Saturday, December 17, 2011

A two-song album that only has one good song means it is still half good.

I first heard about Kodiak when they did their split with Black Shape of Nexus in 2010. First impression was that while they had a heavy sound at times, they dinked around so much in less than inspiring drone and ambient parts, the attention of the listener was lost. Now they are back and collaborating with ambient drone artist N, who honestly I know very little about.

The opening track RN starts with about 10 minutes of quiet drone that is honestly pretty dullsville before exploding into some heavy, but ultimately less than memorable riffing by Kodiak. The second track XE is the stronger song of the two tracks on this album, and not just because it starts off with a strong coherent rhythm--there is nothing wrong with drone as long as it is done well. XE, unlike RN, develops and changes rather than just jumping back and forth between droning and doomy riffing. The melodies are layered on top each other wonderfully, and slowly evolve into these epic soundscapes.

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