May 23, 2019


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The Pitch: The solo project of Portuguese artist Pedro Mau (Wells Valley), Kneel is an interesting hodgepodge of hardcore, mathcore, and alternative music now brought to you by Pulmonary Records

What I Like: "Murmurs" serves as a pretty strong summary of what to expect overall from Interstice. It opens with a very Meshuggah-y bit of djent madness, seeming to set up a barrage of pure aggression. But much to my surprise, we get an abrubt transition to something better compared to the works of Fugazi with its groovy bassline, minimalist guitars, and howling vocals. It's a strange collision of classic 90's post-hardcore attitude with Ion Dissonance. And these mixed alternative and hardcore influences continue with the raging rock chord progressions and D-beat of "Amend." Pedro is known mainly as a drummer by trade, so it should be unsurpising that we also get some pretty mathy flourishes on the kit in addition to a wide variety of other approaches. "Occlusion," for instance, opens like a pure Dillinger Escape Plan track, and is definitely a high point. On the whole, solid stuff.

Critiques: Most of the songs on this album are a good minute too long. I feel like they would pack an even harder punch if kept around the 3 minute mark. "Debris," in particular, serves as the perfect blueprint of Kneel's maximum potential at its absolute. The brevity really allows its best moments to shine and doesn't detract from its quality in the end with uneccessary drag.

The Verdict: Vicious and mostly to the point, Interstice is a super heavy album that provides an excellent fusion of some of my favorite worlds from mathy hardcore to 90's alternative and even a touch of thash. The songwriting could use some tightening and trimming, but otherwise I quite enjoy this one.

Flight's Fav's: Amend, Occlusion, Debris

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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