Kringa - Official Website

All Stillborn Fires, Lick My Heart!

Austria Country of Origin: Austria

1. Across The Firmament, Stride!
2. Gardens In Bloom
3. Ablution
4. Labyrinth Heirs
5. Vortex Of Stillborn Fires
6. Improvisation N.A.4.7.
7. Yoke Of A Mirror Shard

Review by Felix on March 14, 2023.

I do not usually quote myself. Today is an exception. My last sentence in the review for Kringa's previous full-length was “As long as the guys are able to keep the balance between slightly experimental sounds and thundering sections, they definitely enrich the worldwide scene“. I am still convinced that this statement is correct and from my point of view, it gets obvious in the rare moments when the band loses its inner equilibrium. For example, the lead vocalist still prefers an individual style of singing with a lot of different moods. He sounds desperate, fervent, self-confident, dedicated and demonic and his performance contributes to the special flavour of the band's approach. Yet this does not mean that his a capella singing at the end of 'Labyrinth Heirs' is a fantastic experience. This section sounds as if the band would turn its back on black metal. But thanks to the headless corpse of Jure Grando or whomever else, this remains an isolated case.

Kringa still commute between non-conform, unorthodox sections and total violence. They never neglect the sinister impulses of black metal and especially in the wild phases of their tracks (or should I say rituals?) the musicians seem to turn their innermost to the outside. The foggy guitar sound reinforces the spooky elements of the music successfully and due to the excellent song-writing skills of the Austrian horde, the material reveals a threatening and / or oppressive mood. By the way, this aura does not depend on the degree of musical force. Already the opener houses a pretty long part which offers a calm intermezzo, but it gives you the feeling of walking through a deserted castle at night.

Not to mention the more intensive sections. Kringa love to offer abysmal melodies which mill their way through a minefield under constant enemy fire. Needless to say that the protagonists still see no sense in using conventional song patterns. Boring jesters of the established music industry can take them in order to realize their avaricious intentions. Kringa stand at the other end of the musical spectrum. They impress with a lot of good ideas in every song, but they never fall victim to their own creativity. The ideas are executed to present good songs, not vice versa. Speaking of good songs, the best one is 'Ablution'. You want to know how massive the material of Kringa can sound? Listen to this fast-paced, diabolic, perfectly flowing track, my friend of darkness. It's nothing less than a a red-hot piece of iron - and the blacksmith, who is obviously as insane as he is hyperactive, is still busy hammering it. Critical minds may say that this song is almost flat in the context of Kringa's general offering, but I disagree in view of its untameable character.

Occasionally, the music provides a nearly surreal touch ('Improvisation N.A.4.7.' is name and program in one) and, as indicated above, ritualistic elements also show up every now and then. Kringa have a knack for weird guitar lines and they celebrate them lavishly. When they give free course to their thoughts and visions, gems like the multi-layered 'Vortex Of Stillborn Fires', the album's last highlight, can come out. So if we take all pros and cons into consideration, All Stillborn Fires, Lick My Heart! is a very interesting and strong album. It boasts with individuality and personality and, of course, fascinating compositions. Although the release cannot hide minor weak weaknesses (the artwork looks like an accident, the aforementioned vocals-only-sequence and a small number of comparatively vapid sections), Kringa are nothing less than a very remarkable band that deserves your attention and respect.

Rating: 8 out of 10