Jul 2023 05

Album CoverKLANK
Album: Between Unholy and Divine, Vol. 1 / Vol. 2
Category: Industrial / Metal / Hip-Hop
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2022-01-21 / 2023-06-16
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


 

The release of RISE in 2016 saw KLANK cranking everything to the max, from the poignant and emotive songwriting to the outright industrial/metal aggression the band has been known for since its inception. In some respects, Between Unholy and Divine is business-as-usual as the trio of Daren Diolosa and Pat Servedio continue to address relevant societal and cultural topics from a very personalized perspective, set to a chugging, clanking blend of heavy metal riffs, hip-hop grooves, and searing electronics. Not unlike the previous album, all of these elements are amplified to their utmost; where the collection falters is in the band’s seemingly strict adherence to the established style, leaving little room for surprise and coming across more often than not as more of the same.

Those familiar with KLANK are certainly keenly aware of Diolosa’s nuanced vocal presentation, from guttural death growls to passionate clean tones and occasional spoken/grunting hip-hop passages. And he certainly continues to shine in this formula, but it is on the title track, “Between Unholy and Divine,” that it reaches a fever pitch of intensity as the growls just slightly underscore the melody, giving added weight to lines like “Lost myself, but am I too far gone” and “Walk the line between unholy and divine.” In addition, the “you really don’t know anything” sample and the angular guitar riffs give the song a sense of power befitting the best of MINISTRY; it’s no wonder the song is the centerpiece of the whole set. As well, throughout the two volumes are plenty of catchily anthemic choruses like the impassioned chants of “You call this life? / It’s not living” on “Life (Existence is Futile)” to the roars of “We are lost, we are one, we are the chosen ones” on “Lost Community.”

Album CoverAs stated, most of the songs stick to the KLANK blueprint, like “I Can’t Believe,” “Sometimes I Feel,” “Apologies,” “Like a Shot,” and “Keyboard Commandos,” all exhibiting the aforementioned blend of thrashing metal, industrial electronics, and rhythmic hip-hop. Sadly, this tends to render some songs more monotonic and repetitive, like “What Can I Do” or “Owe You Nothing,” and while the electronics are mostly well executed, full of scratchy dancehall and scorching EBM-esque tones, they run the risk of overwhelming the mix on a songs like “Goodbye From Me” and “Human Condition.” Where they most excel is on “I Must Thank You,” which is perhaps the most danceable selection, as well as in the mangled piano lines and sneering atmospheres of “No Victim Here.” This can also be said of “State of the World” with the dissonant merger of guitar and synth against metallic percussion making for a tremendously potent capper.

Each volume of Between Unholy and Divine can certainly be absorbed individually, each offering eight racks of unadulterated KLANK and serving as solid albums in their own right. It’s not necessarily a stronger experience to listen to both consecutively as a complete set, but it’s not weaker for it either; even with the occasional missteps of repetition or limited palette,
 
Track list:
Vol. 1

  1. Apologies
  2. Life (Existence is Futile)
  3. Goodbye From Me
  4. What Can I Do
  5. I Must Thank You
  6. Between Unholy and Divine
  7. Keyboard Commandos
  8. No Victim Here

 
Vol. 2

  1. Human Condition
  2. I Can’t Believe
  3. Never Thought
  4. Sometimes I Feel
  5. Owe You Nothing
  6. Like a Shot
  7. Lost Community
  8. State of the World

 
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