Thursday, January 7, 2016

Krallice - Ygg huur (2015)

Krallice is one of my favorite bands this century, just as Mick Barr has been one of my favorite guitarists of this century, but it really took grounding within the band/compositional structures of Krallice and having Colin Marston as a foil/co-leader to really be operational in a rock/metal setting. Don't get me wrong! I adore Orthrelm as they and Ocrilim/Octis were my first exposures to Mick Barr's work, and I will always hold them special, but Krallice gets over somehow, like it could be played on MTV and show up on VH1 Classix years from now for me to watch with insomnia. Ygg huur is Krallice's latest 'full-length album' (I haven't heard Hyperion yet!) and the more I listen to it, the more it sounds like Mastodon circa Leviathan channeling Voivod circa Dimension Hatross to me, and this is, of course, completely awesome. There is a bunch of black metal techniques in the construction of the songs, most notably in the dark-underwater-forest density of some of the riffs, but they sound lower, more pulled-in-and-down than is usual in black metal. Really, to my ears, this is a variety of technical thrash liberated to find its own new forms, carved from the elements of the past and the future. Note: Krallice's Ygg huur is named in honor of Giancinto Scelsi's compositions for violoncello solo 'Ygghur I-III' (1961). These explore sustained microtonal variations and really exploit the range and richness of sound rendered from a single instrument, from a single note. I am no Scelsi expert, I just dig the music, so if you like this stuff, seek out more about him. He was a fascinating person, abandoning twelve-tone musics after a nervous breakdown made him aware of the spiritual, transcendental possibilities inherent in everyday life, in all of sound. His 'Ygghur' sequence is in line with that era of his work.

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