It’s Monday and Mondays suck, so let’s grind it out with Knelt Rote’s Trespass.
The winter weather in western WA has been erratic. And I think I need something to reflect that. Between raining during the day and snowing at night, and having to scrape a fucking half inch off my windshield (to be fair it was worse when I lived in WI but at least more consistently cold) in the wee hours, the season has gotten is tedious. As is ice skating to work on four wheels. But Knelt Rote keep the adrenaline pumping, my neighbors annoyed and relieve me of having to socialize during my off hours.
Knelt Rote is an interesting band because despite their few releases, they’re all wildly different incantations of chaos. Yet in the end they all find themselves grounded in grind. Trespass is the final offering from the band. Released in 2012 on Nuclear War Now! Productions, Trespass is a bleak landscape of rage and rawness. While the band started out with a power electronics/noisegrind sound, by Trespass they had moved on to a grindcore/black/death metal sound.
Trespass, as you’ve come to expect from grindcore, gets down to things fast with opener “Usurpation.” A grinding death metal driven track if ever there was one. It’s an old-school opener that sets the tone and even delves into some black metal blasting later in the track. And it’s apparent that Knelt Rote is like plenty of bands you’ve heard. But sometimes they sound like a band that’s spliced black metal/grindcore better than almost any other band has in the past. Why? Not because they’re busy fusing the genres within their guitar riffs and tremolo picking a bunch of punked-out death metal riffs. It’s because they know how to switch styles but keep the formula fresh sounding.
See, Trespass is plenty of the genres you hear, but when you hear the riffs, they sound like they belong to a genre. Knelt Rote are almost more like splicers than they are melders. But it works so damn well. Tracks like “Passenger” are death metal, then black metal, then death, but with a healthy dose of grind. Meanwhile Gordon Ashworth’s vocals sound like they’re echoing from a dark chamber.
Meanwhile, there are tracks that are straightforward. “Succumb” is almost purely black metal. There’s a grindcore groove that keeps working its way into the song, but the track constantly sounds like it’s going to bring Armageddon down on the world. It’s bass-driven, deep lead makes it feel like moonlight is casting down. In between, grindy riffs ties the bits together. And this isn’t the only area this happens in. The following track, “Compass,” is an old-school slice of grindcore that sounds like it was cut from a Brutal Truth cloth.
Concerning Knelt Rote’s discography, you could argue that they became…more accessible as they went on. Which is a strange thing to say, but I’d argue that noisegrind and/or power electronics is/are way, way less accessible than most raw black metal. But you know, feel free to argue against an opinion. And regardless of what you may think, Knelt Rote has an incredible discography, despite how small it is. Trespass may even be the best way to get into the band because once you start diving further back into their catalog, things get noisy. With this, we keep it rough, raw and aggressive. I often tell you to play it loud. Make damn sure you do with this one.