Album Premiere: Krakow – minus

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I am excited to premiere one of those genre-slippy bands today, Norway’s Krakow, who fall somewhere among the posty prog stoner sludge doom strata.

My immediate reaction to Krakow was noticing a band that has stand-alone post-rock instrumental chops who did the smart thing and added vox. What does it mean to post-rock instrumental chops? It’s all about the ability to create recognizable moods and states with just strings and skins as your building materials. “Sirens” kicks off with post-industrial paranoia that builds into complete madness with ever-changing vocal styles and effects. “Black Wandering Sun” is dread in a hopeless landscape. They create a pulse that connects with some hidden fear and resonates with it until you are forced into confrontation.

Of particular note on minus is the song variation. While making it slightly difficult to pin down the bands identity, they use the inability for expectation to their advantage. Perhaps my favorite track, “minus”, is a good example of this. Shedding the vocals, it’s a decidedly instru-post-metal track that has a hypnotising melodic build over a constant clumsy drum rhythm. The song breathes unlike the first four, letting excellent guitar interplay take the spotlight. Adding to variety, “Tidlaus” has a sort of slowed down Elder/Dvne feel up until its great conclusion with a powerful Intronaut-y group chant (or maybe it’s just one guy sounding like multiple, who knows).

Perhaps the thing I admire most about minus is that it’s a distillation of two albums worth of material. There’s nothing I love more than an album with no wasted space. Without knowing what was on the cutting floor it’s hard to say for sure, but an album this condensed is what every band should strive for.

Minus is out August 31st, get it here.

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