Krallice – Diotma (Profound Lore Records)

Friday, 22nd March 2013
Rating: 8/10

No one riffs in black metal like Krallice, and while calling them “black metal” might be a sore spot for some, their ability to manipulate riffs and guitar constructs are sometimes jaw-dropping. On their third album Diotma, the New York-based quartet create an out-of-the-box spectacle that topples their auspicious self-titled debut from three years ago.

Basically, the whole album falls on the shoulders of the Mick Barr/Colin Marston guitar tandem. The pair create a cacophony from the word “go” and their one of the more daring duos in BM. The frenetic buzzing on album highlight “The Clearing” is an instant point of reference for what they’re capable of, especially when they lock horns for some melodic guitar bits. The title track also slides in some savory melodies, using them to create a mid-tempo romp that works splendidly.

In what is clearly some type of anomaly, Diotma’s ability to rein-in long songs that stretch over the 10-minute mark is another defining trait here. “Litany of Regrets,” “Telluric Rings” and “Dust and Light” (which is at 9:33 mark, actually) all are long-winded compositions, that are simply full-speed ahead, rarely falling out of step and disengaging the listener. It has a lot to with the riff combinations presented, if anything else.

Hard to peg a USBM band with more riff-savvy and gall than Krallice. This sort of “advanced” take of the black metal riff idea is going rankle those who can grasp moving past the rudimentary chord structures BM is built upon. But for those who can find something to hold onto, then Diotma is the definition of “thinking man’s black metal.”

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