Album: Hyperion EP
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: 1/1/2016
New York Progressive BM stalwarts re-confirm just how gloriously powerful they can be
New York-based black metal quartet Krallice are a band with progression a significant part of their gene pool. Featuring among their line-up guitarist Colin Marston of legendary tech-death band Gorguts (among others), their crisp but often long, ambidextrous compositions have largely enthralled the blogosphere and, in true USBM fashion, managed to keep elitists at arm's length. 2015's Ygg Huur, their last full-length, was full to the brim with their destructive technical ability, but the three track Hyperion EP reclaims the soulfulness and atmosphere of their earlier work in spades.
Apparently recorded in 2013, the material here traverses the line in terms of aesthetic between the two LPs it was sandwiched between. Their blinding connection and understanding as a unit is still fully apparent, but this re-shifts the focus back on to the sound-tracking of flights of fantasy through jaw-dropping landscapes. The scope of the title track is almost cosmic, especially as a lingering, thick synth haze rounds the track off. Their progressive tendencies come into the fore refreshingly on the meandering, sinister dirge that strikes the heart of 'The Guilt of Time', and the hypnotic riffing in the closing 2 minutes is as epic as the band have ever been.
On the 10-minute closer 'Assuming Memory' the walls of tremolo picking are at their most formidable, rising without remorse or restraint. The mist of feedback and textured synths has a sense of history and depth that many modern, unconventional BM bands seem to always be striving for and fall short.
Following the release of Ygg Huur it's hard to say whether Hyperion is a signifier of material to come. While we can slightly hope so, this EP is an exhilarating, beautiful little document that shows just how powerful Krallice can be when they're dealing with vision and emotion above how tightly they can play.
Key Tracks: All of it
For Fans of: Liturgy, Wolves in the Throne Room