Krallice's live shows, to everyone who would listen, for a few years now; I will continue to do so, because they are, simply put, one of the best live bands you'll ever see. I've documented how I came to love them on these pages before, I think. I listened to the debut LP a couple times and was not interested, but then, after seeing them support Wolves in the Throne Room at Great Scott in Allston, MA a couple years back, I was hooked. I bought the self-titled debut double LP from the band that night, and have played it close to a hundred times since, if not more. The rest, as they say, is history. I've seen them 4 or 5 times since then, and have been floored every single time. The intensity that they play with is unrivaled. There's no great visual effects, no screen projections, no smoke machine, nothing fancy at all. But when they play, they own the fucking room. It's hard not to give them your absolute full attention.
The first two albums were absolutely monolithic; it's hard for me no to look at them as monumental achievements in the last 5 years of metal. The self-titled debut established them as a truly great force to be reckoned with, through their unparalleled musicianship and their ability to write songs that were at the same time punishing and catchy. Dimensional Bleedthrough took their trademark sound (sorry, Krallice is not derivative of anything, especially Weakling; in fact, there isn't a band I've heard that they sound like or that sounds like them) and pushed it further into the experimental realm. It wasn't as catchy as the first record, but it didn't need to be.
Their latest record, Diotima, propels Krallice to the very top of the game; I don't want to mince words here - Krallice is now one of the best bands on the fucking planet. I admit that this album didn't catch on with me right away. It's always been good, but something about it didn't hit me as hard as the first two albums until just recently. I don't know what it was, but I also don't care, because now I can't stop listening to it. We all know what masters of their instruments these guys are, but there's so much more to this band than their technical precision. There are plenty of artists who can play with a great degree of technicality, but what's so interesting about Krallice is that their songs never sound overly technical. The best way I can put it is to say that Krallice doesn't sound like men playing their instruments; Krallice sounds like men that are absolutely possessed by their instruments through these incredible waves of sound. There isn't a more dynamic sounding band that I can think of; these gentlemen know how to keep a song interesting by changing things up every so often; the songs never get overly repetitive or monotonous. And damnit, no matter how many times I listen to Diotima, I hear something new, and get taken on a wonderfully different journey every single time. Something that I didn't notice before now stands out and makes me shake my head, something that just makes this masterful collection of songs unbearably good.
And I dare someone to try and find some passage of metal that is more intense than the last minute and a half or so of "Telluric Rings." Overwhelming.
So yeah, I've been enjoying the CD... until now, because I just received the 2xLP in the mail today, and the vinyl pressing of this album has elevated this record even higher. It's almost sickening to hear this band on any other format; Krallice is a band whose music is all the more magical on wax, and especially Diotima. I've just concluded my first spin through the vinyl, and I'm nearly speechless. Everything sounds sooo much better, and it's clear that there is so much more I've yet to hear of this album. I'll be playing this one for a long time, discovering new pockets of gold every time.
If you're a fan of this band, you must go to Gilead Media and purchase the 2xLP. It comes on 2 slabs of 180 gram vinyl, and is packed in a heavy gatefold sleeve. The best part? It's no longer a pre-order - it's shipping now.