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Krakow - Amaran CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.00 | 1 ratings

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4 stars Norwegian band KRAKOW has a history going back a decade or thereabouts, and I understand that all members are fairly seasoned musicians in their own right. As a collective unit they have released a good handful of EPs and albums since their formation. "Amaran" is the most recent of their three studio albums to date, and was released through Norwegian label Dark Essence Records at the start of 2015.

Dark Essence is a label I understand are well known for their orientation towards metal, and Krakow is most certainly a band that resides within that sphere of music. They are not your typical purveyors of aggression and darkness however, and they do bring quite a lot to the table on this particular production. There's not too much aggression at hand here either, although it does pop up now and then, whereas those more fond of introspective, bleak and subtly oppressive moods and atmospheres will find a lot to enjoy on this CD.

I think a good place to start here is with doom metal and possibly grunge and stoner metal as well, as I kind of get the impression that these make up the foundation for the escapades of this quartet. More often than not as distant echoes and shadows lurking beneath, but fairly often also with elongated passages and sequences exploring a more or less well defined take on those genres as well. Not all that often without some additional features however, so those fond of these styles in a more purebred manner will perhaps not be intrigued by this specific album.

What Krakow adds to these fairly popular takes on hard rock and metal are cosmic and psychedelic instrument details, subtle amounts of post-punk angst and vibrancy, a fairly liberal amount of fluttering nervous instrument details and textured instrument motifs post-rock style, occasional dips into m ore of a black metal inspired sound and a bit more liberal use of black metal inspired backing vocals complementing, supplementing and contrasting the mostly more melodic, controlled and compelling lead vocals. Arguably with something of a progressive rock approach to the art of compositional structures, theme and arrangement development to boot.

The album as such is fairly diverse actually, but the ongoing dark, bleak and subtly oppressive atmospheres does give it more of a cohesive expression overall, one that might be experienced as one-dimensional as well by those listening to music in in more of a superficial manner. Hence this is a CD that calls for those who listen with a certain amount of focus and concentration. Those who recognize themselves in such a description, who tends to find bleak moods compelling in general and who enjoys some variety to such landscapes such probably give a listen to this album at some point. Especially if these are explored within a context of doom and stoner metal.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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