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May 6, 2016


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Romanian band Kratos have a lot going for them.  There are a lot of facets to their take on symphonic metal, and plenty of room to grow into the finer points.  My understanding is that they are a young band, which for me puts them in a place that is well-above average for their current standing.  But let's talk target market.  My thoughts are that if you are a fan of more mainstream "symphonic" acts like Evanescence, but looking to forge your way into more extreme territory, then Arlechino is the perfect stepping stone for you.

In addition to the obvious full, dramatic sound that comes with symphonic metal, there are some really delightful hooks to be found.  "Fishing" has a pretty infectious combination of operatic female melodies mixed with syncopated flourishes and breaks.  The chugging guitars and foreboding sound effects create a dark, oppressive atmosphere even when the harsh vocals are not present.  Most of the tracks also open with really great use of strings, like "Inner Chaos," which takes things to a heavier place with death growls.  These are broken up by the ethereal chorus, which make the harsh parts all the more impactful.

And therin lies another success of Arlechino: great use of dynamics.  It's not always perfect, but when they get it right, they get it right.  "Delerium" is another fine example with one of the more memorable guitar riffs and it's mixture of gently flowing highs and lows.  I do wish the album itself was a bit more consistent, as there were a number of songs that feel a bit like filler.  But my guess is that this is actually just the obvious: a young band is still finding its way.

But again, I must point out how many demos and debuts I hear on a daily basis that are simply...not good.  It's hard getting started, and I can acknowledge that.  Fortunately for Kratos, they are already several steps ahead of the competetion.  I am confident that after a few more years of shows and more experience in the studio, their next album could rival everything from Fleshgod Apocalypse to Septicflesh, if that is the market they go after.  There is plenty of talent here to work with.