Karg – Traktat (AOP Records)Friday, 6th March 2020
Karg, the solo project of Harakiri for the Sky’s J.J., seems to function as a deeply emotional outlet for him. Ending an excellent trilogy of records with undoubtedly the most heart-wrenching entry of them all, one could say that J.J. wanted the listener to share his pain.
Indeed, the melancholy of Traktat is so palpable that one would undoubtedly understand the turmoil that this album’s borne out of, even if you don’t comprehend the lyrics. Swirling melodies, pristine guitar tones equally mixed in with forceful and brutal arrangements, the whole record is indeed a purging of the artist’s inner maelstrom. The record feels like it goes on forever, the tracks seem to blend into each other but do not take that as a negative critique. Rather, the plateau that these collection of songs hit for the most part is a testament to the powerful trance, a spell as if to freeze time as you drown in the sorrow and catharsis in this masterfully crafted musical memoir.
Reminiscent of the arresting beauty of Alcest, this album definitely is an early highlight of 2020. I am left to wonder if there’s a record in the horizon that can rival the sheer weight and simultaneously depressing and cathartic atmosphere.