KRACHMANINOV are not going to be this year’s revelation band, nor the group that revolutionizes their style, but their only EP to date has an inexplicable charm. Twenty minutes and six tracks that don’t need another band to fill the other side of the vinyl, it is not part of a bigger release to come, nor is it an unfinished demo. It is a work that stands on its own, self-contained. A crust/black/speed that reminds us that sometimes it’s enough just to have a few songs finished, get into the studio and that’s it. Particularly if the material is as good as this happens to be.
We come up with agglomerations of labels because when it comes to the truth it’s difficult to categorize the Germans. They connect with the most crust-rooted black metal since the first cut of the EP, with that dynamic riff and Jörg‘s broken voice, while on multiple moments of «Beneath» and «Sleep» they seem like the lost brothers of CHILDREN OF TECHNOLOGY, thanks to certain influences of speed. Or they do go straight to a death metal phase with»Home Coming«.
But the key, what gives the whole thing cohesion and doesn’t limit it to a short collection of songs, is the dirty, putrid aura the Germans have created and how it lingers throughout its twenty minutes. But it’s a crust punk album, shouldn’t it be obligatory to sound that way? True, but it wouldn’t do justice to those little bits and pieces, moments, from other genres that help make this not a linear, one-way trip.
Continuing with the (perhaps excessive) dissection to which we are subjecting the Germans’ debut album, under too restrictive labeling there would be no room for the post-black touch that permeates «Grind«, which sounds almost like agony that drags you, rather than a direct attack on the listeners, as its five predecessors did.
It is this small world they have created that allows it to be a self-conclusive work, as we stated at the beginning of this review. A crust work that indulges in sporadic outbursts from its bubble. Not everything has to be sharp and fast, there is also room for a crushing wall of sound. What we by no means find is respite, KRACHMANINOV in the sequencing of songs has only left room for the relentless hammer of their sound, would they be able to replicate such intensity in a full-length, longer work? It’s hard to say, but for now, they have shown that EPs need not be considered lesser works, because KRMV neither lacks nor surplus content, it’s the longed-for middle ground.