Has it really been four years since Kultika’s exceptional debut album The Strange Innerdweller? How time flies.
Well, the band have finally returned, with a taster EP, teasing us and whetting the appetite with 15 minutes of new material, showing a marked progression of the band’s writing and style.
Do You Want to See the Splendor is the first and longer of the two tracks, starting with some beautiful piano that wastes no time in establishing atmosphere and presence. With a soft, introspective introduction, replete with equally soft crooning, the song immediately sucks you in and not only demands your attention, but holds it too.
As the song progresses the distortion eventually kicks in, but not in an obvious, separate-sounding way; rather it enhances and supports what’s already there. The song continues on its highly-emotive trajectory, soaring to such heady new heights that it’s almost enough to take the breath away.
After it returns to lighter territories, it begins to build once more, urging the listener to follow it in its ever increasing quest for apotheosis. The guitars become increasingly resplendent, while the vocals become ever more aggressive. This juxtaposition works well, until something seems to break and the track enters its penultimate form, giving way to a blackened aggressive grandeur that’s simply quite stunning, before finally winding down with some emotive singing.
Wow. With Do You Want to See the Splendor Kultika have returned better than ever. What a song.
It would be easy to forget that there’s actually more to come. The next track is the shorter Unburden Me. Seemingly unable, and unwilling, to compete with the epic nature of the previous song, this track takes a different route to the listener’s heart.
Unburden Me is an acoustic exploration of mood and texture. It effectively side-steps the problem of having to follow Do You Want to See the Splendor by changing emphasis to a soft, keyboard-enhanced acoustic environment, one that’s a fitting and effective way to ease us gently out of the EP and back into the crushing depressive reality of our everyday lives.
Pursuance is a wonderfully realised and extremely accomplished EP from this superlative band. If this is any indication, then the band’s upcoming full-length is going to be absolutely amazing. I can’t wait.
Until then, you simply must listen to Pursuance.