Strafk – Phaseshifting

strafkOpen minded black metal dominant music from the Russian duo Strafk, yet there are dark undercurrents of rock and the avant gard swirling around within this projects core. Track one on this MCD, (Void)stare, benefits from an awkward playing style that rides atop a choppy beat, only to spin off with clean guitar lines for a delivery and sound that certainly borrows from decades of black metal, but this band is striving to achieve a different approach to the same old formula. Mission accomplished. I found the heavily effected and cloaked in darkness vocal approach to add something extra special to the sound and mystery of Phaseshifting. The creeping mid-ranged BM croak still works well here thanks to all the technological embellishments. Inner Distortion continues deeper into the bizarre with more slightly off time signatures and a clean guitar line that piles on the atmosphere while reverb and other song strengthening sounds/experimental elements seep in to haunt this forward thinking blackness. Death and Decay of your Identity finds even more stripped down and mystical vibes arising from a barren song structure, but at this point in this material I find myself still enjoying the performance and style, but I ended up craving a change in tempo and dynamics. I needed a hook or shift in intensity to grab onto to shake this suffocating feeling of nightmares come to life.

As Strafk end these 4 songs with a metal/guitar-less experimental track, The New Embodiment, it is evident that this band certainly isn’t your get drunk, pump your fist and headbang level of black metal, and for that I am appreciative. This duo has created something new, fresh and engaging on an emotional level. The older I get, I will always have a special place in my heart for the classics and the tried and true formula, but when bands come out of nowhere with something this dark and expansive, it really is a welcomed escape from the norm. I hope on future releases that they grow to embrace more dramatic shifts in their songwriting/structure, as a full-length album like this would become quite tiring by the end. With the creativity fully in effect, I’m sure Strafk will sort this out as well as they push on deeper into the esoteric. -Marty
Wraith Productions

~ by martyworm on May 28, 2014.

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