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Kroko - Rabia CD (album) cover





3.00 | 2 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars "Rabia" is a studio release from Finland's Avant Garde/ Noise engineers Kroko. An obscure band initially, the band are now accessed more easily on their bandcamp site where the whole album can be enjoyed... or is that endured? I say endured because for most this is not going to fill up a Saturday Night's evening of relaxation. Indeed this cacophony of sound may only just pass as music as it is primarily experimental noise with a ton of percussion and some downright eerie passages of feedback. When I first heard this I was gobsmacked at how off the wall this was. It is a dark journey into extreme improvised drum bytes over ethereal electronics. Somehow it manages to hypnotise with its dissonant soundscapes. Occasionally the drums explode with a fury unheard since Christian Vander was unleashed on Magma's albums. It often sounds as though the sound is cutting out by accident but it is intentional chaos.

The machine gun killer crashes on the opening track Entre Gusanos are ferocious and it builds into the mesmeric Röntgen and the uncomfortable blasts on The Clown with a Smelly Breath and a Brown Nose. Stop De Punk more so passes as music as we hear some guitars and a booming bassline, though it still sounds like an explosion in a music store. After two ridiculously short outbursts less than a minute we are treated to a thrashing piece with Meat-Eating Rednecks and their Idiot Children, that I really got into. It is again all over the place musically but there is a semblance of rhythm though the guitars are off kilter sounding out of tune and are those real chords they are playing?

By the time we get to Burning Soul I am reminded of the more wilder side of King Crimson at first and then it goes into a freak out of the noisiest instrumental cacophony I have heard. It is definitely Avant, perhaps more like Univers Zero, Faust, Ruins or the works of Toby Driver at its most manic. It segues directly into the lengthy Burning Moon that settles into free form improv ambient sounds. The guitars twiddle some distant lost melody while sizzling percussion and jazzy basslines emanate. I adore this sound as one is never sure where the band will move next. It is a departure from anything remotely related to music as we might be used to and the unfriendly nature of the music is its very appeal.

The last tracks are the tranquil ambient Kalma, that floats along with upturned violin sweeps on guitar and definitely has a dreamy effect, especially after the aural assault previously. It feels out of place and even accessible but this is quite a jolt to the listener, and proves the band are good enough to produce pleasant music.

Exorcism and Relief closes the album with a sonically violent drum pattern and loud crashes of doomy guitar to remind us we are still with Kroko. This wake up call has a King Crimson guitar sound and jamming vibe that builds into strong dissonance and gut wrenching distortion reminiscent of Sunn O))). There is an extended percussion piece with experimental sounds as inventive as Bill Bruford's early years. The echoing clinking and clanking is joined by Frippian guitar and a wonderful ominous drone.

Overall I enjoyed being treated to the different side of music with Kroko who dare boldly to venture into exploratory sounds in order to convey new meanings to musical emotions. The music is emotional in that it evokes instantly feelings in the listener, and for some it is definitely going to shock and perhaps irritate with its use of noise and off beat angular rhythms. However, this is far better than the schmaltz and love soaked drivel heard on commercial radio these days and far outweighs a lot of the boring nonsense churned out of the manufactured rock idol universe that has become popular fare. I believe we need groups like Kroko to make us sit up and take notice, and even question the meaning of music and its effect on our senses.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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