New York-based experimental black metal group Krallice have today released their sixth full-length album ‘Prelapsarian’. It features the track ‘Hate Power’ which was released last month through the Adult Swim Singles 2016 collection, as well as three other brand new songs. I’ve only had the chance to listen through the album once so far, but stylistically it seems like a return to the highly technical, densely composed black metal soundscapes of Years Past Matter and earlier works. It was a disorienting, fascinating listen, full of intricately woven guitar passages and unusual percussion. I think I was expecting and hoping for more of the death metal-influenced style they explored on last year’s Ygg Huur, but it really is hard to pass any sort of judgement on a Krallice album based on just one listen, so I shan’t even attempt it other than to say that I really enjoyed my first listen. You should expect a full review of the album at a later date. Meanwhile, you can stream and purchase the album on Bandcamp below.
Putting aside much of what happened politically in 2016, this has been one of the best years in recent memory for metal. There were many, many albums I loved this year, far too many to squeeze into an end-of-year list. So I have limited myself to picking my ten favourite albums, as well as five ‘runners up’. And by imposing this particular format on myself I had to think quite carefully about my choices and what it is that makes that particular album stand out to me. And really what it comes down to, most of the time, is whether an album moves me. If an album inspires some sort of reaction from me on an emotional level – whether that’s in an emotionally resonant song or idea, or by crafting such a rich and powerful atmosphere that the listener is transported away from their everyday life – that’s what really makes an album stand out to me. So there were many albums which I enjoyed but which you won’t find on this list precisely because, even though they might have some great riffs or something else, if I didn’t connect with it then it’s not something that’s going to figure into my list of the best metal albums of the year.