Ronny Flissundet – Vocals + Guitars
Bjarne Ryen Berg – Drums
Ole Christian Helstad – Bass + Vocals
1. The All Penetrating Silence
2. Entropic Ruin
4. Sin Beyond Sin
Norwegian post-metal/sludge slingers Kite have approached their difficult second album by starting over with a fresh and heavier sound.
The band was originally formed in 1998, and went through different lineups until today’s three‐piece got together in 2007. Kite released numerous DIY demos and EP’s in the early years while building up a following with frequent touring all over Scandinavia, but first and foremost Britain, where they pulled off 5 tours in 2007. The various members have been involved with separate projects but in 2017 got together to record The All Penetrating Silence.
Although only four tracks, this release is just shy of 30 minutes long. Longer format tracks are pretty standard in the sludge/post-rock genres, so I was looking forward to laying in a park and listening to this one with my eyes closed, and that’s exactly what I did.
The opening title track is a good one to lose yourself to. The vocals are not too intrusive and feel more like an accent to the music with the majority of the song being instrumental. Almost 7 minutes long and has a great build up towards the end that works really well, upping the intensity.
With track two, Entropic Ruin, things get a little more technical as, I think, a 3/4 signature makes for a nice base to build upon. More vocal focused with two very distinct vocal styles switching between despairing screams and singing with some psych effects. Certainly heavier and more angst-filled. The switches between phases seem a bit rough with clear divides between sections rather than the flowing progression of the opening track.
Dipping into chugging metal with a very simple riff and vocal focused track, Pissingwell shows a different vibe from the previous sludgy/psych style at first with those elements becoming more prominent later in the song. The vocals are a touch cleaner than the other tracks. The simple but thumping 4/4 riff does lend itself to some strong headbanging, especially after the drop around a third of the way through after which things stay well within the sludge range of stoner metal. The changes in intensity I imagine would be appreciated seeing them live as things become a bit more relaxed after the headbanging section; even headbanging stoner fans need a break sometimes.
I think Pissingwell is my personal favourite track out of the four. It feels more like a journey, which I enjoyed. It shifts and progresses, leaving the song with a different feeling than it came in with.
The final track, Sin Beyond Sin, gets my doom sense tingling. Slow and low, effected vocals, macabre tones, occult/religious themes, 8 minutes long. That’s the way I want my rock and roll! It’s quite different to the previous tracks, but still offers the extended instrumental phases that really hammer home the doom laden vibe of the song. That’s the best thing about longer form tracks, the ability to really absorb the listener into the intended mood, and this one certainly does that.
Overall it’s a strong example of a band taking the basics of sludge and elevating the sound by adding elements of other genres and making it work. I do feel that it is a bit short for an album at under 30 minutes. I also think it would have benefitted from having songs lead into each other to create the illusion of a single piece rather than four separate ones. Those are pretty minor points though, hence my 4.5/5 rating.
Ryan Whitwell / Shotison Media