The Stars Below, The Seas Above

Kraken Duumvirate

There seem to be any number of niche styles in the recesses of heavy metal […]
By Matt "Wolverine" Johnson
November 8, 2020
Khazad-dûm - Hymns from the Deep album cover

There seem to be any number of niche styles in the recesses of heavy metal subgenres and Finland's KRAKEN DUUMVIRATE fill a void in their brand of somewhat-depressive doom metal by wielding a void of their own. Made evident through their latest album "The Stars Below, The Seas Above," the mysterious figures behind the current lineup show off their songwriting skills and mastery of their craft in long, broad waves of both guitar and synthesizer, laid over the dutiful but low-BPM percussion. If one can imagine an acid trip of Lovecraftian landscapes and cloaked figures in the misty moonlight night, then one will have the optimum soundtrack here!

One of the more unique features of this album are the vocal styles used. Without giving away too much information on who or what the vocalist may sound like outside the context of their songs, the filters used in production give the tones a deeply unsettling feeling, perfect for Doom Metal. However "clean" the overall approach, the vocals remain deep, extremely haunting, and somewhat ethereal.

The songs that basically serve as instrumental ambient pieces still provide their own brand of enjoyability due to the crispness of the sounds. It is these pieces that connect the titans of the album to the Lovecraftian elements previously mentioned, and by that right, firmly deserve their own place in history in accordance with the prophecy.

There is much evidence to be found of how much thought and intent was channeled into the production of "The Stars Below, The Seas Above." Each moment gives the listener the sense that it was crafted, sharpened, and perfectly placed to build the bleakest landscape imaginable without sacrificing quality for a gimmick of any kind. It is the caliber of Doom that retains its value over time and remains listenable as a highly recommended backtrack under many applications. Fans of KRAKEN DUUMVIRATE may have had to wait 9 years for the follow up to their sophomore album, but it was absolutely worth the wait!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"The Stars Below, The Seas Above" Track-listing:

1. Star Spawn
2. II
3. The Temple
4. IV
5. The Stars Below, The Seas Above
6. VI
7. Queen, Arise

Kraken Duumvirate Lineup:

Magus Polypus Apollyon XIII
Grand Architeuthis S. Dux

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