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Another trough in the wave - 65%

triggerhappy, August 26th, 2012

After the promising Diotima, Krallice have sunken once again with their 2012 release, Years Past Matter. It’s more or less a continuation of Dimensional Bleedthrough, using the same formula of complex melodies with the occasional dissonance here and there.

Of course, it still retains the same spastic songwriting, leading to the same issue of forgettableness and irritation. Every few minutes a section that makes you go “hey, this is pretty neat” appears, only to fade away and quickly devolve into yet another messy and unmemorable passage. The fluid polyphony so masterfully utilised on the debut is often nowhere to be found. Also, I can only recall Mick Barr’s shrieks appearing a grand total of two times; the rest solely consists of Nicholas McMaster’s throaty howls. Since I vastly prefer the former to the latter, this only serves to add to my disappointment.

Their biggest failing, though, is that they seem to have simply forgotten how to create a climax. They either truncate the song abruptly, break into guitar feedback for 2 minutes, or worse still, lazily throw in an aimless, uninspired ambient section that serves absolutely no purpose. It’s like they’re not even trying anymore. Track 5 doesn’t even do fucking anything, aside from playing around with cymbals and pointless dissonance. On Diotima, they at least had some interesting progressions, as well as a generally warm and misty atmosphere throughout. Years Past Matter contains no such progressions, and certainly no atmosphere; only a never-ending volley of mediocre riffs.

Admittedly, there are a handful of impressive standalone sections to be found in each track. In particular, track 4 starts off with a devastatingly heavy, almost death metal riff, which of course vanishes after a minute or so. Track 6 seems to have the most of such sections, but only because of its almost seventeen minute running time. While each section is rather impressive on its own, they’re all strung together poorly.

Yet, track 6 this is where the absolute highlight of the album lies. About two minutes before the end, it suddenly withdraws into a slightly ritualistic, tom-heavy segment, before morphing into a straightforward but grandiose passage, complete with a return of their beautiful polyphony, and finally exploding in a frenzy of synths and blastbeats. Granted, it’s pretty much a climax without a buildup, but it’s an extremely powerful one nonetheless. It’s a brief glimpse into the magic that they used to be.

Though Years Past Matter is quite possibly Krallice’s worst release so far, those with short attention spans may still be able to get a kick out of this. If anything, just head over to their bandcamp and listen to the closer to witness the sheer immensity of its climax. Seriously, it’s THAT good… it just isn’t good enough to warrant listening to the other 58 minutes of the album.