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Knaaves: The Serpent’s Root

Watching the nightly news can increase feelings of paranoia and anxiety. I heard that claim in high school, not long after cable television entered into middle America. If it was true then, it’s probably worse now. These days, news is constant and comes from a wider variety of sources, making it hard not to feel a little more paranoid and anxious. Addressing such feelings makes up part of this album’s overall theme. The other part expands on the theme by asking hard questions about the relationship between mainstream media and serial killers. There’s no denying the way killers become uncanny celebrities and that problem has become even worse in our age of uploading spree killings to the internet.

Tackling hard questions makes up a significant part of hardcore music. From the start, the music was explicitly invested in politics and culture. With this album, Knaaves carries on that tradition in ways that are both engaging and entertaining. The band plays a style of hardcore that is darker and, in places, more industrial that you might expect it to be. Fortunately, the band carries everything off pretty well. The only track I didn’t enjoy was “The Sermon,” a track that is basically someone addressing an audience about something that I couldn’t quite piece together. I’m sure it’s full of cool irony or pointed commentary, but I didn’t get much from it. It made for an interesting interlude, but nothing more. The rest of the album is equal parts bleak, moody, and heavy. I especially liked “Weight of the Crown” and “The Serpent’s Root.” The closing track, “Ouroboros” is the main outlier because it takes up an industrial quality and then mixes in spoken word and singing in ways that make the whole thing urgent and angry.

Overall, this is a strong debut from a band that is worth checking out. If you are in the Chicago area, the band will perform on September 22 with Venom Prison, Homewrecker, and Call of the Void. Sounds like a great show.

Track Listing:
1. The Serpent’s Root
2. The Sermon
3. Weight of the Crown
4. Sanguineous
5. Matriarch
6. Down in Flames
7. Ouroboros

Added: August 27th 2019
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 556
Language: english

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