Karg - Traktat review




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Reviewer:
8.3

33 users:
7.76
Band: Karg
Album: Traktat
Release date: February 2020


01. Irgendjemand Wartet Immer
02. Jahr Ohne Sommer
03. Stolperkenotaphe
04. Alaska
05. Abgrunddialektik
06. Alles Was Wir Geben Mussten
07. Grabcholerik
08. Tod, Wo Bleibt Dein Frieden?
09. Nichts Als Schatten [bonus] [Bonnie Prince Billy cover]


Some life advice for you young'uns looking to make a name for yourself: Find a thing. Do it well. Even if that's the only thing you're good at.

Michael V. Wahntraum, solo mastermind behind the Karg name and Harakiri For The Sky vocalist, has found a particular niche sound during his experimentation that strikes all the right chords for fans of contemporary atmospheric and melodic black metal. While it may not reach all audiences in the same manner due to its specifically constructed format, those who seek out this typical brand of evocative extremity will undoubtedly find themselves challenged with whether or not Traktat is truly deserving of the album of the year title so many are calling for.

With an output of nearly an album per year stretched out over the course of a decade, there is an understandable inconsistency in quality that rides like a roller coaster through the duration of Karg's existence, but any uncertainty surrounding this album is readily laid to rest at the outset, with its transfixing intro that bleeds a stream profusely until its eventual climax roaring in after the 60-minute mark. Relentless, harrowing screams make up the bulk of the vocal delivery, neatly packaged alongside the grandiose melodies that aim to trigger an emotional connection with an audience susceptible to feelings of remorse, angst, self-loathing, and depression in general. But within that seminal thought lies a semblance of positivity, banking on the hopes and dreams of one who can harness the power of life's randomly generated inequality and channel it into something effective at creating positive change. The beautiful melodies herein speak volumes at length to that specific point.

One glaring, yet forgivable issue with this album, is that it relies so heavily on the repeated formula that otherwise renders any track the album's best or worst, in that there's a mid-paced buildup, an epic melody, and a culmination of emotional shrieking over daunting melodic riffs. If that same approach were more varied and broken up, rather than coming across as a tactical procedure, then Traktat would truly deserve to be among the contenders of the year. Alas, due to its ambitious nature and relying too heavily on the same formulaic structure throughout its 75-minute duration, it's slightly cheapened or marred by its own effects. While far from a sub-par album, it also stops just shy of the peak of what could have been, much like its predecessor -- for the exact same reasons, mind you. If Wahntraum is to ever break out through the barriers of an already saturated genre, then consolidating his anguish will be tantamount to his project's ability to grow beyond the small following it's so far gathered.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 03.05.2020 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 19 users
05.05.2020 - 09:50
boo-boo
Thanks for the review, this is great stuff.
While I used to be a huge fan of Harakiri For The Sky, since seeing them live, I cannot stand the music. I don't know if he was just having a really bad day, but their vocalist made the concert awful (some live videos I saw later suggest that was his standard performance though).
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World won't end today - it's already tomorrow in Australia.
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05.05.2020 - 15:15
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by boo-boo on 05.05.2020 at 09:50

Thanks for the review, this is great stuff.
While I used to be a huge fan of Harakiri For The Sky, since seeing them live, I cannot stand the music. I don't know if he was just having a really bad day, but their vocalist made the concert awful (some live videos I saw later suggest that was his standard performance though).

Sounds like studio magic propping him up, though I can't say I'm too fond of their sound regardless -- too tedious for my liking, but I understand the appeal. Karg is kind of a streamlined version of the Harakiri sound, which is exactly what I was left wanting when I first heard their material.
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I have no memory of this place.
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05.05.2020 - 18:12
boo-boo
Quote:
too tedious for my liking

This exactly, their albums seem to go on forever with no major changes in song structures, motives or whatever else. Though the first time I heard them, I was blown away by how great it all sounded together and that feeling stuck with me for quite some time.
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World won't end today - it's already tomorrow in Australia.
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05.05.2020 - 18:28
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by boo-boo on 05.05.2020 at 18:12

This exactly, their albums seem to go on forever with no major changes in song structures, motives or whatever else. Though the first time I heard them, I was blown away by how great it all sounded together and that feeling stuck with me for quite some time.

We had a very similar experience then.

The Harakiri atmosphere they create is so overpowering that it distracts from the underlying tedium. Once that initial awe factor wears thin though, the issues become more noticeable.
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I have no memory of this place.
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