Despite gaining a steady fan base and extensive media coverage over the almost two decade long adventure of their career as well as making it to the Swiss edition of Trivial Pursuit, Geneva-based quartet Knut (russian word for “whip”, pronounced “cnoot”) are still occasionally filed away in the popular Metalcore-drawer. On their fourth full-length the band are now setting the record straight.
Three years in the making and again culled from myriads of jam sessions, „Wonder“, released on Hydra Head in the USA and on Conspiracy Records in Europe, has turned out a monolithic album-statement between explosive Hardcore, Noise-Rock, Math-Metal and Psychedelia.
It’s all about knowing exactly what works and what doesn’t, finding a balance between order and chaos as well as pushing your limits while staying true to your roots.
Featuring notably more vocals than headline-grabbing predecessor „Terraformer“ and a more varied and refined production than classic „Challenger“, „Wonder“ has ended up a daring but entirely organic tightrope-walk between beguiling atmospherics and brutal aggression, short up-tempo miniatures and slow-grinding fuzz-epics, hoarsely screamed songs and drone-driven instrumental passages.
Staying true to Knut’s claim that „over-intellectualizing harms the beauty of creation“, the occasionally complex and intriguingly convoluted structures of „Wonder“ feel very much as though they had been passionately churned out in a single, liberating explosion at Serge Morattel’s RecStudio in Geneva (where “Challenger” was recorded back in 2001). 2006’s Remix-album „Alter“, on which various producers from the realms of experimental Sound Art (JK Broadrick, KK Null, Dälek, Asmus Tietchens, etc) had transformed some of Knut’s cuts beyond recognition, has certainly not rubbed off on the new material. Instead, electronics have turned into a trippy, but subtle layer in the equally dense and spacey sound of the formation. Add to that some of the group’s most immediate riffing and the outcome is a hallucinogenic journey filled with astoundingly diverse references ranging from Death Metal to the delirious blend between blissful Ambient and crushing Doom displayed on anthemic closer „Daily Grind“.
Hypnotically switching between fearful intensity, dreamy interludes and massively stretched-out excursions, „Wonder“ moulds these influences into an absorbing, razor sharp and immersive experience. Knut have found their true voice after a trio of releases dedicated to carving out different aspects of their style. For a band who, at one point, felt they’d already said everything there was to say, that’s a pretty powerful statement indeed.
“Tobias Fischer / Tokafi”