Knelt Rote – Alterity Review

FAST RITES: because sometimes brevity is fundamental.

Knelt Rote isn’t much for subtlety.

Release date: May 15, 2018. Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions.
This Portland-based trio began as a grinding noisecore outfit, but by the time of 2012’s Trespass, they’d left that behind in favor of a mix of grindcore and murky old-school death metal. Now six years later, they’re moving further past that, adding a blackened war metal feel to their death / grind attack, and it’s punishing, if a little monotonous across its twenty-one minute running time.

Overall, on Trespass and again here on Alterity, Knelt Rote’s primary characteristic is a palpable aggression — while these riffs are often fairly (ahem) rote, they’re mired in a mix that leaves them with thick, rounded edges, tangled within the endless blastbeats and Gordon Ashworth’s rumbling gutturals, the whole of it a rolling behemoth of blackened grinding death. Occasional flashes of clanging dissonance rise up on “Rumination,” or on “Othering,” but overall, most of Alterity is tremolo riffs with the odd squeal or icy arpeggios, its pendulum swinging between the brutal and the black with the singular focused rawness of war metal. There’s no room for deviation, very (very) little use of dynamic shifts in either emotion or musical approach, although both opening “Lachesis” and later track “Salience” do open up the proceedings enough to sport some of Alterity’s rare stand out moments. Mostly, amidst the roiling chaos, there is only relentless pounding rage.

If your problem with grindcore is that it isn’t misanthropic enough, or your problem with black metal is that it isn’t angry enough, then here’s the pitch-black mausoleum buried beneath the middle ground.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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