Knoll
Metempiric


4.5
superb

Review

by DadKungFu STAFF
September 14th, 2022 | 90 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Trumpeting ecstasy, on Knoll’s terms

Of all the words that might be found in a deathgrind review thesaurus, "beauty" would probably be much lower on the list than such well-worn and beloved adjectives as “pummeling”, “unhinged” and the ubiquitous “brutal”. The beauty (yes, beauty) of Metempiric is in the cohesion between composition and utter chaos that are woven into its onslaught, a cohesion that is carried off both through the formidable technical ability of Knoll’s musicians and its conceptual unity. That this melding comes across as the product of an impressive artistic maturity belies the fact that Knoll’s oldest member is under 24, and its youngest is still in his teens. In spite of this relative youthfulness, Knoll approach their subject matter from a surprisingly philosophical viewpoint. The limitations of the human framework are the running theme of Knoll’s music, the disjunction between the human ego and his ultimate significance in a universe beyond all understanding. The continuing sense that I got throughout Metempiric was that of drowning in a maelstrom, being pulled into a vast, whirling assault on mind and body that nonetheless was only the product of the laws of physics, laws that don’t know or care about the fact that they are ripping apart a life. It’s a humbling, terrifying, exhilarating aesthetic, and one that Knoll carry off with aplomb.

Jamie’s vocal performance is among the most demented things you will hear this year, whether it’s a guttural roar or a feral shriek into the blackness, while the rest of the band sprints across that tightrope of chaotic noise and technical structure with an almost elemental ferocity. While it’s still pretty clear that Full of Hell are still the primary taking off point for Knoll’s music, Metempiric takes a more expansive, cavernous tack with their sound, more in keeping with their brand of cosmic terror. And, to be frank, where the influences converge more directly, Knoll seem committed to outdoing their forebears at their own game, whether in ferocity, sheer technicality or conceptual depth. From the fierce, immediate blast to the face of Clepsydra, to the sludgy, abyssal roar of Throe of Upheaval, carried by the wailing, frantic trumpet that acts as the album's lietmotif, to the utterly bleak interlude Dislimned, not a moment on Metempiric feels like a retread of Knoll's influences, but rather an outgrowth and a progression.

As the relentless 33 minute plunge into darkness runs its course, it seems at times that the whole endeavor is in danger of collapsing under its own weight and momentum. Metempiric does feels like an endurance test at times, in spite of its brevity, as the vision of the abyss that Knoll have created becomes a little uncomfortable to keep gazing into. There’s a palpable sense of claustrophobia throughout, made no less potent by scattered interludes that serve to punctuate the sense of cosmic dread, rather than offer any breathing space. The wailing trumpet interspersed through the album and struggling to pierce through a miasma of malevolent ambience is a desolate thematic reminder of Knoll’s big recurring motif: human insignificance in the face of a vast, incomprehensible universe. One of Metempiric’s great strengths is how seamlessly this theme is married to the maelstrom of dissonance and noise that is the music, and the total lack of respite throughout renders this nihilist vision all the more palpable. All Full of Hell comparisons aside, merited as they may be, Knoll have crafted an abyssal vision that more than stands on its own merits. Just hope the abyss doesn’t start gazing back.



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user ratings (103)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2022


4886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Short review: Knoll slaps

Demon of the Fall
September 14th 2022


33935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Niiiiiice! One of the best releases this year, glad it has a review now

will read this in due course

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2022


4886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just noticed my amateur ass left a sentence hanging wide open. Fixed now



Edit: more edits, wrote this at like 5 am and it shows tbh

Orb
September 14th 2022


9387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This needed a review so badly. Awesome to see it! One of the year's very best albums. Better than Trumpeting Ecstasy tbh

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2022


4886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really is, these guys totally came into their own after Interstice. Plus, there's literal trumpeting ecstasy on this

Demon of the Fall
September 14th 2022


33935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stellar review. Pos.



Yeah I love some of Full of Hell’s shit but this has a certain atmospheric charm. It might be >

evilford
September 14th 2022


64448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pos'd Knoll rules

DePlazz
September 14th 2022


4495 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Knoll gud

kevbogz
September 14th 2022


6114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mentempiric

DePlazz
September 14th 2022


4495 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Menoll

kevbogz
September 14th 2022


6114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

god i miss hawks

icatchthirtythree
September 14th 2022


1149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album fucks

ramon.
September 15th 2022


4186 Comments


sik albem

Million Ghosts
September 15th 2022


130 Comments


just saw them tonight, bunch of nice young southern boys who absolutely rip on stage

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2022


4886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

How well does their live show stand up to their recorded material? Would love to catch them live

Million Ghosts
September 15th 2022


130 Comments


soundwise it was a little off cause they were down a guitarist, but for the most part sounded just as massive and gross. they brought the energy though, i didn't catch the entire thing visually cause i was working the door actually, but what i did see had the vocalist snatch and play the floor tom and some sick trumpet fills

icatchthirtythree
September 15th 2022


1149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

saw them with Frail Body earlier this year - they are absolutely filthy live

combustion07
September 16th 2022


12822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn! Literally just threw this on and this shit comes straight out the gate like an insane wrecking ball on a rampage! Sick stuff that I hope keeps this level of intensity

Demon of the Fall
September 16th 2022


33935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It keeps the intensity but not necessarily the pace... and that's a good thing

Confessed2005
September 17th 2022


5573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a fucking good album. I'd never heard them before so I expect I will check out their other releases in time as well.



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