It was probably past year when I sold my copy of 'The Cosmic Carnage', the second demo tape of Austrian Black Metal band Kringa. I didn't find it bad, but simply not that special or personal sounding, it simply didn't catch me. Strangely enough, just after that I read about their following recording, an EP entitled 'Total Mental Desecration', and my curiosity drove me to their bandcamp profile and made me check it. Well, that one was a whole new experience. I actually bought the 10” version after that first listen and enjoyed it quite a lot more every time I put it on the turntable.
So, when this year Voidland Shelter, Daemon Worship Productions and Terratur Possessions announced the new release of the Austrians, I knew I had to get it as soon as possible, because I was too curious to see how Kringa's sound had metamorphosed during these two years of studio inactivity. I must add that, as unimportant or superficial as this may sound for some people, their new pictures captured my attention a lot, and surprisingly carried/anticipated the idea/feeling of what was to come of the musical level.
What we find in the three tracks contained in 'Through the Flesh of Ethereal Wombs' is without the shadow of a doubt the kind of progression one would like to expect from their previous recording and, to a wider extent, on every Black Metal record. It's how I understand evolution managed in the correct way, a continuation of the more atmospheric and kind of hypnotic/transcendental sound they developed on 'Total Mental Desecration', brought to a whole new level of 1) feeling, 2) rawness and 3) execution, although keeping the original spirit of Kringa's sound, very deeply rooted on the rawest side of the second wave of the genre. It's, to sum it up, a more in-depth and (compositionally) polished step on their way to absolute darkness.
The first song, “Vibrant Walls”, starts with a very doomy part which drives you to a kind of mid-tempo meditating vibe, with an amazing vocal job by Vritra and Berstuk over a simple but very effective guitar work based on monotonous melodies and drum lines. A trance-like progression they suddenly break in order to jump into a fast chainsaw guitar driven ascension to madness and, on the top of it, drown you back into a more hypnotic and repetitive finale which kind of closes the circle. While the second one, “Pearly Gates, Abhorrent Ascent”, has a rougher and colder approach, yet still manages to drown you, thanks to a more complex structure and arrangements, into its icy and kind of necro ambiance, with a perfect combination of slow and catchy rhythms and faster melodic/disharmonic guitar lines, crowned with some very Csihar inspired vocals. They close this record with “Sanguine Painter”, a more haunting and violent track, with a great initial vocal duet over furious blastbeats and razor sharp guitars. It has some cool bass lines too in the middle of the track which actually make me wonder why they didn't emphasize this instrument a lot more all along this recording, and get him a better sound too.
I know comparisons might not always be fair or simply too subjective, but I would compare their sound on this new EP to how a band like Urfaust could have sounded if they purely sticked to the teachings of records like 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas', 'Hvis Lyset Tar Oss' and 'Transilvanian Hunger'. Anyways, Kringa do have their own sound and spirit. And this is a very haunting, almost phantasmagorical, record, with an absolutely majestic atmosphere that will very easily transport you to other planes of conscience every time you spin it.
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.