Krokodil – Nachash (Spinefarm Records)Sunday, 16th November 2014
Not exactly splitting hairs here, but had Krokodil’s Nachash seen the light of day a decade sooner, this would undoubtedly be a nu metal release. The constant, 100% annoying churn of go-nowhere down-turned guitars is the obvious capper, and even though the band replaced a would-be suburban homeboy with a one-dimensional screamer, the results would still be the same. Comprised of past and present members of happening Brit acts such as Cry for Silence, Sikth, Gallows, and…Slipknot (not British, obviously), the collective that is Krokodil try to present themselves as forward-thinking lot ready to join their progressive brethren, but seriously, this is rather devoid-of-dynamics stuff. Regressive metal, even.
The uniformity of the band’s songs, and in particular, their riffs makes itself known early on, where opener “Shatter” and “Skin of the Earth” engage in the raw, muddled, average guitar-scapes that have come to shape C-grade djent. Thanks to virtually zero tempo fluctuations or interesting drum patterns, the congeal starts to happen way too soon, even as attempts of variation enter the fray via acoustic guitars, or spiraling Mastodon-like action, found on “Porcelain Bonest.” “The Collapse” also works as the album’s other song of substance; oddly enough, a restrained, atmospheric jam with a spate of clean vocals thrown into the mix. (“Sun Riders” isn’t too far behind in its execution, too.)
Joining the uncomfortable surge of bland-o-rama riffs is vocalist Simon Wright, he who should not be confused with the former AC/DC and Dio drummer of the same name. Given Wright’s lack of tone and inability to pipe down for a bit, the sonic barrage that emanates across Nachash’s running order is disconcerting. So really, these guys are just a peg above nu metal, probably just as musically destitute, though. It’s just presented differently. That’s what ten years will do. Rubbish, they say.