Artists on Artists
On 30, Nov 2015 | In Artists on Artists | By jane
At once both primal and futuristic, intellectual and visceral, Vitreous II by local act Kardinal is one epic slab of heaviness. It’s the second in a series of three releases by Melbourne-based composer and instrumentalist Nick Delaney, following on from the awesome Vitreous I. And it’s totally massive. Purely instrumental, insanely complex, yet still palatable through some very clean production, this release explores the more complex rhythmic side of heavy music.
While there are some clear and proudly worn influences on this record, such as Meshuggah and Animals as Leaders, Vitreous II offers its own unique experience. Delaney, a protege of Australian percussion master Greg Sheehan, displays a rhythmic understanding and dexterity in his writing shared by few. This is clear from the opening of the record with ‘Mirror Ball’; the opening guitar riff of the album simulates the fractal rhythm of a bouncing ball before launching into a pummelling groove.
This album is in fact, all about groove—the kinds of groove that may be difficult to mosh to with complete certainty, yet there it is. It’s the kind of rhythmic interplay that makes you remember that numbers don’t have to be boring. These are the kinds of musical equations that describe the movements of galaxies or the eruption of a volcano, and you can’t help but be in some kind of awe.
This modern and angular style is complemented by some ‘classic’ metal touches: epic lead breaks, some beautiful melodic moments, some Eastern scale riffage. There are also some very futuristic touches, such as some very digital atmospheres in the record’s more cinematic moments. It’s very progressive and also has some beautiful quiet moments, such as the closing drones of ‘Leviathan’ that lead into the beautiful piano-drenched final track ‘Descending’. Overall, Vitreous II is a wild ride—highly clever, very engaging and should be listened to LOUD.
Review written by Paul Bender (Hiatus Kaiyote) for Mojo Junction – ‘Artists on Artists’
Listen and buy your copy of Vitreous II here.
Check out Kardinal’s Facebook page here.