Saturday 29 October 2022

KRAMPOT ~ OUROBOROS ...... review

We, the bloggers, podcasters, Youtubers and wannabe journos, who regularly spend our free time diving into the deep recesses of the Worlds underground rock and metal scenes to bring you pearls are, with a few exceptions, an affable bunch who will regularly share our finds with each other in order to better promote the music we love. These shares can take the form of a message/email, a post on social media or even a purchase on Bandcamp (which will generate a notification on the feed of those who follow you). It was from the latter of these "shares", from fellow Doom Charts contributor and head honcho at Deathrattle Podcast Steve Woodier, that Desert Psychlist was introduced to stoner doomsters Krampot.
Krampot, Andrea Klein (guitar); Claudia Mühlberger (guitar/vocals); Julian Kirchner (bass) and Georg Schiffer (drums), hail from Vienna, Austria and jam a groove that sonically sits within the stoner doom canon but thanks to the unique singing style of the bands vocalist and the sometimes more strident gait of their grooves finds itself situated a touch left of its centre, as you will no doubt discover when listening to the band's latest release "Ouroboros"

Sparse percussion and low throbbing bass introduce opening track "Heliopolis" but are soon swallowed up in a groove that is doomic by nature, circular in execution and gritty and grainy in texture. As we pointed out previously Krampot are not your archetypical stoner doom combo and this first track is a prime example of that, the pace is a little too strident than what some might be used to in this sub-genre and the tones of the guitars lean more towards an early 70's proto-doom sound than something you might expect to hear on say a Yob or Toner Low album. Another factor that sets them apart from others in their field is Mühlberger's vocals, her voice possesses all the necessary moroseness and melancholy we have grown accustomed to hearing fronting music of this nature yet has a brightness, and clarity quite unusual in the genre. What follows this opening number is more doom but doom with a difference, what we mean by this is Krampot's doom is not of the generic variety, yes songs like "Yom Hadin", "Ta-Tenen" and "Wild Hunt" do adhere mostly to a low and heavy dynamic but those 70's flavoured proto guitar tones Mühlberger and Klein bring to the table and the fact that the rhythm section, of Kirchner and Schiffer, are not constantly trying to crush you with the combined power of their respective instruments, allows room for an element  of subtlety and finesse amongst all the heaviness and bluster. Lyrically the band are quite astute too, its true the band do stick to the tried and tested formulae of using legend and mythology to decorate their songs, but they do not throw these words together blindly. A lot of thought has gone into lines like "Sebek's beasts scourge riverbanks from Nile delta to aqueous ends" ("Heliopolis") and "mankind cloaked in flames as Tefnut feeds on land fiery heights emerging obsidian descent"("Ra's Retreat"), intelligent lines that go a long way to proving that there is still a place for poetry in heavy music. 

There will be some among you who will find Krampot's off-centred approach to doom on "Ouroboros" a little hard to take on first listen, some of you might struggle with the unusually bright vocal tones, others might find the proto flavours of the guitars not brutal enough, while some might baulk at the inclusion of a song that includes Czechoslovakian lyrics chanted in a Native American meter over tribal drumming ("Marena"), however, if you stick with it you WILL reap rewards. There is an endearing stealth like quality to the grooves inhabiting "Ouroboros", the albums music having a tendency to creep up on you and slowly seep into your psyche and worm its way under your skin, to the point where what was once an objective listener has now become a slavering fan desperate for news of the next release. 
Check it out ..... 

© 2022 Frazer Jones

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