For a small operation, we are flooded with e-mails ever day; PR firms, bands, labels, random people. We do our best to sift through them all, and I'd like to think we manage. But it makes it even more rewarding when something slides our way that we're generally excited by. Such is the case for the new album from Romanian symphonic metal quartet Kratos.
It gives us a great amount of pleasure to provide you with an exclusive stream of the track It's Empty III: The Way Out! Now, I Choose!, from their upcoming new album, Arlechino.
What becomes abundantly clear after only a few moments is how deep and expansive the mix is. This isn't the one dimensional kind of symphonic metal you may have come to expect. Instead, the track is a struggle between light and dark. On one end of the spectrum, the soaring and mesmerizing voice of frontwoman Monica Barta, coming to you as if from Heaven itself.
But it's the contrast between sublime and devilishly heavy that make It's Empty III such an instant hit. Lightly mixed orchestrations are no match for the flurry of double kicks and menacing growls, their beauty left floating in the ether when the latter begins. They aren't lost, though; they become uprooted, somehow passing into and through the rest of the mix. It's a struggle that we get to witness from a front row seat.
This track, and subsequent album release, speak to the care and perfectionist attitude the band have taken to their music, with Arlechino only the second full length in their nearly two decades of work. It's quality and substance over quantity and deadlines, and it rings true in every note of their work.
Arlechino is due out on May 6th via Inverse Records. The album was recorded at Kratos Studio and mixed and mastered by Alexandru Blaj at Soundlapse Studio. The artwork and layout were done by Costin Chioreanu of Twilight 13 Media. Pre-orders are available through Record Shop X at this location.