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III - He Who Sleeps Amongst The Stars

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Album Review

No one in their right minds would ever mistake the bare-bones artwork seen on Krux's first two album covers for compelling eye candy, but did the Swedish doom supergroup have to redress the balance with the heinously orgiastic rainbow explosion chosen for 2011's Krux III: He Who Lives Amongst the Stars? Lucky for them, this is a review of their music, not cover art — yet things aren't entirely peachy in that area either, as it turns out. Though it's been all of five years since Krux issued their justifiably acclaimed second opus, its members' busy schedules with their primary bands obviously hampered their ability to reconvene in a timely fashion, never mind devote enough time to fine-tune these new songs into quite the same lofty standards of old. That's not to say these wily doom veterans can't still turn in a perfectly solid, even enviable "day at the office" with arms tied behind their backs — competent if hardly stunning tracks like "Emily Payne" and "The Death Farm" prove that — but the inspired heights of achievements past are merely approximated momentarily here as a result, namely in the relatively satisfying urgency of the opening title track, the chorus of "Small Deadly Curses," and the epic sweep (and snickering title) of "Prince Azaar and the Invisible Pagoda." Instead, this album's ear-catching moments arrive either via unprecedented gimmicks (like the Cookie Monster vocals closing "The Hades Assembly") or individual instrumental contributions — largely those provided by Fredrik Åkesson's exquisite guitar solos (and never more so than on the majestic finale of "A Place of Crows"). In sum, stack Krux up against most any other doom band — including chief songwriter Leif Edling's main but declining warhorse, Candlemass — and He Who Lives Amongst the Stars acquits itself extremely well, but it is simply not on par with the exalted levels achieved by former Krux efforts. And as for the cover art debate: at least listeners can be certain that neither simplicity nor excess seems to affect Krux's strict observation of doom's songwriting bylaws, even if qualitative results may vary.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Krux is a Swedish side-project supergroup for vocalist Mats Levén (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Abstrakt Algebra), guitarist Jörgen Sandström (Entombed, Grave), bassist Leif Edling (Candlemass, Abstrakt Algebra), and drummer Peter Stjärnvind (Entombed). Specializing in ultra-heavy doom metal along the same lines as the aforementioned Candlemass,...
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Top Albums and Songs by KruX

III - He Who Sleeps Amongst The Stars, KruX
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: 19 October 2011

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