Home > Albums > View

Knut Terraformer

Knut - Terraformer
01. 7.08
02. Wyriwys
03. Kyoto
04. Torvalds
05. Seattle
06. Bollingen
07. Solar Flare
08. Fallujah
09. Genoa
10. Davos
11. Evian
12. Fibonacci Unfolds
2005 Hydra Head Records

Reviewed by: Cory   //   Published: 11/17/2005

After a three-year hiatus, Switzerland's Knut has returned with Terraformer, a 45-minute combination of groove and dirge that will undoubtedly gain them new fans while potentially turning off some of the band's former fan base. Taking a cue from some of their Hydra Head label mates, Knut have minimized the presence of vocals and strung their songs into one vast, nearly continuous combination of droning metal and noise. While it's hard to say if this is a change for the better, Terraformer is what it is, and it's relatively hard not to at least admire.

For lack of a better comparison, Knut's newest record should appeal to fans of Neurosis and Isis, if only because they seem to have the attention span and overall ability to appreciate music whose density and mood are able to make up for its relative simplicity. That's not to say that all of Terraformer is "slow," but even the parts that are a bit more up-tempo ("Seattle") aren't particularly complex. For Knut, this album seems to be all about minimalist music with carefully planned production. "Solar Flare" illustrates this perfectly, as this seven minute piece ends with two minutes of nothing but a basic drumbeat and a bit of spacey background noise. "Fallujah" is definitely one of the disc's most intense tracks musically, but I can't help wishing they would have included more vocals than a handful of samples and a lone scream. The same can be said of its follow-up "Genoa," an equally fierce couple of minutes that would have benefited from some sort of vocal accompaniment. Finally, the disc ends on a bit of a boring note with "Fibonacci Unfolds," a six-minute electronic instrumental bore.

Honestly, the lack of vocals is my only major complaint about Terraformer. Thankfully these guys don't have to worry about the decision's impact on their live show, as they have decided not to perform live anymore, but it really does hurt them on disc as well. On the few tracks that vocals do occur, they are a strong, powerful presence, so much so, in fact, that I spent much of the rest of the disc waiting for them to return. A band is supposed to leave listeners wanting more after the album, not during.

Bottom Line: Knut's Terraformer is a musical force to be reckoned with, sadly suffering from the band's decision not to utilize strong vocals. "Wyriwys" gives listeners a taste of things to come, but the rest of the album ultimately fails to deliver greatness. If Knut wants to establish themselves as an intense instrumental act, Terraformer should successfully do so, but it's a shame to think of how good this album could have been.

knut's vocalist_   posted 5/20/2006 3:12:49 PM
*wins at totally mean vocals* jesus and i love you all!
SMokeOutloud_   posted 11/29/2005 12:51:29 PM
this bands vox are what makes it soooooo juicy, not unlike botch's vox, its too bad they left the duder out on most tracks. (and no thx to HH or BlueCollar for NOT shipping this to me even still, you bastards)
Lukecubed_   posted 11/27/2005 4:06:41 PM
Wow, what a disappointing review. I've come to expect a little better than "it's a shame to think of how good this album could have been" from Cory. I'm not slagging him cuz he didn't like it, but since when do your expectations count for anything? That's like saying "well, I was expecting something a little jazzier from Mozart, so I didn't like it as much." Try judging the music they give you as opposed to how it stacks up next to the music you hoped for. Taking points off a cool record be
arsonaut_   posted 11/24/2005 12:57:13 AM
definately one of the better releases this year.. this band doesnt get enough recognition for being awesome
truthsayer_   posted 11/21/2005 9:06:10 PM
Finally checked this out. The instrumentals don't bother me - they're always had a fair amount of instrumental shit on their records. What bugs me is the step down in productions. The whole thing sounds muffled to me.

view all 26 comments