Start Your New Year with a “New Album” from Krallice

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That’s right, the masters of black metal mystery surreptitiously released another album, granting us yet another look beyond the veil of our paltry reality. Hyperion is a three-track EP recorded in 2013 that clocks in at 24 minutes. In those 24 minutes Barr and friends remind us why they are the masters.

At the time of writing, I’m about halfway through the third track, so I can only offer my initial impressions.

1. As Karhu stated in the Facebook groupHyperion sounds closer to Years Past Matter than Ygg Huur. Since it was recorded closer to the former than the latter, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Third track “Assuming Memory” is closer in length to the songs on Years Past Matter, and stylistically, this EP seems to further explore the sort of deep-space probe examination of universal scope conducted on YPM.

2. It’s good. Very good. Hyperion takes account of its short time budget to bring all of the very best elements that make this band matter to the fore. The title track features the band’s signature use of delicate, graceful interlocution of the guitars and bass that always mesmerizes and blinds onlookers like a towering ebony Tower of Babel. “The Guilt of Time” revels in a swarming, scathing atmosphere of dissonant angles and thrumming machinery that wouldn’t be out of place on a Jute Gyte record. “Assuming Memory” is perhaps the most spellbinding effort, though, as it manifests in thin air before you, coalescing from the spaces between particles and constructing a rainbow bridge between your minuscule mortality and true transcendence. This epic conclusion makes grand use of atmosphere and a slowly unraveling structure born on the back of a shifting rhythm section. As always, the vocals dive and soar across each track like deft cranes showing you the way to enlightenment.

3. The album is named after Hyperion, the titan of light in Greek mythology who drew the sun through its clockwork movements on the back of his radiant chariot. As always, I can only conjecture about the reason for this christening, but the name feels right. This EP feels like an illumination, a solar glow guiding us closer to true enlightenment. It hints at the feeling of warmth and light that a great record can bestow. It welcomes you to take a ride through the stratosphere to find what lingers in the dark corners of your mind.

4. As with any release from Krallice, I’m certain I will need to revisit this album a number of times to grasp its inner light. That’s part of the thrill of being a fan of this band, though. As it stands, Hyperion is one hell of an introduction to 2016.

You can get the album digitally now, or you can pre-order a limited edition physical copy of the EP here.

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  • Celtic Frosty

    Excellent shit as always.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Most marvelous.

  • Guacamole Jim

    This is probably going to get me some hate, but a lot of the high guitar lines on Hyperion are reminiscent of Liturgy on Aesthethica. All it’s missing is HHH’s screechy bird voice.

    • No hate, you’re absolutely right. Difference is that krallice have songwriting skill.

      • Dubs

        I don’t like Liturgy, but not for the reasons a lot of other folks seem to have. My main beef with Aesthetica is that the tracks just sound like a mess.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          They suck, period.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Out of curiosity, why do they suck?

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            The songs aren’t that great. And yes I’ve checked them out. And there is so much more and better black metal to check out and listen to.

          • calling Liturgy “black metal”, that’s a paddlin

          • Dagon

            It’s transcendental black metal you pleb

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            That pretentious fuck.

          • Dagon

            He comes across as the insufferable art student type.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            But even that he tries too hard at.

          • Guacamole Jim

            “[Litugy is] perhaps the most spellbinding effort, though, as it manifests in thin air before you, coalescing from the spaces between particles and constructing a rainbow bridge between your minuscule mortality and true transcendence.” – W.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, and the riffs suck.

          • Dubs

            Crap

          • Dagon

            Hahhahahaha I lost it

          • Dave Vincent’s Perm

            O rly

          • “our music is like.. you know, it’s black metal that defies classification, you know. anyone who doesn’t like it, doesn’t understand music.”
            -Hunter S. Hunter of Liturgy

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            This just gave me aids and cancer.

          • Guacamole Jim

            I suppose that means the void is coming sooner for you, so…. happy new year?

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Don’t I cunting wish.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I hate this guy even more now

          • (it’s not an exact quote, sorry if i mislead you)

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            It’s fine. I hate him anyway.

          • Word has it he is also a serial philanderer.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I don’t get it.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I fucking hate him even more now. Womanizing is my pet peeve.

          • And now I can die fulfilled. Thank you JJD.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            You’re welcome.

          • Dubs

            Better than a serial philatelist.

          • Ew. No.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Exactly.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Yeah, that’s fair enough. I don’t mind Aesthethica, though it’s not ageing that well. The Ark Work was pretty interesting, but not black metal.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I could not stand The Ark Work at all and I love Sunbather and Deafheaven. The Ark Work was more pretentious than Tales From Topographic Oceans.

          • Guacamole Jim

            What about it was pretentious?

