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Krallice – Diotima album review

Melodic and crushingly heavy, Diotima is the newest record by New York Black Metalers Krallice. Introducing us to a very experimental and progressive side of Black Metal, the band has seemingly created a bridge to lead listeners that are timid or otherwise apathetic towards the controversial genre to a much more western friendly side. Not to say this record doesn’t have the gloomy charm present within European Black Metal. Diotima is a very honest representation of the past and present of Black Metal.

Diotima relies heavily on the use of multi-layered guitar tracks, which almost create a sense of urgency for the listener. The high speed tremolo picking adds heavily to the daunting wall of sound created by the hefty tracks on this album, most passing the 10 minute mark. I respect the massive song times in this band though, as a progression in sound is evident, so you’re not sitting there listening to the same riffs for this amount of time. It is as if you are constantly being introduced to a new chapter in the song. The drums are quite low in the mix, whether that was for ambiance sake or personal taste I’m not sure, but I did find it a little unfortunate as the drumming is quite impressive on a rhythmic and technical level.

The music as a whole works incredibly well as kind of a bleak vortex that draws the listener in and never relents. The atmosphere created is subtle, it creeps up on you after awhile and you finally realize how lost in the sound you really are. One thing that really adds to this are the vocals, performed by guitar player Mick Barr and bassist Nick McMaster. Agonizing and tortured, the tonsil tearing screams penetrate through and nicely contribute to the brooding and dark sound created by Krallice.

For a first listen, Inhume may be a good start for those unfamiliar with the band, as the others may seem somewhat intimidating with their massive length. For those ready to jump right in, the best choice is Telluric Rings, which features a brilliant blend of atmosphere, technicality and the haunting melodies that Krallice have created with this record. I also highly recommend Diotima, which is much deeper into the Black Metal side of their sound.

There is much to discover on Diotima, whether it be the eerie dissonance, masterful guitar work, or the gloomy atmospheres; definitely a little something for everyone.

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