15 Mar 2021 - Pat O'
Topik is full on attack of the senses with its crisp, metallic and hard-hitting blend of “Post Metal”. It’s brimming with intensity and ferocity, and invokes visions of a world that’s dark and futuristic. Its melody and power will consume, and does not cease until the very last note. Krane bring you on a wild and meteoric journey.
Facebook use to be something I could happily either take or leave it. However, over the last 2-3 years, it has morphed itself into a vast musical chasm for me to chat, listen and appreciate great music with fellow fans, rather than a social media outlet where I can find the latest offers from Wish, or watch some clown fall through an iced over river!. But it’s because of my preferred relationship with FB that I have found bands like Krane. I mean, how does a guy from Cork, Ireland hear about about a band from Basel, Switzerland!The likes of Where Post Rock Dwells and other similar platforms are the jewels in the crown, the middlemen between bands and mere followers like myself. Their presence should never be underestimated. I could drop names all evening of people and platforms that have inspired and pointed me in the right direction musically, but I wont punish you with that. Instead I’ll get straight onto this review because it’s an absolute gem. Let’s begin with the opening track, Prolepsis
Prolepsis wanders into your headphones with deep swirling synths, waltzing from your left eardrum through to your right, triggering a roll of drums that sets you up for a huge, heavy riff that hits without warning. Synths continue to swell, with precision drums conducting the track. There’s a brief moment given to refocus and appreciate the quality and talent on offer. After that, the intensity and sheer power in their sound accelerates and continues to push the limits. Chunky and heaving guitars flex their muscles as the atmosphere shifts, all the time being driven by an eighties inspired computer game soundtrack.
Track number two, Galene is hard hitting, guitar driven post metal. It’s filled with multiple layers and textures, with an incredibly wicked hook thrown in for good measure. Its flashes from thundering downpours to midsummer showers, creating the perfect blend of light and dark. It’s really interesting to hear the power and intensity that’s created in their delivery without having to distort or dirty up their sound. It goes a long way to demonstrating the vast and creative nature of post-metal and its willingness to be interpreted in so many ways.
Techne follows suit and begins with strumming guitars, rich atmospherics and pounding drums. It all gels and blends together to create this barrage of power and energy, with its heavy riffs and incredible percussions. Tempos change, and an angry bass lick leads to a serving of melody and relentless ferocity that will have you jumping and heaving inside. It will literally send you into rhapsody, with its onslaught of melody and organised mayhem. The drumming on this track is truly a standout instrument for me, and is the kind of track that you never want to end. This genuinely blew my mind and is most certainly one of the best tracks I’ve heard in 2021 (I know it was released in 2020!).
On first hearing this album, I couldn’t help but make comparisons to another modern post-metal favourite of mine, Astodan. Their sound is alike, in that its crystal and metallic, fresh and gargantuan. Its literally adorned with melody and ferocity, and cleverly broken down with gorgeous moments of calm. There’s no hellish vocals or guitars down-tuned to the earths core, but it still manages to rip through your insides and leave you shaken and fulfilled.
Gnome and Phobos continue the whirlwind of sound with some brilliant spoken passages and more of that potent power they seem to have in abundance. These guys seem to have a furnace in their bellies that is almost burning out of control. They already have two other albums under their belt in the shape of Ouroboros and Pleonexia which I have yet to listen to, but after the experience I have had with Topik, I plan on giving them my full attention.
Anamnesia/Prolepsis is quite simply put, a powerhouse, revisiting some old school riffs and blending them with some catchy and very effective synths. This is very heavy metal played in modern day 2020 and I love the nostalgic moments it gave me as I headbanged my way through it, riff after riff, as the kids looked on in horror!. The closing track Skepsis begins grand and opera like with its stringed presence, and without blinking, cleverly turns into a scene from Stranger Things. That closing arrangement is probably needed after the full 360 degree roller-coaster of sound that you have just staggered off. There isn’t a moment in this album where every opportunity to create drama and awe wasn’t utilised. This album, for me, is an aural avalanche that I’m more that happy to be engulfed in. A brilliant release.