“The Darkness is churning – I watch the beneath”
21st of August A.B. is the day when Kringa released the very first full-length album of its rather short but interesting career. After a couple of well received demo tapes and EP’s released during the previous years, it was about time for the 4 Austrians to come out of their woodland shelter and spread their poisonous gospels onto the unsuspecting mankind. The fact that the album “Feast Upon the Gleam” was released by Terratur Possessions came somehow as a surprise (at least for me), considering the attention the label (mostly) pays to its fellow Norwegian part of the black metal spectre. But that makes it even more rewarding, since this label is well known for releasing high quality bands/projects. And Kringa’s new album is no fucking exception.Following in the same steps as their other records, “Feast Upon the Gleam” is a scary monster hungry for your blood and soul. The album contains 6 songs that have an almost mystic aura, due to their intensity and length, which in their case has worked like a charm.
Through the whole duration of the record, the 4 musicians put your senses to the test, stab you with aggressive and abrasive riffs and tempos while challenging your mental health with slow and haunting parts. The album’s backbone is of course made of black metal, but there are also other layers and sounds added in this cauldron which come from different musical territories and shape these long songs into a brilliant piece of obscure art.
Take, for example the second song, “Unwind the Gap Anew”, which starts with a post punk beat and riffs only to explode later on into a desperate black metal frenzy. Or the beautiful “Cloak of Unbound Fears”, where punkish rhythms and melancholy blend in a spiraling dance of contrasts. The gate they opened with the debut EP “Total Mental Desecration” is still there, inviting you on this twisted path of insanity, but this time they added some elements which made their music even more intriguing.
If on their previous releases the sound was pretty raw and “unprocessed”, now, thanks to a very good production, it has been replaced with a clearer one so that the music could be heard in all of its horrible splendor. The bass guitar is perfectly audible all along the album, playing a solid role in the songs structure and overall atmosphere.
As for the vocals, which are one of Kringa’s trademarks, they have kept that wicked alternance between Spectres’s growls and Teeth’s maniacal high-pitched voice. The two vocal styles combine perfectly all along the album, reaching their demented climax on the last track, “Eyes of Stone”, where the screams of anguish gradually pierce your brain.
Taunting you with dark visions drenched in thick smoke, the 6 tracks that made it on the album are the best stuff Kringa has released so far. For me it’s absolutely incredible how this band has evolved during the years, to the point of fucking up your mind and system with such intricate lyrical structures and long depressive tracks while still possessing that pure and simplistic primeval feeling.
Just like the simple but impressive album cover, the music is grey, beautiful and crushing. Push the “play” button and from the first guitar riffs of “As Kaleidoscope Patterns Arise”, you’ll drown in the black and murky waters of Kringa‘s music, only to come out shaken and battered. “Feast Upon the Gleam” is one hell of a ride to the abyss and back which will definitely leave you scarred and agonizing.
The end result is a haunting voyage through darkness, death and gloom and there is a lot of beauty in those tracks. Like all Kringa‘s music, “Feast Upon the Gleam” makes no exception: this is an album which needs multiple listens before you’ll finally be able to get to its very core. But once you’ve done that, you’ll be rewarded with the most beautiful and darkest sounds the band has created until now.
“You should not fear of the abyss,
For you embrace the abyss,
You become the abyss
And let the dark shine your way.”
Feast Upon The Gleam Tracklist:
1. As Kaleidoscope Patterns Arise
2. Unwind the Gap Anew
3. To Sleep in Vermin Velvet
4. Eroding Passage
5. Cloak of Unbound Fears
6. Eyes of Stone
Spectres – Guitars and Vocals
Neidr – Guitars
Teeth – Bass and Vocals
Talon – Drums