A Dreadful Number: Krvvla’s Maddening Black Metal Coalesces In “XVII”
Like its streaked, black album art, Krvvla's upcoming album X initially seems to be a generally black (metal) affair. But though the Belarusian post-black-metal outfit certainly focuses on that, X is laced with chromatic tinges of post-hardcore and dissonant appendages, cycling between jarring rhythmic outbursts and pummelling blast beats to build tension and then deliver threatening payoff. Just as the hints of light and color in its art make the image infinitely more disturbing than solid black, the band's deft command of momentum and sonance make X a monumentally grim offering. There's all manners of thrilling, dark delights inside, and we're streaming a prime cut of it now—check out new single "XVII" below.
Escalation and contrast make X exceptionally hypnotizing. Here, In "XVII," dissonant, almost-mocking guitar lines play out against slowly building drums to open up the song, but the same motif returns often throughout the song, only now played in a more ominous register. The overbearing chorus seems to be a purposeful response to the introduction—all pretenses are discarded in favor of one immensely punishing, repeating riff. Krvvla maintains a mesmerizing atmosphere throughout where jangling guitar melodies seem to traverse a different plane than the rhythm section, which grounds everything via relentless progression. It's a sound to lose yourself in, but not a formless one: the more one listens, the more the passageways in the ether reveal themselves.
The band comments:
A ritual in a dead language.
It reveals who you were, who you are, and who you will become.
It follows you. It twines its black vines around you. It slowly devours you.
An atonal hysteria.
X releases February 4th via Brucia Records.