Krosis – A Memoir of Free Will (Unique Leader)

Friday, 7th February 2020
Rating: 9/10

Looking back at Krosis’ last album, Solem Vatem, it was a bit of an underrated gem. Some may have gotten scared off by the ‘deathcore’ tag, but those who decided to check it out anyway were privy to some excellent progressive and outside the box musicianship that dared to be a bit different. Two years later, A Memoir of Free Will sees them go even further to shed their skin in a way that seems suiting to the advancement of the band.

There’s a lot of intricate stuff going on at any given moment across the album. Progressive noodling, punchy melodies, and some big, brutal riffs all have their place within the band’s arsenal. The band has no trouble switching it up on the fly from track to track either – some songs have a feel that’s more akin to the progressive side of things like “Insanity: A Moniker of Me,” which bounces between more dreamy and esoteric melodies and straight-up bludgeoning riffs or the gorgeous opening to “With Virtue, I am Free” and it’s seamless transition into jackhammering rhythms. Other tracks have a more modern, djent-y feel like “An Intramural Madness” or head mostly straight for the throat with full-on heaviness, such as “To Persist or Adhere.” There’s a lot to take in for sure, and the way things are set up it leaves the listener excited to see what the band has planned next. This is no more apparent than the album’s last track, the 10-minute epic that is the title track. It’s a strong way to represent the end of the album and really hits upon all the band has accomplished up to that point. New vocalist Mac Smith fits in nicely with the band’s expanding influences and aspirations, with a vocal range that fits the rest of the band’s creativity – hitting a wide range within the extreme realm.

Krosis have stepped up their game from their debut release on all angles. It’s a rare instance where the ‘more is more’ philosophy does work. There’s more diversity, more technicality, more brutality, more prog – and all handled with a high degree of finesse and care. What’s not to love about that?

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