Memphis deathgrinders Knoll have, on their new album Interstice, created something which feels instantly familiar, whilst also being fresh, novel and downright bizarre. With twelve tracks in a shade over thirty minutes, the six-piece band have crafted an album that flies along at an incredible pace. Taking the tropes of grindcore and death metal and adding their own slant on it, Knoll have created a genuinely stunning piece of work. The dynamics and song craft on Interstice are a joy to behold. The three guitarists stretch out the sound beyond the usual scope of grind bands, adding deeper layers and textures. That’s not to say that Interstice is a just the guitarists’ show, a weird fusion of grindcore and hair metal virtuosity. Rather, the musicianship on display from everyone is next level. The album ebbs and flows, changing pace but never letting up on the intensity. Interstice is a dark, brooding and ominous album. It feels like poking around in the band’s raw psyche, or like prodding an exposed nerve. Knoll have also included a few passages of electronic music that are, if anything, heavier than the rest of the album.
The record sounds absolutely massive, with each member getting their own space, and no one being lost in the mix. Particular notice needs to be paid to vocalist James Eubanks who presumably can now only communicate via hand signals. Even though they are a young band and this is their debut album, they have pretty much stamped their mark onto the scene. It’s mad to have an end of year contender this early on in the year, but also very welcome. Knoll very much feel like a big league band already and very much a group to watch out for. If their follow-up release is at this calibre, then there really will be no stopping them.
Interstice is out now via Sludgelord Records and can be ordered here.
Words: Nathan Tyler