Krallice

Diotima

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AllMusic Review by

The third album by New York-based arty black metal band Krallice is the group's best work to date. Though the songs were mostly written during the same sessions that produced their previous releases, they seem to exhibit evolution, and a gradually expanding sonic palette. The basics of their sound remain the same -- high-pitched tremolo guitar, blasting drums, rumbling and surprisingly full (for black metal) bass -- but some of these songs, the title track and "Telluric Rings" in particular, are downright progressive, their complex structures and pulsing rhythms as reminiscent of Mahavishnu Orchestra or early-'70s King Crimson as of Mayhem or Marduk. The vocals, depending on who's handling them (sometimes it's guitarist Mick Barr, other times bassist Nick McMaster), are either a harsh scream or an ursine roar; the latter is more effective for being unexpected. Krallice, like fellow Brooklynites Liturgy, aren't all that interested in preserving black metal in the amber of tradition. They're taking what they like from the genre and amplifying its power by adding elements from prog rock and minimalism, then stretching the songs to extraordinary length (12-15 minutes at times) in order to push the listener toward cathartic transcendence. At their best, they're an overwhelming sonic force, and Diotima is their best album to date.

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