Pub quiz time – what happens when you take band members from Sikth, Gallows and Cry for Silence, throw in a Radio 1 DJ who was also a member of A and shut them all in a room before giving them the name of an illegal drug with flesh-eating side effects? The answer: you get Krokodil. Earlier this month the supergroup’s debut album ‘Nachash’ was released and currently the band are opening for the mighty Mastodon on their UK tour. If you need anything more to add to the equation, then guitarist Allessandro ‘V-Man’ Venturella is the man highly tipped to be the new bassist in a certain Iowa nine-piece…but the six-piece are naturally tight-lipped about it and it’s the last I’ll say on the matter as there is an album to review.
Naturally, given the talent that has come together to found Krokodil, you’d expect them to know what they were doing. You probably wouldn’t expect them to nail it on the head at the first time of asking though, which is what they’ve done here with some aplomb. The first thing to says is the riffs are so colossal you could stack them on top of one another, sit them at the entrance to Rhodes and it’d be a wonder of the world. Sludgy, heavy and with enough meat to feed a family of four for a month, it’s the main driving point of the album. Vocalist Simon Wright compliments the sound perfectly with his earthly, harsh vocals, not least on Sleep Well, Medusa and Sun Riders (which benefits massively from the instrumental opening of Ragnarok that precedes it) and, come to think of it, everywhere else on the album; from the opening explosion of Shatter to the closing ferocity of Phyllotaxis, it’s a relentless barrage over three-quarters of an hour with the punch of Muhammed Ali and the bite of Luis Suarez.
What will be interesting to see is how Krokodil follow this up when they return to the studio. Obviously with all the other commitments there’s every chance this could take a while and may not even happen at all, but if the latter prevails then at least the band left their mark on the metal world in the best possible way.
Simon Wright – vocals
Daniel P. Carter – guitar
Laurent ‘Lags’ Barnard – guitar
Allessandro ‘V-Man’ Venturella – guitar
James Leach – bass
Dan Foord – drums
Skin of the Earth
Dead Man’s Path
A Life Live in Copper, But Painted in Gold
Sleep Well, Medusa