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Kneel - Ailment

Kneel
Ailment
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 02 October 2020, 12:15 PM

KNEEL is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Pedro Mau, former member of KNEELDOWN and WELLS VALLEY. From their Bandcamp page, “we’re living in times that inconsequence leads us to appalling results and, eventually, to alienation (from ourselves; from one another). Like a careless premonition, Ailment is that meaningless ache that in a later stage of life can result in awful consequences. The accumulation of small problems in our lives can leads us, sooner or later, to situations that can get out of our control. I believe that the key to self-control and life balance is in the daily management of the subconscious mind, although it’s easier said than done. “Ailment” is his second album, and contains ten tracks.

“Qualm” opens the album. It has a dark and heavy energy, coming from harsh vocals and an absolutely commanding main guitar riff. It moves at a slow place, allowing the aggression to seep into your bones. “Awry” is a bit shorter, but no less intense. It’s another slow grind, with double kick drums that sound like thunder. The vocals are gut-wrenching, and the overall tone is desolate. “Interim” is a bit faster in pace but still with those intense vocals and aggressive riffing. You can hear the lyrical themes Pedro talks about above. They ooze through the music in a darkened way. It almost borders on Black Metal, without that wall of sound of course.

“DYS” is another bruiser. Deep, heavy guitar strikes open the album, followed by harrowing harsh vocals. The slow, punishing sound is about as heavy and desolate as it gets. “Raptorial” is a much faster song, high with intensity. The secondary riff is just as powerful. He ain’t sugar coating anything here. This is fierce and intense music from start to finish. “Abacination” is a mid-tempo song with Djenty guitar tones and some dissonance to go along with the angry vocals. It picks up just before the half-way mark, with a faster passage, then back to the slow grind.

“Watchful” is another heavy, intense song with thick instrumentation, a bossy attitude, and some Progressive elements as well, in the way they bend the meter. An air of mystery is introduced towards the end. “Bellicose” is a faster moving song at first, then settles into a horrid and dissonant groove. It continues in this manner through the end of the track, with a fade-out. “Impenitent” features more of those Progressive elements to go along with the deep, dark, and twisted sound. They pile-drive the sound down your throat until you have swallowed every inch of their fury.

“Acuity” closes the album; a shorter three-and-a-half-minute song with all of the intensity of the previous tracks. Those chuggy, Djent guitars really come through strong here. Overall, though I usually don’t like just one particular sound on a given album, I liked it here. Perhaps because of the nature of the intensity, or all the other nuances they have woven into the album. The intensity reminds me of a fire-breathing drake laying waste to an entire city in just under 45 minutes. This album is not for the faint at heart.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Qualm
2. Awry
3. Interim
4. DYS
5. Raptorial
6. Abacination
7. Watchful
8. Bellicose
9. Impenitent
10. Acuity
Lineup:
Pedro Mau – Instruments
Filipe Correia – Vocals  
Record Label: Raging Planet Records
     


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