Inspired by shamanism and the indigenous folklore of their native Russia this fairly avant-garde quartet known as Kalutaliksuak have just released their ambitious second full length release for RAIG entitled Last Day of Sun. The basic concept behind Last Day of Sun deals with lack of sun in the Russian Arctic territories, where for a period of two months during the winter the sun disappears leaving the natives to deal with the spirits and ghosts in almost total darkness. How appropriate then that this album actually mirrors this eerie sentiment by delivering over seventy five minutes of some of the most chillingly tense and complex sounding atmospherics you're ever likely to come across.
The opening track "Sailing Into The Sunset To A New Night" is hell of a way to commence the proceedings and should be viewed as not only their crowning achievement, but as a lengthy& multifaceted, mystical journey in itself. This suite of music which is divided into the five phases of the sun drips of ice cold menace. Controlled, improvised chaos ensues throughout the duration of this composition which runs almost fifty minutes in length. The listener is taken on an anxious, emotional roller coaster ride as guitarist Alexander Chuvakov slashes and burns his way through angular Fripp-like runs, while keyboardist Vladimir Konovkin's cold, mechanical sounding textures add to the general felling of impending doom. Any vocals when they appear sound like the menacing, incoherent growls of madmen . This is an extremely complex and challenging suite of music that will demand a lot from the listener, but when you reach the end the payoff is well worth your time and dedicated attention. "She Who Knows" begins with what appears to be some native dialogue, before the band shifts back into instrumental overdrive. This track features more scorching, effects laden guitar work from Chuvakov, as drummer Sergei Titovetz's continuously shifting and pulsating rhythms ensures the bottom end is well covered throughout. The final track "Her Names Are Miles Away In The Sea" & "Whales Come To Answers" is a fifteen minute tour de force that bubbles with ferocious intensity. Bassist Alexei Ohontsev drives this track with his Wetton inspired lead bass lines. Yeah I know that's my second Crimson reference isn't it? Well you listen to this disc and tell me there aren't moments that remind you of some of the best improv's from the Wetton/ Bruford/ Fripp / Cross/ era of the band.
Last Day of Sun is definitely not something you're going to want to put on as background music. You might need to make sure you're in the proper headspace before plugging in and embarking on this supernatural voyage. Remember though, once you're locked in be prepared to go the distance as Kalutaliksuak guides you through their ominous and tangled labyrinth of sound.
1-5) Sailing Into The Sunset To A New Night
6) She Who Knows
7) The Shadow's Ripening
8) Her Names Are Miles Away In The Sea & Whales Come To Answer