Schmidi | Drums
Jerry | Vocals
Chri | Bass
Fink | Guitar
01 Blissful Ignorance 6:07
02 Lost 6:10
03 Hunch 4:51
04 Soon I’ll be Gone 6:20
Austrian sludge/doom band Kielkropf release their second album, “Ignorance Is Bliss” in collaboration with Sludgelord Records. Kielkropf (quite similar to the English “changeling”) was founded in spring 2013 and is situated in Siegendorf near Eisenstadt/Austria. The band was formed by Fink (Rainer Fink) and Schmidi (Thomas Schmied) who decided to form a band in the style of sludge and doom metal, while incorporating influences from different styles of metal, blues, and rock.
Opening with Beautiful Ignorance is a great way to set the tone with a nice and steady, meaty riff that invites you in, but just as you think you’ve settled in the drums kick in and once you’re used to that an aggressive voice growls away in your ears. Sharp rhythm changes stop things getting repetitive, switching between big headbanging riffs and headbanging riffs with a few extra drum hits. It’s easy to imagine the long hair of the metalheads flying in a live setting with this one as the tempo really lends itself to instinctive nodding.
The next track, Lost, goes for a darker tone and leans more into the sludge end of the scale. The lyrics seem quite solemn too, almost like a love song but negative, so a breakup song? The despairing vocal style fits this well, along with the simple guitar riff hinting towards a more basic instinct rather than anything more complicated.
The despairing vocals go a touch further in Hunch, the third track of the album, still keeping with the simple chords and slowing down a few beats per minute for an even sludgier style. Opening with a dirty bass solo before suddenly blasting into the main body of the song, a blast which has a great impact on the listener. Again, a nice rhythm change, and I liked the drums and guitar being played in unison, it emphasises the drawn out notes before the instrumental sections let the instruments kind of do their own thing.
I’ll Be Gone is more upbeat (as upbeat as sludge/doom can be) plus the lyrics seem a bit more positive I think. This one also seems to let drummer Schmidi loose with more drum fills here and there, and also has a bit more going on in general with some fancier guitars and more complicated bass line. Good finisher that makes me anticipate the direction future releases will take, which is hard to call as there was quite a bit of variety in this album.
Overall, it’s heavy, slow, and quite angry, which is pretty much what I expected. It is quite simple at times, maybe a little too simple, which makes me wonder if the album could have added a few more notes and chords in the instrumental sections just to give a few more stand out moments.
Ryan Whitwell / Shotison Media