I suffer from myopia. Suffer is perhaps a strong word, since I largely lead a normal, unimpaired life. I wear glasses, probably more than I should and I have no doubt that my impaired vision has influenced the kinds of physical activities I enjoy. On the other hand, having myopic eyes can lead to some unexpected events and insights. If I am swimming underwater, very occasionally an air bubble may find its way onto my eye. While it clings for the brief time of its life, this bubble acts as a natural lens, a miracle of nature. And then I can see, clearly, brilliantly, the liquid glass of the ocean, the fish around me and the shells and pebbles in full relief against the golden sand. On the other hand, when dreaming, I have experienced an almost “hyper-myopia”, where my vision is as clear or as blurred as the dream dictates, yet because of the timing of the sleep phase, I am unable to lock onto specific details. The whole can be comprehended imperfectly but at the moment I try focus on one element my eyes are pulled away somewhere else.
This morning I listened to a low bitrate copy of Krallice’s Diotima. Here is an album that combines the ocean, vision, comprehension and contradiction. From the opening track I was disoriented whenever I tried to apprehend the structure and forced back to bathe in the total texture. Essentially ritual, mantra like music, Diotima, is an exquisite meditation on twenty-first century post-metal. Whereas this term, much like its academic brethren (postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism) has been over-used, misused and inevitably maligned in this age focused yet superficial intensity, Diotima compels the listener to revisit the possibilities of post. Certainly, the tempo, timbre and rhythms are all “metal” in that they are fast, distorted and urgent, yet it is the structure and sentiment which separates Krallice from their contemporaries. Where another band might be moved to create traditional structures of evolving intensity, Krallice create a continually evolving, rhythmically and harmonically complex stream of it. Perhaps the closest analog is Om, who chose a vibe and “stuck to it” finding myriad new ways to evolve the sound through subtlety rather than bombast.
Diotima is available from Profound Lore and is currently out on CD (and download) only. Vinyl junkies hang in there, though it has yet to be confirmed, there is every chance an album like this will make it to twelve inch.