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Krosis - A Memoir of Free Will Award winner

A Memoir of Free Will
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 22 January 2020, 6:14 AM

From their Facebook page, “Modern Death Metal needs a twist. Too much music is predicated around what artists think fans want to hear. A new culture is emerging with new tastes, new hungers, and the ever-increasing amount of elite heavy metal fans crave the kind of output that they deliver. The diverse collaboration of influences that make up the framework of KROSIS is why they put out the music that they do. Too much of modern Death Metal and Deathcore is limited to a paradigm; KROSIS seeks to eliminate boundaries. With backgrounds of rock, jazz, concert bands and music theory, they bring together many parts of a musical spectrum to emerge the new being that is KROSIS into the hearts of thousands of lovers of heavy, themed music.” “A Memoir of Free Will” contains ten tracks.

The title track leads off the album. It’s a beast, at close to eleven minutes in length. It opens with light symphonic elements before the drums come in with electric guitar hard. The vocals are Deathcore and the music is ultra-techy but there are a lot of other elements going on as well. Perhaps the most used feature is the meter that they shift and use whenever they want, however they want. It shows a very tight and well-oiled machine, and you can tell these guys are experience songwriters. “An Elegy for a Man Alive” is about half as long. It doesn’t take long for that heavy, technical display of hard guitar accents with vile vocals that are almost indistinguishable. Buried somewhere within are some melody lines, but they are not there for the easy picking.

“An Intramural Madness” opens with thick and heavy guitar accents that thud through solid ground like a drill with a diamond tip. The vocals are varied here…sometimes guttural utterances and other times high pitched screams. The rhythms are very hard to follow. “Battles are won Within” opens with marching guitars and bass work, leading to an unfathomably hard and tight rhythm section. The musicality of the song however often gets lost in this type of music. But, you have to appreciate the high level of intelligence it takes to create such music. “Gone, but not Forgotten” opens with some light symphonic elements but also with the feeling that someone or something is lurking around your shoulder. Amidst the chaotic mid-section is this trippy interlude that draws you in. It comes back around, like a white lotus somehow growing in the deepest pit of hell.

“Insanity a Moniker of Me” features a frenzied and lawless sound with absolutely no boundaries. Screams about and it is absolutely insanity, indeed. Another little interlude with bass guitars comes into play, and you suddenly feel as if you’ve been transported into another dimension of space and time. “Psychoticlysm” is about as crazy and the title suggests…just ultra-fast instrumentation and deadly vocals, devoid of nearly all melody. Some spoken words appear tied with this interlude that really help break up some of the madness. “Questions of a Holistic Divine” opens with eerie clean guitars and the deadly thudding of bass and drums. It’s an odd instrumental passage featuring trippy bass guitars in the upper register, with some atmosphere in the background.

“To Persist or Adhere” opens with the drums firing off like an automatic weapon, reducing everything around it to ash. Following some raging vocals, it pauses and slows, allowing it to breathe a little. But, just a little, as the tumultuous sound retains its edge throughout. “With Virtue, I am Free” is about as far away from the other tracks as it could be. It’s a short, three-and-a-half minute song that features some bright tones in the opening that carry throughout the riotous sound of the music and vocals. The drums like a bee stinging you over and over into infinity, relentless and ever omnipresent.

When KROSIS said they were different, they weren’t kidding. The music is so expansive and intense that the moments of levity in between these passages are very welcomed. They wield the mighty axe with the skill of a master Samurai in his prime and their mid-section is so tight that you cannot work your way in if you tried, again and again. It’s probably the most skilled Deathcore that I have heard, and that’s saying a lot, because the genre is very demanding in terms of musicianship. And, their sound sets them apart from similar acts due to the use of interludes and trippy atmospheric elements. Don’t let this fantastic album slip from your grasp.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. A Memoir of Free Will
2. An Elegy for a Man Alive
3. An Intramural Madness
4. Battle are Won Within
5. Gone, but not Forgotten
6. Insanity a Moniker of Me
7. Psychoticlysm
8. Questions of a Holistic Divine
9. To Persist or Adhere
10. With Virtue, I am Free
Mac Smith – Vocals
Adam Thiessen – Guitar
Brian Krahe – Bass
Brandon Scurlark – Guitar
Dan Cece – Drums
Record Label: Unique Leader Records


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