(Description C. Conrad)
Over the course of its first three albums, Knelt Rote morphed from a band whose sound was originally most identifiable within the boundaries of grindcore to one that later wandered further down the spectrum of aural extremity into the realm of black/death metal. Its first album, “From Without” (2008), is an amalgam of breakneck tempos, frenzied guitar riffs, and rabidly barked vocals that reflects as much influence from the most extreme forms of hardcore punk as from the domain of metal. A palpable shift occurred on Knelt Rote’s second album, “Insignificance” (2010), and became more intensified with the 2012 release of “Trespass.” Although certain elements from the band’s first recording remained clearly intact, the songs began to assume a darker tone that was more menacing than angst-ridden, and the violence inherent in the music became better focused and significantly more pronounced. Throughout all of these works, and further complicating an easy classification of the band’s style, was the incorporation of harsh noise that both intensified the uneasiness inflicted upon the listener and threatened to shatter a given song into a thousand unrecognizable fragments at any unannounced moment. As it had done with the CD release of “Insignificance” and the LP and CD versions of “Trespass,” Nuclear War Now! Productions hereby presents “Alterity,” Knelt Rote’s fourth album and one that continues along the same trajectory established by the previous sequence of recordings. The devastation wrought by the incessant percussive barrage and grinding guitars on “Alterity” is matched by the dark introspection into the human condition that it endeavors to navigate. The lyrics explore such themes as social dissolution, identity, mental illness, obsession and suicide in the context of fatalism and inevitability, as opposed to personal agency. The music reflects the complete removal of will in situations typically associated with decision-making and understandable causation, leaving one to question how much control he has over his fate in an environment so maligned with threats to self-preservation. The vaguely ominous artwork that adorns the cover and accompanying booklet serves to magnify this doubt, casting a web that promises to entangle any who hope to escape their imperiled existence.