KTL: Stephen O'Malley (guitar); Peter Rehberg (synthesizer, computer).
Recording information: Studio GOK Sound, Tokyo, Japan (09/2008).
Photographer: Miki Matsushima.
Beginning with a piercing burst of feedback from Stephen O'Malley's unsurprisingly monstrous guitar, KTL's fourth release arguably finds the duo of O'Malley and Peter Rehberg leaning towards metal more than ever -- but then again, what metal is supposed to be is more up for grabs now than ever, a fact that the band is more than happy to put to its own use with the assistance of Jim O'Rourke on production. One could just as easily imagine opening track "Paraug" being created by Coil, Godspeed You Black Emperor! or Fennesz in equal measure; the same sense of readily mixed and matched styles aiming for a more unique place crops up throughout, from the at once epically aspirational and fiercely downbeat surge of "Wicked Way" to the concluding "Natural Trouble." At over 20 minutes, "Paratrooper" is the longest track and ultimately the most threatening, an almost early Swans-like rhythm trudge underpinning growling and shrill guitar lines that more than anything else sounds either like a ratcheting up of tension for the titular figure or an extremely morose ceremony of remembrance for the same. ~ Ned Raggett