A man of heaviness without limits and enemy of pre-conceived song structures re-emerges from the underground, leaving only the most uninterested people unaware. Pedro Mau (ex-Kneeldown, Wells Valley) comes back with his solo project Kneel, showing us what he’s worth, not only as a drummer, but also as a bassist, guitarist, producer, and mixer. Vocals and lyrics were the main responsibility of Filipe Correia (Wells Valley, Concealment), who is a special guest on this record.
With “Interstice”, Kneel showcases a huge inventive capacity and creates a record where Mau is the solely responsible for audio and visual concepts. Written between 2011 and 2013 and re-released in 2019, with a revamped mix, master and artwork, “Interstice” is a unique record for those who like heavy music without formulas and catchy chorus. It is out on May 22nd 2019 via Pulmonary Records.
Rough as sandpaper across a fresh graze, Kneel’s Interstice is a nasty album built around red-hot hardcore noise. The angriest of angry records, it’s not just the vocals that spit fire but the guitar riffs and percussion that add to the overall feel of righteous fury.
While its rage is straightforward and easy to understand, the way in which Kneel push that out is one that might not be as expected. Yes, it’s heavy. Yes, it’s fast but it’s also broken apart by increasingly difficult to comprehend rhythm. Complexities on par with the mathcore/dejent heavyweights of Meshuggah. The opening track Murmurs is incredible in just how many different tangents it goes on setting up the album nicely.
What then follows is a myriad of heavy, infectious and exciting metal tracks. The fast pace of Amend led by the powerful drums, the ‘balls out’ severity of Occlusion and deep broken chugging guitars of Lessening. Strong stuff.
We then a short ‘intermission’ style track in the form of Absence that brings ringing heaviness in the latter part of it before normal Kneel service is resumed. Cloak brings the compelling and complexities of the guitars back with force. A really impressive showcase of fury but one that is controlled.
Debris and Thrall are both shorter and more straightforward in their approach. The former going for depth in guitar groove and the latter going for a wilder sound. Both are chunky and filling, complementing what we’ve heard so far throughout Interstice.
The final track is Sovereignty, a track that sees Kneel making one final huge effort to get everyone listening, moving. A task that they accomplish with ease as this finale has more groove and bounce then anything else on the album even if it is still incredibly heavy.
A very strong effort from a band bucking trends and clearly doing things their way.
Kneel – Interstice Full Track Listing:
Kneel - Interstice (Pulmonary Records)
The Final Score - 8/10