AlbumsNovember 29, 201111,518 views

Knut Terraformer


01. 7.08 02. Wyriwys 03. Kyoto 04. Torvalds 05. Seattle 06. Bollingen 07. Solar Flare 08. Fallujah 09. Genoa 10. Davos 11. Evian 12. Fibonacci Unfolds
2005 Hydra Head Records
Our score 7

by Cory
11/17/2005

After a three-year hiatus, Switzerland's Knut has returned with Terraformer, a 45-minute combination of groove and dirge that will undoubtedly gain them new fans while potentially turning off some of the band's former fan base. Taking a cue from some of their Hydra Head label mates, Knut have minimized the presence of vocals and strung their songs into one vast, nearly continuous combination of droning metal and noise. While it's hard to say if this is a change for the better, Terraformer is what it is, and it's relatively hard not to at least admire. For lack of a better comparison, Knut's newest record should appeal to fans of Neurosis and Isis, if only because they seem to have the attention span and overall ability to appreciate music whose density and mood are able to make up for its relative simplicity. That's not to say that all of Terraformer is "slow," but even the parts that are a bit more up-tempo ("Seattle") aren't particularly complex. For Knut, this album seems to be all about minimalist music with carefully planned production. "Solar Flare" illustrates this perfectly, as this seven minute piece ends with two minutes of nothing but a basic drumbeat and a bit of spacey background noise. "Fallujah" is definitely one of the disc's most intense tracks musically, but I can't help wishing they would have included more vocals than a handful of samples and a lone scream. The same can be said of its follow-up "Genoa," an equally fierce couple of minutes that would have benefited from some sort of vocal accompaniment. Finally, the disc ends on a bit of a boring note with "Fibonacci Unfolds," a six-minute electronic instrumental bore. Honestly, the lack of vocals is my only major complaint about Terraformer. Thankfully these guys don't have to worry about the decision's impact on their live show, as they have decided not to perform live anymore, but it really does hurt them on disc as well. On the few tracks that vocals do occur, they are a strong, powerful presence, so much so, in fact, that I spent much of the rest of the disc waiting for them to return. A band is supposed to leave listeners wanting more after the album, not during. Bottom Line: Knut's Terraformer is a musical force to be reckoned with, sadly suffering from the band's decision not to utilize strong vocals. "Wyriwys" gives listeners a taste of things to come, but the rest of the album ultimately fails to deliver greatness. If Knut wants to establish themselves as an intense instrumental act, Terraformer should successfully do so, but it's a shame to think of how good this album could have been.

26 comments

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chadster_ 11/17/2005 2:53:27 PM

First post!


Kanye West_ 11/17/2005 3:01:19 PM

George Bush doesn't care about bands from Switzerland and/or black people.


GW_ 11/17/2005 3:19:30 PM

or black people from switzerland


har_har_ 11/17/2005 3:54:31 PM

higher than a 7/10


Fur_Beach_ 11/17/2005 4:03:44 PM

I just bust my Knut!


questionasker_ 11/17/2005 4:22:35 PM

How the hell do you pronounce this band's name?


DrinkinOxygen_ 11/17/2005 4:55:46 PM

It's pronounced Ka-Noot, I think. When he said when I saw them live it was like he was getting ready to hawk a loogie when he pronounced the "K" sound. I say it's like "canoe" with a T on the end.


Coldchain_ 11/17/2005 5:20:02 PM

Its weird, I still have yet to hear Knut. And they are totally the sort of band I would listen to


jefferson_ 11/17/2005 6:50:41 PM

more review failure courtesy of cory


Michael_ 11/17/2005 9:46:44 PM

Great album. 8/10


..._ 11/17/2005 9:48:55 PM

Since when did they stop doing vocals?


heretic_ 11/18/2005 2:56:22 AM

once and for all, it's pronounced CNOOT


dan_ 11/18/2005 3:28:56 AM

actually this is simple the best "hc" band out there. I'm just sorry most of you didn't understand it yet. by the way, for the ones of you who didn't listen to knut yet, give "challenger" a shot before listening to terraformer. sometimes it's useful to listen to previous band's releases to understand its new approach. knut f*cking rules.


I_AM_FUCK_ 11/18/2005 3:56:02 AM

Good album, but doesn't top Challenger.


TheReapersSon_ 11/18/2005 4:45:43 AM

Where's the Ringworm review, eh Cory??!?!!


Jesse_ 11/18/2005 8:25:06 AM

its better than a 7/10, but i did feel a tad underwhelmed by it in some ways.


yourewrongdeadwrong_ 11/18/2005 8:45:18 AM

If you want to get a good listen to Knut buy ''Bastardiser". Way better than "Challenger". I have yet to buy this one but hopefully it sounds nothing like Pelican and all the other cheap immitation ISIS/Neurosis bands. f*ck you HydraHead!!


mrwong_ 11/18/2005 10:45:06 AM

Accurate review, although I think an 8/10 would be more deserving.


theaxis_ 11/19/2005 2:23:08 PM

seriously one of the best records of the year right here. this band f*cking rules. all their previous stuff is amazing as well. it's a shame this band isn't playing shows anymore.


theaxis_ 11/19/2005 10:29:26 PM

this record deserves more then a 7/10


conduit_ 11/19/2005 11:55:24 PM

Totally agree with review, the only down side is thta half the songs are instrumentals that would would have been far more intense with vocals. plus too much filler.


truthsayer_ 11/21/2005 9:06:10 PM

Finally checked this out. The instrumentals don't bother me - they're always had a fair amount of instrumental shit on their records. What bugs me is the step down in productions. The whole thing sounds muffled to me.


arsonaut_ 11/24/2005 12:57:13 AM

definately one of the better releases this year.. this band doesnt get enough recognition for being awesome


Lukecubed_ 11/27/2005 4:06:41 PM

Wow, what a disappointing review. I've come to expect a little better than "it's a shame to think of how good this album could have been" from Cory. I'm not slagging him cuz he didn't like it, but since when do your expectations count for anything? That's like saying "well, I was expecting something a little jazzier from Mozart, so I didn't like it as much." Try judging the music they give you as opposed to how it stacks up next to the music you hoped for. Taking points off a cool record be


SMokeOutloud_ 11/29/2005 12:51:29 PM

this bands vox are what makes it soooooo juicy, not unlike botch's vox, its too bad they left the duder out on most tracks. (and no thx to HH or BlueCollar for NOT shipping this to me even still, you bastards)


knut's vocalist_ 5/20/2006 3:12:49 PM

*wins at totally mean vocals* jesus and i love you all!