Friday, July 10, 2020
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Title: Strena Seu de Nive Sexangula
Format: CD
Label: Fractured Spaces
Rated: *****
Shame on me, I've missed on a couple of Keplers Odd releases (a cd on Desolation House and a cdr on Pas-83), and am now sobbing in self-contempt. Oh well, I'll make up for that. I also have to add that this cd was released in June, but, besides my awful review abilities, it seems only appropriate to run through it now that there's snow outside. KO are a Gothenburg, Sweden trio formed by Daniel Jansson (of mighty Deadwood, Europe's most underrated power electronics project, and STUG 218), Magnus Moilala (Crest, Crest 218) and Kristina Persson (Viper Trail). Though clad in a dark ambient-ish cover, "Strena Seu de Nive Sexangula (A New Year's Gift of Hexagonal Snow)" is a very physical disc of guitars+amps worship. Downtuned strings and bleeding feedback. What is nice is that, even in the only track featuring a doom riff and strangled vocals (VI), KO are far from being the nth Sunn 0))/Earth copycats which are breeding like rats. The album begins with clean acoustic guitars under which lies a flow of feedback lava, fully outleashed in the core part of the disc. Tracks II and III merge amp abuse with subtler elements (expanded pluckings, almost synusoidal drones) which vary the otherwise monolithic wall of the trio. Track IV is the harshest and arguably best one of the lot, and sounds like late Skullflower covering Organum with electric guitars instead of bowed metals and strings. The fifth piece is an out-there electric blues drenched in northern cold and darkness, as if Hototogisu or My Cat is an Alien were sent jamming among starving wolves. Closing the opus in an almost circular way is a strummed dirge which soon dissolves in electric mist. Out of the (often disposable) contemporary variations of "drones made with real guitars", this is one of those albums which deserve repeated listenings.


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