KNOLL: Interstice: LP

May 25, 2021

Knoll from Memphis, Tenn. should be polishing their first demo cassette, but instead rolled out the cart, investing in a solid twelve-song LP. The album crosses bridges for death and grind aficionados. The record starts off in high gear with a snare slap that opens “Callus of the Maw.” The song careens into full-on blast mode with a discordant guitar harmony before landing on a single chord. From there it goes into overdrive with high and low vocal exchange. The drums sound great: speedy blasts without coming across as mechanical. The vocal highs are great and the lows have a bit of that Earache naturalism to them. After interrupting the flow of “Callus” with a short arpeggio guitar exchange, the blast continues to the end. That’s the first song. Time: 1:38. The whole album has an organic feel even at high speeds. “Grasp” is the first song to break the three-minute mark. Here the song opens holding some chords over some black metal-inspired harmonies. This is the band’s dirge song, but it’s not a throwaway. The guitars work out some nice melodies over “My War”-speed vocals. The lyrics throughout the album are right in the pocket with made up or obscure mythology and loads of youthful indignity: “trembling shell/ coveted ark/ Bolas of verboten wisdom/ urn of ciphers, thrust upon.” The inner gatefold has a great geometric drawing and the cover has a good black and white abstraction of some natural stairs spiraling off into infinity. It’s a don’t miss if you’re into heavy fare. –Billups Allen (knollvhs.bandcamp)