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Forgotten Silence - Kro Ni Ka CD (album) cover

KRO NI KA

Forgotten Silence

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.94 | 16 ratings

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Insin
4 stars Kro Ni Ka ('Chronicle') is the fifth album by Forgotten Silence, an esoteric band that does not fit into any established genre of music, except perhaps the under the vague categorization of avant-garde (which, let's face it, essentially means 'weird'). Unlike in the past, the Czech Republic-based group opts for a relatively straightforward progressive rock album, an hour of music containing only three lengthy songs, none running below fifteen minutes.

Structurally, each track is free-flowing, without much emphasis on repetition. Changes are rarely drastic as the songs evolve smoothly over their runtimes, but there are some good dynamics in each epic. Songs may reach quiet parts and start up again without coming off as fragmented or disjointed. However, the album's largest flaw is in this area of structure; none of the songs seem to begin with the end in mind, thus making them sound directionless at times. The whole album is reminiscent of a jam session, although there are more complicated, coordinated parts that confirm that there must have been prior rehearsal. However, this jam-like feel is not as large of a problem as it could have been, as the whole album is engaging and interesting.

In terms of sound, Kro Ni Ka is by no means strictly a metal album, though it is not without its heavier moments. Forgotten Silence is an eclectic band, but most of the riffs on this release have a basis in rock, and they are largely without their experimentations in Eastern folk, metal, jazz, etc. Kro Ni Ka probably cannot even be called avant-garde, perhaps just prog in a more traditional sense. If each song was split up into shorter sections, and these sections were mildly normalized structurally and given vocals, the album wouldn't be so inaccessible. The runtime of these tracks is especially what can make them so hard to get through for those unaccustomed to songs of length.

Kro Ni Ka is not atmospheric, but it does feature some mood changes. Containing darker portions, much of it is actually quite upbeat as well, notably the grand finale of Mezzocaine to close off the album. They keyboard is the central instrument and Marty produces some absolutely fantastic soloing, a definite highlight of Kro Ni Ka. He mostly keeps one tone throughout but occasionally opts for a church organ, as in the beginning of Declaration, a grand piano, and even the alien/sci-fi synth sound. The bass is pleasantly loud, but the vocals aren't. Between their tendency to be inaudible and how they take the form of only spoken word, I would consider Kro Ni Ka to be an instrumental album. The vocals are secondary and designated to the background, indecipherable whispers that sound as if they have been filtered out.

In the end, Kro Ni Ka isn't really metal, and it might not even be avant-garde like other works by Forgotten Silence. The best description I can think of is a jam-like prog odyssey. Either way, it is an excellent album from a band that defies classification. While it could have been more focused, with each song maybe building up to something instead of meandering about, it is overall a solid release.

Insin | 4/5 |

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