Krux - II review
02. Devil Sun
03. Sea Of Doom
04. Lex Lucifero
05. Pirates Of The Black Hand
06. Depressive Strokes Of Indigo
07. Too Close To Evil
08. The Big Empty
Finally… after a four year long wait we get treated to Krux's second album, simply called II. Back in 2002 the metal world was hit by one of the best debuts in a long time by a band called Krux. A doom band consisting of a slew of metal merchants who had already gained their spurs with bands such as Entombed, Candlemass, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Abstrakt Algebra. The most famous members, of course, being bassist Leif Edling and vocalist Mats Levén.
Now the time is ripe for another Krux album with all the Candlemass problems culminating in that band more or less splitting up.
And the big question everyone's asking is: Was the wait worth its while? Hell yeah, it certainly was. What we have here is a near perfect album. Krux II grabs you by the balls from the word go only to release its grip after 48 minutes whereas the debut fizzled out like a candle with the closing track's psychedelic ramblings.
II's opener Serpent strikes like a cobra with its meandering riff, first retreating and then lunging out only to totally draw you in with the floating keyboard lines in the background and the incredible vocals of Mats. In Sea Of Doom Mats' howls are truly phenomenal, somehow reminding me of great vocalists such as Ronnie James Dio and Glenn Hughes without sounding anything like those two.
All the songs are crushingly heavy old school doom which are memorable without going off into cheese territory. Best example in case being Depressive Strokes Of Indigo which has a chorus so memorable that you'll be singing along to it after having heard it only once and without it being a cheesefest.
So, eight tracks of pure memorable old school doom with, of course, Black Sabbath, early era Trouble, and Candlemass influences galore but with a modern and individual sound to it. Ingeniously built up around one or two riffs with keyboards floating around in the background adding great atmospheric touches, just as keyboards are supposed to be utilised in doom. And to top it off the incredible pipes of Mats Levén. One of the best vocalists around in the current metal scene. A voice so versatile it is unbelievable, swooping from low to high, from clean melodic to raspy and back.
Standout tracks (although all eight are fucking ingenious) are Serpent, Sea Of Doom, and Depressive Strokes Of Indigo. These are certain to become live classics when Krux decides to do more live performances.
Certainly the album of the year for me up to now. Any other band will be hard pressed to top this. Good luck to them.
P.S. "near perfect album" because I don't believe in perfection when it comes to art. What is considered perfect today, by some people, might well be topped in the near or distant future.
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