You know, at some point, surprises stop being surprises, so listen, Krallice, just own up to it when you have new music, because we already expect this shit. You think we’re gullible as a nation and just fall for anything? Have you examined the state of the United State of America? Oh, wait. Fuck.
OK, I kid. I love Krallice and have since they started killing my means of thinking more than a decade ago, and it was with great joy that I woke up at 5 in the morning last Friday to download their latest opus “Mass Cathexis,” yet another daring, brain-liquifying collection that is legit one of my favorite records they’ve done to date, which is a weighty statement. This band is, and you don’t need me to tell you this, a mammoth of brain-rewiring metal that’s not even really belonging to any sub-genre. The band—bassist/vocalist Nicholas McMaster, guitarists Mick Barr and Colin Marston, drummer, of course, Lev Weinstein—brought back Neurosis’ Dave Edwardson to the fold for this album, and he just mixes right into their DNA. Anyway, fuck it. Let’s talk about this killer record.
“Feed on the Blood of Rats” starts with the guitars fluttering and threatening what’s going on before things start smashing shit, racing toward your mind. Wild yells erupt as the ferocious pace twists muscle, thrashing as the bass bubbles as we’re headed into new delirious fury. The vocals kill as daring, frantic guitar work pushes into the frost. “Set” mashes while hoarse wails scrape and the playing charges, with the bass wrapping like steel cables. Riffs splatter and get tricky as the drums explode, the pace mars, and everything bleeds into “The Wheel” where the guitars pummel the gas pedal. The music jolts and jabs like it’s eating into your anxiety while the journey tumbles and clobbers, making paste of your brain before it finally burns away. “Aspherance” changes things up a bit as it soaks in a synth bath before a proggy maw opens, and mad screams echo in your head. The guitars stir viciously as the leads boil and send heat, and the speed rages again. Mystical mauling causes your face to tingle as a hypnotic surge sinks in, starting to dissolve into chilling keys.
“The Myth” spills out of the other end as the bass slithers and guitars set the stage, thrashing and leaving bruising. The vocals burst, feeling like a feral roar, as everything pushes into cagey bass playing, chugging and smashing into an abrupt end. The title track bleeds in, shedding a Voivod-style path that acts like an alien menace as Edwardson’s signature snarl pounds away while the threat is realized (by the way, he legit laid down his vocal tracks like two weeks ago). Speedy vocals are spat out while the leads electrify, and there’s even a hardcore feel to the shouts as the music dissolves into time. “The Form” begins mystically, absorbed by the atmosphere before the wails cut away. There’s a gothy feel to some of this, as it feels like it’s ushering in a cold autumn afternoon while proggy zaps cut in and lead toward “The Formed” where guitars blast into body of the cut, enrapturing while your limbs are tied up. Wild shouts and mania combine as the guitars go off the rails, the elements splatter together, and the colors blur into space. Instrumental “All or Nothing” closes the record, starting in a colder pace as the bass flexes, and a bizarre ambiance floats. The track feels like it’s working into a strange dream state, dealing hypnosis that leaves you in an altered state.
It’s stunning that through 13 years and now eight records, Krallice never have repeated themselves or disappeared into silliness considering how goddamn ambitious their music is and has always been. “Mass Cathexis” feels like another baffling phantom that arrived here from the cosmos to show just how far ahead this band is from the rest of the pack. They’re very much appreciated and revered in their time, but Krallice, and records like “Cathexis,” are the texts that bands generations from now will use as inspiration to move their game to the next level.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/krallice
To buy the album, go here: https://krallice.bandcamp.com/album/mass-cathexis
For more on the label, go here: https://gileadmedia.net/