Krallice - Demonic Wealth
Experimental Black Metal
8 songs (52:43)
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Goat

Yet another surprise release from Krallice! And one heavily affected by Covid-related lockdowns, to the point where this is a real step away from the technical death metal-laced formula that they have been playing recently. With only Colin Marston having studio access, the other members were forced to resort to recording their contributions as best they could, in vocalist Mick Barr's car, on a phone for drummer Lev Weinstein. And as a result Demonic Wealth is their most purely black metal album in a few years, in both sound and aesthetics, with pleasingly low-fi guitars and drums, and often dominated by atmospheric synths.

This being Krallice, however, there's plenty of experimental technicality at play still, especially in the guitar riffs, which can go from twisted dissonance to textural backdrops to groovy chugging on the same song, such as Mass for the Strangled's diverse workout. The variety on show throughout the album is wide, starting with the demented psychedelic thrashing of Folds of Plasma complete with Slayer-gone-avant-garde soloing, and one of the more technical pieces on the album especially due to the frantic drumming. This leads to the near-Burzumic atmospheric piece Dilution, still with blackened drums and vocals but dominated by keyboards and snarls, the guitars taking a back seat. And the use of keyboards throughout the album is far wider than you'd have thought from Krallice, shifting towards more melancholic and even epic tones on Still and Sapphire, and closer to ambient sludge on the noisier Disgust Patterns.

You can tell that the band were in an experimental mindset, trying things out, and that's where the album's failings come to light. Nothing here is catchy or particularly memorable; it's essentially a series of experimental pieces that will interest you or not, and it's definitely not among Krallice's best albums. Yet those who appreciate technically-sound black metal and are interested in hearing this particular set of musicians' takes on it will find much to enjoy, and even as a snapshot of artistic working conditions it's fascinating. Despite the phone-based recording and so on this is all more than listenable and works when broken down to its components, essentially as black metal. Which is an interesting position to be in when considering Krallice, a band better known for breaking the boundaries of the genre than sticking to them!

It's easy to speculate as to what other groups would make far more interesting music if forced to thanks to lockdowns - would we get a compellingly raw deconstruction of thrash from Metallica, or just another St Anger, for instance? Some personalities would thrive under more necro conditions, and one silver lining to the pandemic's massive, black, miserable cloud will hopefully be a boost in how interesting the music we hear going forward... In any case, Krallice remain a vital act for blackmetalheads with each new release being somehow worthy of your ears, so Demonic Wealth would regardless be recommended with all its flaws.

Killing Songs :
Folds of Plasma, Mass for the Strangled, Resistant Strains
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Krallice that we have reviewed:
Krallice - Psychagogue reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Krallice - Crystalline Exhaustion reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Krallice - Prelapsarian reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Krallice - Hyperion (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Krallice - Ygg Huur reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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