By Kim Kelly
The first time I laid eyes and fresh ears on Krallice was in a conceptual artist’s oversized studio, framed by boxes of wire and sticky with someone else’s blood. It was a rainy night in Queens. The Manhattan skyline stood slick and weary in the humid air, and the Hudson slithered by as languidly as a sated python. As summer light died away sweetly and darkness stole quietly into its place, the scent of burning flesh wafted by. A skinny man in a leather jacket brushed past me, and a woman in yellow tip-toed behind him. It was July in the year 2008, and with Dagon in tow, Inquisition had brought their occult black rituals to New York. An intriguing new band from the outer boroughs was slated to open the proceedings. A massive art space nestled on the banks of the river had been called into duty, and an unlikely mélange of leather jackets, cheap beer, silver necklaces and ballerina flats populated this alien slice of the city. Flanked by an upscale restaurant and a loading dock, the “venue” seemed as out of place there as its temporary residents, and no one was quite certain of what to expect. As longhairs and curious passersby gnawed bones and snuck swigs from carefully stowed bottles, a great rumbling came from inside the warehouse’s cavernous depths – a harbinger of things to come. As bodies trickled in, four men fiddled with instruments and twiddled knobs, preparing. And then – it began.
The juxtaposition of corpse paint, bemused and be-V-necked voyeurs, and a severed pig’s head lent an air of surrealism to that arresting, monumentally cathartic performance that that young band with the strange name and even stranger aesthetic had chosen to unleash. Whether or not we realized it then, Krallice had arrived.