Reviews, Interviews, and Podcasts concerning the best Extreme Metal music

Knoll – As Spoken Review

2024 is shaping up to be the year of incredible chaotic albums. What exactly do I mean by that? – I mean albums that are full of unexpected melody changes, violent mood changes, and horns appearing out of nowhere.

This album is my first introduction to Knoll, but it assuredly won’t be my last. I was laying in bed at 2am a few weeks ago, prepping for sleep, when I first heard this monster. One track in, and I was rapidly searching the internet for the band’s website to see if they had vinyl copies available. Three tracks in, and I had already purchased it. Three full playthroughs later, I finally turned off my music and went to sleep, satisfied, and accepting that I would be exhausted throughout the long work day ahead of me.

It was worth it.

Knoll’s As Spoken is a “Funeral Grind” masterpiece. That’s the band’s terminology, not mine, and it often seems to get misinterpreted as a mixture of funeral doom and grindcore… but that isn’t what it is. While the album does give the listener a few moments of calm respite, the slower parts could never be considered funeral doom, and they are few and far between. Most of the music is melodic, intense beyond what you would ever anticipate, and filled with vitriol. Some of it sounds pure evil – something that many metal bands aspire to but fail to achieve.

I am not typically a huge fan of the grind subgenre, but this album seems to have unlocked my mind to appreciate more of it. I’ve been trying to expand my tastes on my own, but with As Spoken, it was easy. I know how to appreciate chaos, and I love Knoll’s particular brand of it.

Another thing I love is the personality and commitment to the image that Knoll puts out. They make everything look like it’s from a grainy black and white 70’s horror film, whether it’s their website, instagram, concerts, or thank you notes. Everything seems like it came straight from their personal funeral parlor.

I’ve included some pictures below of the personalized thank you note they sent along with my album. It’s very unique and cool. I love this album, and would definitely consider it a masterpiece. It’s one of the best things I’ve heard this year, and is a standout among a litany of impressive releases so far in 2024. Expect to see it on my end of year list.

My Rating: 4.5/5

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