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(53:22, Metal Mind Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Krzak 4:55 2. Oriental Xes 3:51 3. Blue Thunder 3:57 4. Czakus 5:35 5. Extrim 5:25 6. Existence in Possesion 6:58 7. Rumble-Tumble 7:46 8. D'Rocks 6:44 9. Kattowitz 3:36 10. Sciepka 4:35 LINEUP: Leszek Winder – guitars Dominik Durlik – guitars Jan Bledowski – violin Rafal Cioron – drums Piotr Wierzba – bass
Prolusion. The Polish band KRZAK EXPERIENCE was formed in 2012 by members of the bands Krzak and Sepsis respectively, two members with a past in a blues based rock band and three members with a metal background. They called this new project Krzak Experience, and their self-titles debut album was released in March 2013 by Metal Mind Productions.
Analysis. The press blurb following this CD compares them with the Finnish band Apocalyptica. And while I can understand this comparison, especially as I can't recall any bands of a truly similar nature to draw comparisons towards, it does give a somewhat flawed impression as to what this band is all about. But one fact that is undeniable is that we're dealing with an outfit with a firm foundation in heavy metal on this occasion. The central premise throughout this disc is the use of contrasting elements, and then first and foremost between Bledowski's violin and the other instruments utilized. Steady and at times somewhat sophisticated rhythms craft the base foundation for the proceedings. Alternating riff sequences are then applied, verging from slow, drawn out majestic riffs to powerful riff cascades, utilizing impact riffs in a clever and efficient manner. Galloping riff constructions with a nod or two in the direction of NWOBHM and power metal are a feature too, as are harder edged energetic excursions bordering thrash metal at their most intense. And placed on top throughout is the violin, often as a standalone solo vehicle, sometimes alternating with guitar soloing for variation. Due to the sound of the violin I'd guess that it's an electric one that has been used for this album, as the sound produced is one fairly twisted and distorted more often than not. For those with a deeper knowledge, I'd compare the violin sound to the one utilized by James Sudakow on his album "Green" from a few years back. Bledowski's got a few more colors in his musical palette however, as he's just as good at crafting fragmented, dramatic excursions as he is at more flamboyant deliveries, careful subservient crawling constellations as well as applying distinct moods and atmospheres: the oriental touch on the aptly named Oriental Xes, a brilliantly planned and executed piece of music that documents that quite nicely. The total package is, at best, a thrilling experience. The musicians all appear to know their trade extremely well, and are good at adding minor details to the compositions. That they generally stick to dark and intense moods is probably what one would expect from a metal band, but these guys do it with a touch of elegance and sophistication I suspect many can envy them. That this CD is extremely well produced, at least to my ears, is another bonus that elevates the total experience for me. A strong slice of well made instrumental heavy metal with some nice innovative details.
Conclusion. The combination of intense rhythms and dark toned riff constructions paired off against distorted and presumably electric violin soloing is what this debut album by Krzak Experience is all about. Energetic, intense and with something of an otherworldly atmosphere crafted by the distorted violin this may not be a production that will appeal to the traditional metal fan, but if you enjoy your metal and fancy a slice of something a bit more adventurous, this is a disc you might want to track down. In particular if you enjoy the use of the violin in a manner more reminding of the electric guitar than the folk music instrument.
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