Kreng: The Summoner (CD, Miasmah, January 2015)

This is one of those records I love a little more every time I hear it. The opening is almost unbearably quiet, there’s something tiny rustling in there that you strain to hear. Of course, this is an obvious set-up so you jump when the big scary noises happen. It’s a move straight out of the horror movie rulebook, and that’s an obvious influence here. The label’s blurb references György Ligeti, but I think a more apt comparison is actually Krzysztof Penderecki, and obviously I’m basically thinking of the screeching strings of The Exorcist here. There’s also a touch of the Pan Sonics to the powerful rumbling bass swells. Together, that’s a pretty potent combination. The tracks are almost named for the five stages of the Kübler‒Ross model of grief — I say almost because I don’t remember The Summoning coming between Depression and Acceptance. That track features Amenra, who wikipedia tells me are a Belgian post-metal band (so I’ve learnt about a new genre today, which is nice), and who bring an impressively doomy guitar sound and the closest we get to vocals, in the form of some black metal style screeching. While not subtle, this is a hugely accomplished piece of work, every note and every effect feels vital (this is a big step forward from 2011’s Grimoire, whose black humour and theatrics feel slightly cheap by comparison). The three-and-a-half minute closing track is an atmospheric piano number, and the subtle key changes shifting between major and minor are just perfect.

I bought this from the Sonic Pieces / Miasmah store.

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