Bassist and leader from this 8-piece kindly sent me the band's latest EP for a review. Quite some time has passed from the receival time due to several personal problems of mine, but luckily it's still fresh because the Friuli Folk/Death metal outfit hasn't released anything else so far, thus the damage done isn't excessive.
The opening title track is really fascinating with its mixed flavour of styles: Death metal, a Nu metal refrain, Folk keyboards, a violin and whistles a few seconds before the guitar solo. The singer is only one but he does all the work: growling, screams and poetic clean vocals, and all of them with extreme smoothness. He's also the creator of the well-written wake-up call lyrics concerning the pollution and the ravaging that have laid waste to the ex-garden of Eden, our planet. Good are the guitar solo and the final lick, too.
Similar, but more Swedish Death metal in the vein of early Soilwork and In Flames and with a blastbeat that was absent before, "Aftermath", maintains itself lively and adds cold, formal effected vocal layers to the mixture, making the song as various as needed.
"My Siege" picks up from the Finnish Folk metal songwriting basic patterns without getting so happy as Finntroll, using the violin, the whistles, the bagpipe and keyboards in a more penetrating manner than earlier. The keyboards have the role of changing the rhythm and the atmosphere within the song, and this detail has been performed efficiently. This is decidedly the most brutal song of the three, and also the one where the triggered drums are busiest.
The songs are able to differ enough from each other, although the utilisation of the medieval instruments in each song; the very instruments don't offer excessive variety but this hasn't been an obstacle to the composition for Krampus.
The act possesses the skills for an album containing even more dimensional aspects and this must be their next goal. The album cover represents nature's revenge on a collapsed modern society's remains with a bag-pipes player roaming along the streets, which perfectly matches with the concept, the lyrics and the band's attitude using electronic modern keyboards and traditional old instruments together. Appreciable are also the intelligent lyrics, while the triggered drums, which could be acceptable within Death metal, don't seem to work too well with Death accompanied by pure undistorted instruments. The contrast between digital and analogue therefore turns unpleasant and the bass appears to be another casualty of the recording, being hearable only a couple of times; for sure the recording is clean, notwithstanding dry in the sense that it lacks the telluric force of relentless drums and fails to be present with vigorous bass lines. All of these stylistic choices don't pay with this genre, where a little more punch is needed to diminish the gleeful timbre of the wind instruments.
One thing I don't grasp is the reason why they've chosen a monicker depicting a devilish monstruous creature deriving from the Upper Adige lore and their Folk musical influences refer to Scottish and Irish tradition, when they come from another Alpine region with nothing in common with the two cited areas.
That said, the band has a correct look, seems to have serious intentions, and the EP entertains and calls for the play button over and over, meaning that the flaws are present, but if one doesn't pay attention to them, it's no tragedy at all.
And now, after the appetizer and an edifying video accompanying the title track, we wait for the complete meal in trepidation and with curiosity.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - Jan 30, 2012