A Haunting Presence

This is melancholic black metal from the USA. This is their second full length, and their demos were recently combined on cd as well, so the whole discography is readily available. Krohm is a relatively new band, with the first full length in 2004 after forming in 1995 by Dario Derna, who was previously, back in the late 90’s, the synthesizer player for Abazagorath, using the stage name Crom, which led to Krohm, which is his black metal project of Burzumesque compositions. I was a casual fan of Evoken, Quietus and Embrace the Emptiness were both good at the time; Dario was keyboardist on those releases as well. This should be all you need for background info to get a sense of the quality and style of music on display.

At first you might be saying yet another misanthropic depressive black metal one man band, there are dozens of bands that play this style that I own complete discogophies of, why should I get this one too? First off, if the above statement applies to you hopefully you already know this band, if not Krohm is definitely for you. For everybody else, of the dozens of similarly minded projects out there, most of which are completely overblown in popularity, most cannot reach the skill level of Mr. Derna. Krohm is a known band that gets recognition for quality work, they are not exaggerated fanatically, nor are they dismissed as drivel.

This is atonal drone with hints of melody, dark depressive atmosphere, bleak soundscapes, hauntingly depressive vocals, etc. just like all the rest, but the songs are intriguing and the sound quality is good enough to make careful listening worthwhile. The drums are louder in the mix this time and the guitars have a warmer tone. This is not background drone, it is actually crafted songs with beginning middle and end. Overall the pace is exceedingly slow and the percussion is very minimal, but at appropriate times the drums do set a faster beat. When the drums pick up the pace songs get a bit more interesting, like on “Lifeless Serenade,” which also has a bit of a swirling effect towards the end with the guitars. Guitars drone along at a slow but steady pace and do propel the music forward. Some parts might even be called hard driving, like the final minutes of “Relic.” There is even some full blown blasting to end “Tra La Carne E Il Nulla.” There are even moments that remind me of Elend, not the vocals, of course.

No experimental/ industrial/ psychedelic/ progressive elements put in an appearance. If you think Leviathan has gone too ambient, Nachtmystium too progressive, you will like Krohm. If you can appreciate Striborg but get tired of the sound quality issues, give Krohm a chance. When I am in the mood for this style of music I am much more likely to put on Ruins of Beverast, or Xasthur, but this album has burst its way into the rotation.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
February 28th, 2008


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