Over the Fourth Part of the Earth

Self Financed 2007

You virtually never hear of a black metal band coming out of the Philippines so it is with great interest that I approached the new album from Kratornas.  And I was treated to a merciless dose of brutal grinding black metal.  They sort of remind me of Marduk or Impaled Nazarene at their fastest with some thrashier Slayer thrown in and some straight up death metal in the mix as well.  Rotting Reflections, is a machine gun of blasting drums and rapid fire riffing along with a triumphant melody buried in its infernal depths as well.  My favorite song Dead Messiah has a main riff that is reminiscent of Venom of Motorhead in its primitive charm and rock and roll sensibilities.  Album closer Wormwood blends together tough Morbid Angel and Krisiun styled death metal rhythms.  Though the album has some great highlights it also has some faceless songs that sort of get lost in between the better ones.  One major problem I have with Kratornas' style is their over-use of the high-pitched, slayer-esque guitar solos which make an appearance almost any time the blast beat is introduced.  If they could tone down on the amount of times they use this the songs would flow a lot better for me.  The guitar tone is sort of a muddy buzzsaw sound which suits this style quite well.  In contrast though when they belt out guitar solos they sound fairly shrill.  Kratornas have recorded a solid and interesting album.  They do however get bonus points because they have had to struggle to find both an identity and an audience in a land that is virtually devoid of both a scene and any sort of preestablished credibility (ala Norway).  So if you are looking for a band that has an authentic air of obscurity surrounding it then check out Kratornas.