October is upon us ChipWIN, and KRVKT has put together a little something to help welcome the spookiest time of the year. Released by our good friends at BleepLove, ‘Red Ocean‘ is rife both with heart throbbing energy and nerve chilling riffs. Together, these components produce a unique exhilaration borne of the terror and excitement of confronting the unknown. Join me past the fold as I explore just what about KRVKT’s latest release sunk its hooks into me.
KRVKT wastes no time in setting the stage for the EP with ‘Living Dead Revelers‘. The track opens with a special blend of sweaty anxiety and white-knuckled excitement that comes from stumbling across a life changing discovery and immediately regretting it. The flow of the music is practically the soundtrack to being hunted by a pack of zombies, especially as the mid-point of the track draws near. With arpeggio flourishes pulled straight from a Romero film, horror could be lurking around any corner. The composition takes things down tempo for a moment from there; a chance for the listener to catch their breath that also primes the ears for a fresh wave of terror arriving with the final movement of the track. With fresh nerve-twisting chords, the track doesn’t end so much as it announces the gravity of the rest of the album.
‘Shazam‘ takes the reality of the situation and finds within it a sense of focus. All the energy of a flight for one’s life is here, but this is no shrieking flight into the wood. This is a calm and collected escape, dodging branches and deftly leaping over roots. The sudden pace drops are excellently placed, and done in a way that maintains the flow. It’s as if music has entered bullet-time with time dilating as certain death is barely avoided. The first of these rolls back into the flow of the track, even infusing the music with a sense of hope, but the next second dashes that hope to dust. Instead, it forces the music to find its focus again before making a break-neck rush to a place of uncertain safety.
‘Red Ocean‘ is a sudden and wonderful thematic change as it takes the album on a much more mysterious tact. There are hints of curiosity and wonder and hope to understand the events that have transpired thus far, all mixed with this grave understanding. These sensations are driven by the tempo, starting slow to give an atmosphere of exploration. As the tempo increases, that ambiance fills with exhilaration of discovery. Perhaps a hope for survival and escape has been found and as it is assembled, that earlier feeling of Zen found in ‘Shazam‘ returns. Closing on a controlled fade to silence, even the ending of ‘Red Ocean’ is far more confident.
Beginning with another great thematic shift, ‘The Escape‘ opens on a sound reminiscent of a warning klaxon. The hunted has become the hunter and whatever or whoever had been giving chase earlier in the album has now been put on notice. There is still a sense of anxiety and danger in the composition, but in counter-point to ‘Shazam‘ flight for life, this is a series of battles. The mechanistic bass shots give a sense that the escapee is systemically picking a path to safety, using the discoveries during ‘Red Ocean’ to put an end to the terrors that get in the way. The tone shifts with the balance of power as the track moves along. Each flourish of energy in the track contains a new flourish of determination, with the final rush at the close betraying a moment of hope.
Gravelly and gritty, the opening to ‘Digital Mud‘ will light your seat on fire. Determination that has built up fights with the sensation of anxiety that still hides under the tonal surface. That anxiety grows into hopelessness as it becomes obvious that danger is still lurking behind every turn and there’s no certain path to safety. The hopelessness almost collapses into fear as the tension reaches its breaking point, but with the ‘We will rock you’ riff, determination returns redoubled. With one final burst of frantic energy, a mad dash to safety is underway, culminating in a narrow but confident escape. As the track closes the undulating fade into silence resolves the track like relieved gasping for air.
With my heart still pounding from the excitement, I’m closing the Forge for this month. If you enjoyed anything about ‘Red Ocean’, I highly encourage you to pop over to BleepLove’s Bandcamp page and grab yourself a download. They’re only charging a dollar, which is a damned steal given the level of talent that KRVKT has put on display here. If you see fit, toss these lovely folks a little extra to support some amazing chipartists.
Now get out there, spread the love, and make some chip!
Russian translation of article courtesy of BleepLove found here!