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08.08.2018

KRAKOW

Minus

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Karisma Records, 2018)

Karakter: 4.5/6

Krakow minus album cover.jpgThe experimental Norwegian weirdos that are Krakow are about to unleash this 6-track offering of theirs and I might as well start off by telling you that this is a challenging but ultimately rewarding listening experience. Why? Well, nothing is ever really straightforward or simple in the strange musical universe that these guys inhabit. There are so many twists and turns not to mention an overload of surprises that will throw you for a loop and make your head spin here. The tunes are dynamic and there is no shortage of diversity to "minus", but compared to earlier songs and albums there is a more organic flow to these brand new compositions, which is obviously a huge plus.
 
My main gripe with previous Krakow outputs was that they lacked coherence and cohesion, but the arrangements are luckily much better and slightly more clever than earlier on and the song material is strong, muscular, and confident this time around. One can tell that the ensemble have grown as both performers and songwriters, which is awesome, and it is most satisfying to discover that this new album of theirs is a sharp, focused, and highly disciplined affair with strong productions values to it. The vocals do lack a bit of conviction and passion in places and there are a number of meandering parts and sections that add next to nothing to the proceedings, but they are few and do not change the fact that Krakow have written and recorded their best one yet. It is quite thrilling to hear the legendary Phil Campbell letting it rip on album opener "black wandering sun" to which he contributes a smoking hot guitar solo while the introspective "tidlaus" has power and imagination to it, but the moving title track is unarguably the best Krakow piece to date. That one simply has to be experienced in all its dense glory.

As a whole, "minus" is an engaging, fascinating, and intriguing record that all you post-rock/post-metal lovers out there ought to invest in regardless of whether you are into Neurosis and Isis or Ulver and Mastodon – Krakow are fortunately pretty damn difficult to pigeonhole and that is undoubtedly a part of their charm.
 


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