Once again transcending the limited confines of Black Metal, New York’s Krallice have long left behind such easy genre ‘labelling’ and Ygg Huur – album number 5 – is another unsettling excursion into their diabolically distorted dimension of Blackened Progressive Metal.
In comparison to previous releases Ygg Huur is surprisngly short – clocking in at a relatively taut 35 minutes – but don’t be fooled into thinking this frugality has resulted in Krallice devolving and limiting their ideas. In actuality, the reverse is true; Krallice have never been so wilfully obscure. With angular riffs twisting and turning through thunderous walls of percussion, they appear leaner and meaner than on the likes of career highlights Dimensional Bleedthrough and Years Past Matter. Their sound has undergone a distilling process – and a restructuring – to such a finite point that the purity of efficiency overrides the somewhat rambling nature of old. This approach works, Krallice have never wilfully pandered to notions of acceptance but their is an accessibility to Ygg Huur that just wasn’t there before….you just have to be willing to search for it.
To reiterate, trying to ‘get’ Ygg Huur is akin to trying to force together four pieces from four different puzzles, the unclassifiable sounds these technicians produce individually proving beyond disparate and yet there is a thin strand tying the hyperactive hyperbole together. Clutching with bloody fingertips to the realms of understanding, these ‘songs’ move through so many moments of ostentatious and oblique passages as to perpetually confuse but somehow the puzzle does form a cohesive whole; even if the overall result can feel as unnervingly alien and abstract as a Jackson Pollack painting. A swirling maelstrom of tumultuous, cacophonous carnage, Ygg Huur is an osciallating head-fuck of an album that Extreme Metal fans will find accessible, Krallice just happen to paint on a canvas much bigger than the majority of their peers.
Sound intimidating? It is! Krallice are bordering on brash but what of it. They are to Black Metal what Metallica are to Thrash nowadays; forever rooted to their respective sub-genres but far removed from them in reality and no longer confined to ticking tiresome boxes in order to ‘belong’ or be seen as canon. Krallice are simply a metal band enthralled in the art of noise and the micro-managing of rhythm. 8/10