It’s rare in this day and age to find a band or artist that creates something that truly stands out from the rest. In metal especially, sounds just tend to blur together and it becomes a conversation more about who said artist is comparable to rather than if they’re incomparable. Luckily, I Klatus fall into the latter category (But if you’re looking for a starting point: Think Mastodon with their honed talent of today going back to record Remission).
On Nagual Sun, Chicago’s I Klatus merge epic sludge with glorious sonic soundscapes to create something entirely incomparable. “Beneath the Waves” starts things off with these heavy drones and electronic flourishes (Courtesy of Robert Bauwens who’s in charge of “Gongs and Robots”) building this molasses thick mountain of sound until the real riff thrashing begins over three minutes in.
“Serpent Cults” takes on a mystical/ethereal tone and could be described as Sabbath meets High On Fire (I know! I know! Last comparison, I swear!) while “Sorcerer’s Gaze” is Doom incarnate with its’ lumbering opening developing into a downtrodden wall of fuzzed out riffs as Tom Denney belts out a low end growl then switches to the cleanest vox so far then on to a death metal howl. Um, what?
“Moment of Devastation” starts all trippy before a mountain of riffs and Chris Wozniak’s percussion clobbers listeners with another wall of sound as Denney takes on a creepy whisper approach to drive all of the points home. “The Alivist” is a dominant display of controlled aggression within a whirlwind of Denney’s riffage, John E Bomher, Jr’s low end, Wozniak’s systematic pummeling, and Bauwen’s expertly executed electro. Then it becomes this surprisingly groove-laden beast.
“Jaws of the Shark” is equally brutal with a series of start/stop percussive attacks with Denney’s unearthly snarl breaking through the cacophony until “Father John Thomas (The Penitent)” offers a brief reprieve from the aural onslaught but is equally batshit as the titular character intently urges you to repent amidst chaotic synthetics.
Closing out with the fittingly titled and fittingly epic “Final Communion”, I Klatus intentionally leave listeners with their jaws hanging on the floor gagging for more as this eight minute opus, filled with peaks and valleys of deliciously sumptuous space rawk, ends Nagual Sun.