Even in this so-called digital age of information where anyone can have anything delivered right to their mobile phones in the blink of an eye, there are still moments where items, music, movies from outside of your physical domain slip by completely unnoticed; and, quite frankly, this whole circumstance is proof to me that there is still some mystery left in this “big brother” world of ours that keeps us honest and interested. Well, my personal experiences with Kodiak are an exact example of finding a band from overseas that I would never have given the time to simply because their song (MCCCXLIX (The Rising End) , coincidentally on this massive two disc retrospective) on a split with Nadja (a group that is a major obsession of mine), which interested me enough to go check out their first self- titled album; listening to the album instantly made me a fan of Kodiak and led me to tracking down their discography.
First though, let me jump forward a bit here because ultimately we are not talking about obsessions or fanaticism but rather the intense musical compositions that the mysterious collective known as Kodiak offer here on their self-titled “discography” (this gargantuan 2xCD set really collects their one album, their split with Nadja, their split with Black Shape Of The Nexus, the recently released collaborative LP with the even more obscure N, and a track meant for a compilation that never was properly released). Kodiak sound like a massive sonic wall no matter what they are doing musically whether it be the orchestrated opening to “Beginning” (which kicks off this set) or the hammering power of doom-esque suffocation heard in “Town Of Machine”; the band deftly uses ambient sounds and motifs (check “End” for some insight) to craft these monolithic compositions to seemingly explore further levels of dynamic interplay in their music as well as some improvisational, almost jazz like tapestries in “Radon” and “Xenon” (probably due to the N collaboration but shows why such a collaboration can be a success) . The major issue with Kodiak’s modus operandii seems to be the length of these songs (for some people I can see this)because there is only one that is under ten minutes and all the rest clock in at well over sixteen minutes; this is no issue if you sit and immerse yourself in the music and understand that these pieces are all the right length for the band’s artistic vision, but not everyone has the attention span or the aural endurance necessary for listening to the whole release.
Even though this is a “discography” (this release leaves off the incredibly small pressing of their first EP completely, and I still have never heard that), the music on this 2xCD set should be the one release that catapults this outfit into a wider audience as the music is superb and the label (Denovali) took great care in packaging this fantastic release, but will a majority of people outside of Europe hear of this powerhouse or take the time to investigate Kodiak… hopefully because this is that good.