Label: Karisma Records
Release Date: 31 August 2018
Format reviewed: High Quality Digital Promo
Formed in 2005 and with released three full-length albums and a bunch of EPs and splits, Norway’s Krakow proved that they don’t fall in any particular genre’s category but just play great music. Now Krakow’s new album called “minus” is band’s fourth length recording. Consisting of 6 tracks, it is providing some of the best post-rock tunes so far in 2018. There is a lot of music, layers and things to be discovered. The album definitely requires at least few spins before it begins to reveal its beauty. Actually it is cold, distant and very deep record. Even unfriendly. It is the stranger in the room, the one who doesn’t talk, the one who select to whom he would like to talk to at all. He doesn’t need to, he feels good enough with himself. The others simply wouldn’t understand him. No, he is not Mr. Know-it-all. He is different and he requires special approach to be understood.
“minus” is not the typical glazed proggy post-shite, joyful and smiley. “minus” is not the hazy riffy stoner. “minus” is ABSTRACT, but again – COLD abstract. It’s airy, but tense. The Bergen lads mix in an excellent way the 70’s rock roots, stoner smoke, lonely post-landscapes and even alternative/grungy grooves in order to create huge floating musical iceberg. I’m repeating myself here, but the album is difficult to be defined and put into a box, as everything the band has delivered so far.
The opening track ”Black wandering sun” features Phill Campbell, but honestly it is my less preferred track in the record, despite of the famous guest. I found it moreover into the rock/stoner/Alice in Chains/Audioslave spectrum. “Sirens” definitely reminds of a cold estranged Mastodon track, played in the solitude of the Northern sea. My favourite one definitely is “The Stranger”, where the loneliness and the time moving still mix in a gorgeous images of post progressive future, with grand explosion in the final part. “From fire from stone” brought me to the post psychedelia with its shamanic drums, chants and sleazy, distorted guitars. “Minus” is the Northern star of this story, leading the way to this next journey into the cold distant future. No minuses except the temperature of freezing the compass. The album ends with “Tidlaus”, a track of superheavy Doors meeting the sunrise of the failed present.
All that said, new Krakow’s “minus” is another excellent post rock record. It has its own very specific life, soul and story, but not for everyone. “…we are taken on a journey where “we all become stories”. For sure “minus” is among the 2018 hidden gems. Dare to find your way to it and to discover it. 8/10 Count Vlad
8/10 To Greatness and Glory
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