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            The fanfare usage, the whole sound was not my kind of thing. When I listen to black metal I prefer to listen to DSBM like Shining. This is not black metal, it’s prog and really shitty prog at that. Plus, Hunter is a colossal douche.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Okay – fanfare usage isn’t inherently pretentious. And saying that “the whole sound was not my kind of thing” doesn’t make an album pretentious – that means you didn’t like it. I don’t even think Liturgy themselves thinks The Ark Work is black metal, so they’d probably agree with you there. And HHH is a douche, but that still doesn’t make The Ark Work inherently pretentious, even if you don’t care much for his character.

            So if you’re trying to say you don’t like the album, then say that. If you’re trying to say it’s pretentious, I’m going to ask again for an actual reason why you’d say that.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I was wrong. I thought the usage of fanfare was unnecessary but mostly I didn’t like the sound.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            I think albums like The Ark Work become easily miisterpreted as “pretentious” because A) HHH is pretentious enough to cast a shadow on the whole band,
            for some – unexplainable – reason, certain type of bands get popular among a certain type of a crowd (known collectively as “pitchforkers”) and regardless of their pretentiousness, people who stand outside this crowd view everything of this particular kind that this particular crowd raves over as pretentious, regarldess of the material’s pretentiousness in actual.
            Savvy?

          • Guacamole Jim

            Absolutely. I get why the album has the reputation of being pretentious. I’m just calling attention to the difference between something “feeling” pretentious, and actually being pretentious. HHH’s whole manifesto reeked of pretentiousness, and it’s tainted Liturgy’s reputation. But I actually feel that The Ark Work eschewed a lot of the pretentiousness that Aesthethica had (especially in its almost complete abandonment of black metal, since HHH’s entire philosophy was based off black metal), and therefore reject the blanket assertion that simply because HHH is a douche that The Ark Work is automatically pretentious.

          • Dubs

            I didn’t listen to Ark Work and therefore have nothing to comment on in that regard, but what do you personally think makes an album pretentious? Are there certain sounds that are pretentious, or does it all boil down to the lyrics/imagery/philosophy of the band crafting the music.

            I’m not convinced music in and of itself can be pretentious, unless we’re talking something that is all style with little substance.

          • Guacamole Jim

            I actually think most of the time what makes an album pretentious is the audience’s limited understanding. It’s the go-to of the masses to dismiss something that’s too intellectual for them to figure out. That being said, HHH feels pretentious as all hell, because he created a highly specific, individual, pseudo-philosophy that basically said the music he was creating was the next evolution of black metal, implying all other black metal was passé (at best; inferior at worst). Had he kept his musings to himself, I highly doubt he’d have such a bad reputation, but because his “philosophy” was so public and so arrogant (and really nothing to write home about), everyone saw through his bullshit immediately.

            So I guess what I’m trying to say is I abide by the dictionary definition of pretentiousness: “attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.” That’s exactly what HHH did with his manifesto. But there’s nothing inherent in Liturgy’s music that makes them pretentious. The pretentiousness comes from HHH’s bullshit philosophy, in which everyone can see that he’s trying to impress the musical community by pretending he’s moving forward the next wave of heavy metal.

          • EsusMoose

            If I remember that pitchfork article and another article on black metal that HHH talked on, the way he sold Liturgy and (I believe) this album came off as pretentious making it sound like such a transcendental piece of music, shoving when you finally heard it you got some nice vuvuzelas blaring in your ear. HHH is in an infinite spirial of shoving his head up his own ass and he is the speaker for the group so that just defending the use of ‘pretentious’ towards them, it’s hard to differentiate a band’s intention when the one speaking is such a colossal tool. I would have to listen to both the Aesthethica and Ark work while reading the lyrics to really see how warranted the word is but shallow viewings of Liturgy warrant the use. That being said as you stated, pretentious is often used as an easy way to say I don’t like something without giving an actual reason. Time to eat lunch.

          • Saw them live once at a festival. Boring and shitty! They also used a drum machine live. Fucking dumb beyond belief.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Hahahaha, oh fuck. Yes!

          • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

            I had the opposite experience seeing them last year. Everyone else wanted to leave after Sannhet. Liturgy changed some minds that night, i promise. Amd they werent using a drum machine

          • Well, that’s certainly as step up at least.

          • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

            Although, i completely understanf the hate with Liturgy (less so with deafheaven), HHH did have a very feeble handshake

          • If you have to use a drum machine, get creative. Local melodeath band had the band after them go ahead and set up their drums, then they put a cardboard cutout of Han Solo behind the kit. HIS HANDS COULD EVEN SPIN THE DRUM STICKS.

          • WHOA

        • Dagon

          IIRC the Pumpkin Baby has some interesting reasons for liking them, and an eloquent defense. Never went back to check for myself after reading it, though. Skipped on their 2015 release as well.

          • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

            I like being the only one that likes something

          • Dagon

            I enjoy the feeling as well.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          My beef is they call it black metal. If they called it prog I’d agree with them but it would still be pretentious at the level of Rick Wakeman’s solo career.

      • Guacamole Jim

        It’s almost like this was the album Liturgy was trying to make, but couldn’t pull off.

        • To be fair, what krallice does is very unique and extremely difficult to pull off musically.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Oh yeah, for sure. I’m not demeaning them by making the comparison, just pointing it out as an observation.

          • Dubs

            I didn’t take it that you were 🙂

          • Me neither, I was trying to say that anyone trying to mimic krallice is going to have a very difficult time (tried it twice, ended up just copying windir instead)

          • Dubs

            I spoke to Christian about Krallice last year because he was trying to transpose the guitar lines from Ygg Huur. Their songs feel almost improvised, but every note is carefully planned. It’s truly impressive the way all of the instruments dance around each other to make an impressive whole.

          • Yeah that’s exactly it. As fast as some of their lines move, they create chords with all their notes together and it’s really impressive. I try to do that sometimes with my guitar melodies but I can’t do too much beyond the melodic black metal sound

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      Oy! Why don’t you do like a Dodo and make yourself extinct?

      *I kid, I kid – but I am not going to check Aesthetica out again, not even for verification*Ä

    • Dagon

      Is it because of the “bright” sound?

      • Guacamole Jim

        Yeah, it’s particularly in the high guitar chords, tremolo picked. The chord choices sound very Liturgy-esque.

  • Dagon

    Deep.
    Space.
    Probe.

    Hehehehe. Deep probe. Hehe.

    • 😉

      • Vault Dweller

        Looks like someone wants to experience the Party Probe.

  • interesting that material of quality this high went unreleased for a while. now here’s where i volunteer information for which nobody asked: present my favorite Krallice song “Litany of Regrets” from album Diotima

    • Dagon

      The riffs in this EP are amazing. They grab you on first listen.

  • EsusMoose

    The title track is fucking fantastic, love the shrill guitar riffs

  • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

    Figured it was gonna be good, fanboy

  • I’ve predicted who the authors are of both articles correctly so far today. I’ll take a bite of my PB&J sandwich to reward my self.

    Hail PB&J!!!!!

  • I listened to Ygg Hurr for the first time on Christmas Eve.

    I am excited to click play!

    GL

  • These tunes are banging. I enjoy the guitar tone as well as their frantic nature.

    • Futhermore, this is already on my EOTY list. HA

      • Dubs

        You don’t have a large pool from which to draw yet.

        • The logistics behind my list should be of no concern to you. But you highlight a flaw, yes. Lolz

        • Further-futhermore, I only comprise my eoty list from LP/EPs that I actually purchase… and I have not purchased this yet.

          • Dubs

            I’ll probably pre-order it once I settle my finances for the rest of the month.

          • i can’t remember, are you a vinyl bro?

          • Dubs

            Sometimes. Depends on the expense. I buy more CD than vinyl.

          • What do you think is your most prized piece of wax?

          • Dubs

            Probably my old copy of The Wall. Might be an original pressing. need to double-check. If not that, my Master-cut of …And Justice for All.

          • Very nice. I think mine would have to be the original pressing of Cream’s Wheels Of Fire.

          • Dubs

            NICE. I also really like my Portal/Blood of Kingu split.

          • I saw that one somewhere the other day for sale. I eyed it up but didn’t buy. Ended up getting Torgeist’s two demos and a couple more Vlad Tepes albums. Super stoked to have found War Funeral March on wax.

          • i imagine this band is well-suited for the format, being that their music rewards the listener for active listening rather than just background noise to work to

    • Sir Tapir The Based

      FRANTIC-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK

  • Lacertilian

    Damn, my mind always goes to the moon namesakes of all these Greek deities.
    Was expecting a space theme and a possible Enceledus follow-up album.

    • JWEG

      Anything that can remind me of Dan Simmons willl remind me of Dan Simmons, meaning I expected the ‘space’ theme as well though from a different source (RFI).

      http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Hyperion.jpg

      • Dubs

        The only book of his I’ve read is The Terror. Do you recommend anything else?

        • Bosse de Hosse Rosse

          I haven’t read it yet, but Hyperion, pictured above, is supposed to be pretty good.

        • JWEG

          I’m partial to his Science fiction, myself.

          The Hyperion Cantos are a good example, but I think Ilium and Olympos are where he’s at his best – weaving ‘soft’ sci-fi with hints of much “harder” concepts (the impression being: if he wanted to write hard sci-fi he could, he just doesn’t have to).

          What makes them most challenging but also rewarding, IMO, is how deeply interetextual they are. Wikipedia mentions a bunch of references (Homer, foremost, but also Shakespeare, Proust and Nabokov) but it misses several more (Robert Browning seems the obvious one, given the minor characters Caliban and Setebos).