilation is remastered or remixed? Iirc it's their first 4 LPs collected so I assume Colin tweaked em

zaruyache
March 12th 2021


25377 Comments


The first 4 Krallice albums, RE-mastered by Colin Marston at Menegroth the Thousand Caves 2019.

http://krallice.bandcamp.com/album/the-wastes-of-time



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