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Krane : Pleonexia

Swiss Post-Metal band Krane deliver a thoughtful and in some ways authoritative sophomore full-length.

Now, here's something interesting. An instrumental concept album about war that actually speaks with a certain authority. Not just in its music but also in the message it conveys. Released back in October of last year on Frederyk Rotter's (Zatokrev) Czar of Crickets imprint, Swiss Post-Metal trio Krane have salvaged something half decent from the ashes of recent line up struggles.

The Isis meets Tool meandering of '1 : Strategic Level' is where the party really starts. Showcasing a sound straight from the practice room, 'Pleonexia' is slightly raw and digitally unfettered, but is no less a direct hit to the senses, with each component part nicely balanced in the mix. With the tribal drumming and looping guitar lines, the band seek to represent the "recurring sequences and patterns of warfare in illegal resource conflicts". And, I think it's those last three words from their press release that help separate Krane from the pack. Krane are a bit more focused both in the music, and the message.

The recording itself is progressive as well as simplistic. Grooves, melodies, and larger soundscapes are found, locked into, and played around with until their logical conclusion. Spoken recordings placed subtly within the tracks are the only vocals you'll hear on 'Pleonexia', and of course they are all entirely pertinent to the overall topic. Keyboards, when in stronger evidence, play lines similar to your favorite '80s sci-fi film soundtracks (or more recent nostagia-riddled tv shows), and it is perhaps the overall atmosphere, generated by all the instrumentation that is Krane's strongest suit. The guitars oscilate back and forth from textured strumming, some grander sounding atmospheres and a more standard Post-Metal riffage.

I guess, that it is in that last sentence where we find the defining quality, or otherwise, of 'Pleonexia'. Whilst being an interesting dive into conceptually progressive, Post-Metal territory, there is at times something fairly genre-standard about certain parts of the music. Not a bad thing in itself, but I feel Krane might be still be yet to fully find their feet after those aforementioned line-up changes. Let's just say, as enjoyable as the recording is, they aren't quite in the same league as Russian Circles for example. They blend their influences well, but they don't exactly hide them.

That said, I'm a huge fan of the Czar of Crickets roster, and Krane do nothing to damage that, because after all, it must be said that there are also one or two moments of brilliance. Not least the use of a recording of Minister Louis Farrakhan, taken from his infamous appearance on "60 Minutes" back in the nineties. Regarding the American government's record of warmongering and wider corruption, he delivers the classic line to interviewer Mike Wallace, "you should be quiet when it comes to moral condemnation". I never thought I'd hear that on a heavy metal record.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Deception
2. I: Strategic Level
3. Destabilisation
4. II: Operational Level
5. III: Tactical Level
6. Combat
7. Aftermath

Duration : Approx. 38 minutes

Visit the Krane bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-07-15 by Matt Halsey
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