Krallice was a band that was working like a Swiss clock watch. They were very punctual with their releases, putting out album after album, with just about one year gaps between each release. That was the case at least until and including the release of Years Past Matter. That was also the first time that the band did not release their music through Profound Lore Records. Ygg Huur comes three whole years following the release of Years Past Matter. That wait was quite scary, but it also raised anticipation for what Krallice would do with their music and what we would experience from a new offering from the band.
The first aspect that comes into perspective, before even hearing a single note from the album, is its duration. Krallice's albums would span for at least an hour, even stretching to about eighty minutes as was the case with Dimensional Bleedthrough, but for Ygg Huur that duration has been halved. So, where does that lead to? Krallice would have to fit all their intensity, ferocity and technicality within the given space, something that they are able to brilliantly pull through, and come out much more focused and raging as a result.
What has been the main benefit from that switch in duration is the density that overwhelms the structures of Ygg Huur. The heavy layered parts in “Tyranny of Thought” is just an example of how relentless the music of Krallice can become with this application, as multiple guitar parts coexist, creating a remorseless sonic tower. The imposing characteristic is impressive, and it retains that quality no matter whether the band is creating havoc, or is resorting to some slower tempo changes. “Bitter Medication” is another case of the excellent layering that Krallice apply to their structures, creating a suffocating environment. It also works great with the pace of the track, from the strange groove that is awakened to the maze like chaos that spirals from the guitars.
That ease in switching up the pace and carrying on with the same force and dense structure is a highlight of this record. In “Wastes of Ocean” the manner in which the tempo twists and turns does not leave you much of a chance to breathe through this tormenting pathway. The faster approach is explosive, but then the mid-tempo groove is equally unforgiving. The same applies for “Tyranny of Thought,” as the band reaches a whole other level of versatility. How the band is able to move from the heavy groove parts to the full-blown blastbeats blazing moments with such ease is a mystery, altering their form in a protean manner. In an even more frantic method, “Over Spirit” is unfolded, really driving you to the edges of your sanity with its start and stop approach. Led by the drums, the performance in this one gets ridiculous, while the pressure that it applies is tremendous.
It just comes down to the ability of the members of Krallice, and that is what truly shines in Ygg Huur. No matter how the pace is dictated in “Over Spirit,” the guitars will always be able to adapt and change from the heavy approach to the more frenzied incarnation in the blink of an eye. Their vision is flawless, and their technical ability undeniable from the very first second of this album. At times they even appear as almost a guitar clinic, as it occurs in “Wastes of Ocean,” and especially the ending part of the track, which gives you an idea of how crazed things can get. Something that also completes the closing track of the album, “Engram,” as it is led to a frenzied, insane feast of dissonance.
Discordance, which is the most valuable weapon in the arsenal of Krallice. A major part of their music, the addition of such guitar parts is overwhelming in this album. Sure, it was always a big part of the sound for Krallice, but in the case of Ygg Huur this has been extended. And there is a multitude of ways that the band can inflict that damage. In “Wastes of Ocean” the band takes a more direct approach in the first part of the track, with its more in your face attitude, while at the second part it adapts a more indirect methodology, revealing the ingrained nature of dissonance for Krallice. “Bitter Medication” is another instance of how the music of Krallice is drenched into this harsh quality, making things quite extreme, even for Krallice's standards, and revealing that chaotic core. The spiralling parts of “Tyranny of Thought” and the drunken technical supremacy of “Over Spirit” just show how without limits is the sonic vision of the band. However, there are also occasions when Krallice tend to move towards more conventional (just a touch) pathways.
The eerie black metal sound is also present in Ygg Huur, as it was in all previous releases of the band. It also radiates this time around that cold, ethereal vibe that is found in moments of “Wastes of Ocean,” and at times it manages to merge the technical and black metal sides to a more coherent result, as is the case with the ending of “Bitter Medication.” There are even instances, when the deadly, eerie part will move towards the melodic domain, as is the case with certain moments in “Tyranny of Thought.” However, Krallice do also make a quite big leap towards their more melodic side, as the opening track, “Idols” lets on. Now, I do believe that this is just a twisted trick, with the band deciding to give you a few minutes of more easy to handle stuff (still quite twisted compared to other bands) before they drug you down the rabbit's hole. The track is still glorious and a great opener, which makes the bait even more tempting.
Every album of Krallice is difficult to handle, taking into account also the length of their releases, which makes what Krallice have achieved with Ygg Huur even more astounding. They managed to cut the duration of the album in half, and make it even more difficult to experience than their previous, longer works. Less hooks, more dissonance and concrete density rule over the music of Krallice. The unusual (in terms of the band's history) wait was definitely worth it.
8.1 / 10
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