I Klatus [USA]
Horse Drawn Productions
With the number of doom/sludge/stoner bands that are coming out of Italy lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if yet another of such weird bands come my way. Yet I Klatus hails from Illinois, USA, with Kether being their third full length album after a 5 year wait since their previous release, Surveillance and Worship.
Proving that they are equally capable of sonic madness, on Kether I Klatus ensures that the listener is kept in a constant state of unease and confusion. Album opener John of the Network quickly creates a sense of doom and desperation with the crushing atmosphere, and the painfully slow pace and the heavy instrumentation all point towards some early Sabbath influences, and one would almost expect this to be another usual stoner/doom effort. But as soon as the desperate shouts of Jackson and Tom come in, one immediately knows that things aren’t quite so simple, as they certainly help in creating even more tension than is already lingering in the air. As suddenly as the heaviness came crashing down on the listener, the band suddenly goes into a lighter, and somewhat calming section, with clean guitars and the likes, but one senses the constant ominous presence throughout, leaving him to be constantly on his feet anticipating the next surprise that I Klatus throws at him.
And as with the stylistics of sludge, I Klatus suddenly goes into punk overdrive on Flailtank, before suddenly immersing the listener once more into an ambient section, with disturbing spoken samples at the background. In fact, the entire album is full of such samples, and each definitely serve their purpose in reinforcing that heavy and ominous mood of the music. There are even some slight folk/ethnic stylistics over here, such as on Tree of the Sephirot and Model Prisoner Interlude, with Model Prisoner Revolt even bringing in some slight Summoning similarities.
Somehow, while the influences and the sound of I Klatus are all over the place, the band manages to fuse all these elements together seamlessly, resulting in Kether being a strangely coherent record. As one might suspect, the emphasis over here leans heavily on the atmospheric aspects of the music, and the heaviness and murkiness of the production of the album, along with the mostly haunting music, ensures that the listener drowns in this haunting journey, leaving one gasping for air as the album progresses.