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September 2011
Released: 2011, Self Released
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

Horns up to Montreal’s Krokmitën. The experimental death metal trio’s debut ALPHA-BETA is an example of how to do independently released music right. The care and quality put into the music, presentation, and promotion behind ALPHA-BETA could put more established acts to shame. Meant to be experienced as a multi-media concept piece, ALPHA-BETA would be a complex release for any band, much less a self-released debut. Integrating traditional death metal discipline with hints of Rush styled progressive themes and a Matrix-esque sense of sci-fi awareness, Krokmitën’s debut is an advantageous single 46-minute stream of consciousness.

At its base musical level, ALPHA-BETA is death metal goodness, through and through. You can hear the influences of Kataklysm, Corpse, Immolation, and other like-minded kin throughout most of the album. The band takes this rootsy approach to the music and inflects various Voivod-isms and general bizzaro elements for an original approach to a familiar recipe. ALPHA-BETA is divided into 19 “chapters,” which may seem like audio overload, but Krokmitën does a great job of balancing the weight across the album. The full-fledged rippers (“The Reversed Speech,” “Panic Attack” and “Corporeal Reanimation”) are balanced out by slower dirges (“Self-Hypnosis,” “Oroboros”), 60 second grind blasts (“La Transformacion”, “The Thirst,” “La Therapie”), and intermission styled ambience (“Contagium Famositasm,” “Epileptic Seizure”). Sufficed to say, ALPHA-BETA is packed with variety and is paced exceptionally well.

Beyond the music itself though, Krokmitën has taken great pains to craft a unique and memorable artistic experience. As a companion piece to the album, the band has created a set of accompanying digital animation pieces synced to the music that creates an almost holistic listening experience. Viewing the videos and reading the lyrics as they’re positioned like uncomfortably compelling propaganda across the screen makes for a freshly intense and sinister experience. ALPHA-BETA sounds, great, looks great, it is great.

And the best part of the deal? Krokmitën’s giving it away as a free download. Simply visit their website and you can download the album in various formats, as well as the accompanying videos. A physical copy of the disc will set you back a few shekels, but it’s money well spent. Much respect to any band willing to put this much effort and care into promoting their craft. Even if death metal isn’t your thing, check out Krokmitën and ALPHA-BETA. It’s entertaining, it’s impressive, and it’s free.
Track Listing

1. The Reversed Speech
2. Surrender
3. Geisteszustand
4. Panic Attack
5. La Transformation
6. Cocktail of Blood
7. The Thirst
8. Locked in the Red Room
9. Hidden Knowledge
10. Self-Hypnosis
11. Maculate Conception
12. Nativus Malesuadus
13. Contagium Famositas
14. La Therapie
15. Epileptic Seizure
16. Corporeal Reanimation
17. Upheaval
18. Occam’s Razor
19. Oroboros


Simlev – Guitar, Vocals
Dugb – Guitar
Mathz – Drums

Other reviews

» Alpha-Beta
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

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