Knoll - Interstice review

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Band: Knoll
Album: Interstice
Release date: February 2021

01. Callus Of The Maw
02. Gracian Axiom
03. Lambent Urn
04. Impetus In Mire
05. Grasp
06. Earth's Iron Lung
07. Door To Moil
08. Inherent Of Life
09. Scattered Prism
10. Loom Of Wills
11. Myr
12. Fjord Peaks

A bunch of grind youths from Memphis getting their debut album mixed by Kurt Ballou and its artwork by Ethan McCarty probably means they're doing something right.

Hardcore and metal have been mixing quite prolifically over the years. Crossover thrash, metallic hardcore, crust punk, metalcore, grindcore, sludge metal, mathcore, powerviolence, deathcore, noisecore, goregrind, and everything in between. One could say that hardcore is metal's best companion in mixing genres. The 2010s saw an increase in noisy sludgy deathy mathy (not necessarily all of those) grind, spearheaded by bands like Full Of Hell, Cloud Rat, Trap Them, Nails, Weekend Nachos and Vermin Womb among others. But enough time has passed since so that this specific scene is showing some early signs of stagnation. Early enough for Knoll to still make an impact.

If those big names getting involved in the album's aura is any indication, is that there is something separating Interstice from the tropes of pummeling aggressive noisy chaos that define the scene. Of course, most of the album is still playing around with those tropes, since those are generally what made the sound interesting in the first place, so there is a lot of "wearing your influence on your sleeve" going on here. But the atmosphere on Interstice feels a bit distinct in that it's not just pummeling for the sake of pummeling, but has both an ominous terrifying vibe to it as well as its fair share of angst. More of the former than the latter.

With the vocals going from blackened shrieks to OSDM growls, all with a strong hardcore filter, they're a strong indication that the album is playing around with a lot of sounds. There's OSDM riffs, sludgy longform, noise ambiance, hardcore moshables, blackened chills, mathy chaos, atonal despair, and all of it in a soup where you can taste the taste of each ingredient. The album switches pretty constantly between the sounds to avoid feeling too stale, hence why its relatively-long-by-grindcore-standards runtime of 35 minutes feels pretty deserved.

There's still much to learn for Knoll, but they already proved with this debut that they can go toe to toe with scene veterans in terms of their early mastery of channeling that chaos into noise.


Written on 17.03.2021 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

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