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Krobak - The Diary of the Missed One CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.54 | 26 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Krobak is a one-man project by a guy by the name of Igor Sidorenko. He also has a lot of other music projects that have nothing to do with this style (which is a true testament to the guy's diversity as a musician and songwriter), but this particular project records mainly Post-Rock, so those who don't like they style of music already probably won't find anything here that will change their minds, but for those of us who do appreciate Post-Rock, it's quite a treat.

The album begins with an almost Asian-inspired tune before moving into the song proper. The first three minutes or so are very peaceful-- sounds like a lullaby. Then a very lovely, soft lead guitar section comes in. There are obviously a lot of influences from much better known Post-Rock acts, here. but there is still a lot to like, as well. The music found here is very simple, effective and emotional. I just love stuff like this. Always makes me drift off into very peaceful states of mind, and god knows we all need those peaceful times in our lives. I would say this is my favorite song on the record. It's just the right length, and has an eery sense of calm that really speaks to me. Just gorgeous.

Really cool harmonics start off ''By The Music of the Autumn Trees'', and soon a very sorrowful, dreamy tune comes in, and my heart soars. It's really great how Sidorenko is able to create all of these layers with guitar sounds. I'm very impressed by all the emotions and sounds he has managed to convey through just a single instrument. Despite the beauty to be heard here, I have to admit I feel the song stays a little too stagnant for a tad bit too long, but only barely so. By the six minute mark, things have finally changed again. and the song progresses forward.

A slow-paced middle section then leads into the first prominent movement with drums featured. Simple stuff happening there, but it gets the job done. Just before the song hits eleven minutes, things start to get a bit heavier. Things then briefly die down before finally the most powerful, hard-hitting moment on the record yet comes crashing in, full-force. There is then a rather nice, 'bouncy' movement of music featuring what sounds like sampled drums, but they are very tastefully handled. This particular musical direction continues until the track's end.

''The Fried Bull's Blues''. I love the intro. It's very avant-garde, and undoubtedly the most 'proggy' moment on the album yet. A lot of the first three minutes of this track is based on atmospheric soundscapes rather than actual music, but it also helps make this the most interesting moment on The Diary for me. It reminds me of the middle section of Pink Floyd's ''Echoes'' quite a bit, and serves the same purpose; to emotionally stir and upset the listener in a way no traditional piece of music ever could. Finally, at around 3:21, we get our first glimpse of real instrumentation.

The double guitar harmony section in this part of this song is quite lovely, but soon a very intrusive (but intentionally so) sound sweeps in out of nowhere at 5:15, and the first time I heard it, I actually removed my headphones, because I thought the sound was coming from somewhere in my house. Quite effective, I must say. Of course, that is not the only instance on this album in which environmental noises invade the calm of the music, and sometimes it works better than others, but overall it helps give a slight sense of unease underneath the otherwise placid soundscapes.

I wonder if perhaps this track also doesn't get a bit long in places. Overall, it's a decently paced piece, but I think some trimming here and there may have benefited it a slight bit. But if there are any slight lulls, they don't last very long, and at nine minutes, things are changed up again, this time making way for a very trippy, spacey guitar lead at around 9:23. Then at ten minutes, the distorted guitars come in again, wiping away the shiny veneer. This song is only halfway finished.

At near 11:40, a very groovy drum beat takes center stage while the distorted guitar slides its way into what could possibly be the record's darkest moment. It isn't particularly pretty or reassuring, and instead is quite angst-ridden and urgent in its attitude and presentation. I suppose that was the idea, and it does work, but I think perhaps it could have had a little more direction. But by fourteen minutes in to this, things seem to be back on track. More soaring guitar can be hard blanketing the roughness of the star guitar, which is still quite grungy and distorted at this point. This makes for a very nice contrast of styles and emotions.

More noisemaking that begins at 16:40 ends up being the remainder of the song, all the way to the 20:52 mark. It's truly bizarre how so much of this is coming from the guitar itself, and not additional pre-recorded noises. Obviously the latter is present on this record, as well, but on the whole, a lot of what you will hear that sounds like a synthesizer is most likely just a guitar being run through some sort of effect. Pretty inventive stuff, really.

So, it's a really solid effort. Nothing groundbreaking per se, but said it has to be? If you want some really cool Post-Rock stylings with heavy emphasis on atmosphere and mood, I think you'll be happy with Krobak's first studio album. I very much look forward to hearing a second full-length studio release in the future.

Happy (yet noisy!) listening.

JLocke | 3/5 |


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