Having been a big fan of Knut for many years now (believe me, we all owe Hydra Head Records a great deal for bringing this band to the attention of the US), I'm disappointed in myself that it took me so long to finally pick up their latest disc. I've read a couple of reviews of "Terraformer", which is only the third full-length in the band's extensive discography, that seem less than enthusiastic, but I don't know that the fuck for, because anyone who's been into the band's past efforts should be well on board with these jams. There are definitely some new twists and turns going on with this one—such as a number of abstractly melodic undercurrents that are truly fucking moving (check out the latter chunk of "Kyoto" below)—but for the most part the Swiss kingpins hold steady with their merger of mathy metal and noise rock, complete with loads of churning rhythms and occasional bursts of paint-peeling acerbity.
Aside from the aforementioned snippets of intriguingly atmospheric melodies and whatnot, the biggest surprise for me is the presence of a significant number of relatively short tracks (half of the album's songs hover right around two minutes), some of which are instrumentals or experimental noise interludes—and there are also a greater number of blatantly noisy textures employed throughout elements of the song structures as well. But fear not, there are a good number of meatier cuts that top six or seven minutes and unload a good ol' fashioned pounding when necessary! Of course, it is worth mentioning that well over half of the album is actually instrumental, which is another rather big surprise, but even though it tends to take a lot to keep me interested in the absence of vocals, I'd have to say that when the vocals vanish from this record it does a pretty damn good job of ebbing and flowing. Needless to say they've made splendid use of the more midpaced and discordantly melodic attributes of their writing this time around. Hear for yourself:
If you're a chump like I was until two weeks ago and still haven't picked this one up, remedy the situation now, kids: