Friday, June 30, 2023

Full Length Review: Kristopher Battilana "Introspective 1" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Location: Geraldton
Country: Western Australia
Genre: Alternative, rock, metal, goth
Full length: Introspective 1
Format: Digital
Label: Independent
Release date: April 23, 2023
Kristopher Battilana’s compilation of singles composed from 2019 to 2023 is an exploration into unconventional and broad-minded songwriting in the sense that what appears here has been rarely tried, or not tried at all.
Granted he’s not the first musician I’ve listened to who made an effort to compound variant genres into one recording, or composed pieces that contrast each other back to back. The hardcore and metal industries have launched pioneering bands since the late eighties from bands I’ve discovered.
Battilana however takes the idea seriously of generating digressions of genres that don’t seem to fit together and carrying them off on his own tangent, without overindulging, rehashing what’s already been done or outright mimicry advertised as progression. This is as self-limiting as a band sticking to formula ad infinitum, and creating more of a brutal death growl or writing extreme music with new instruments are no less viable advancements.
That being said, Battilana does something new with the genres he has been exposed to and records songs that would raise questions as to why his ideas hadn’t been thought of. While being as smart and resourceful as “The Raven and the Robot” and Abysmal Dimension’s self-titled EP, this compilation is far removed from anything that appears on either of those releases.
Infusing metal guitars with a goth vibe like Bauhaus and The Sisters of Mercy, early punk overtones, industrial and electronica sounds, the songs present themes that are simultaneously retro and modern, emphasizing a much of each of those musical styles as needed to get their point across. Sometimes he'll remind you of Andrew Eldritch, sometimes he'll remind you of David Bowie.
The songs are also appropriately somber and grainy, reflecting goth club circuits of the 1990s without having those elements that some may consider too depressive. For those of us who miss those days, this album lifts negative preconceptions of those scenes and reveal the level of imaginative invention that existed there, and still do to this day. 
This is the second of a two part series from Battliana, the first of which ("Introspective 2") released April of 2021. –Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. For The Realm
2. Feel What It's Like
3. Black Electricity
4. Butterfly
5. Learning to Die
6. The Sea of Orbs
7. Armed to the Neck
8. Poisoning Time
9. The Coldest Tongue
10. Lo Ra Hey

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