Reviews - K
The vibe, the feel on this album is just amazing! It's like somebody finally said: "OK, we want to play brutal death metal, BUT!!...we are tired of all these blast attack generic bands that have speed and nothing else to offer... 1) we want to have feeling in our songs, make it really heavy, like old Obituary, Carcass, early Death, early Morgoth, with some Autopsy ...Just have it be saturated, oozing death metal... 2) we want heavy guitars, distinctive riffs, none of the speed-for-speed's-sake stuff; it can be fast, but it has to have feeling; it has to sound dark, with no chugga-chugga whatsoever; no "thrashy" riffs, just pure death metal guitar; no happy melodies or breakdowns or anything; Celtic Frost, Obituary, early Unleashed...you know, the death metal sound.... 3) the vocals have to be strong, none of that generic, cupped-microphone dog-barking ....again, Chuck Schuldiner, Tom G. Warrior, John Tardy, David Vincent, Kam Lee, Jeff Walker...just have it have that total classic style death metal growling... 4) and songs that have 'classic' written all over them." Kaamos have really succeeded. Death metal is great art when some people finally have the courage and talent to play it like it's supposed to be played. Things like blasting and speed are important, but they are secondary to having the right feel, which this band understands.
KALIBAN - THE TEMPEST OF THOUGHTS
CRASH MUSIC, INC.
This album was recorded in 1998. However, this is a good album and I did not notice that it was old until I read the booklet. Thatís a good sign because it means that in 2005 itís still sounding good. Actually, if you listen without worrying about what you want it to be (not what you wish it would sound like, but what it sounds like in reality) and just listen and wait to find out if something is good and then see where it takes you, youíll find that The Tempest of Thoughts is a solid album with good songs from beginning to end. I know nothing about the history of this band. This album is licensed from Low Frequency Records and the band is from Finland (judging from the last names). The music: it has the pretty low tuned sound of melodic Scandinavian/Finnish metal/thrash/death, lots of guitar melodies and harmonies (which made me think of Sentencedís Down), low-growled vocals (not screechy like At the Gates, etc., rather more guttural). In addition, the music throughout is peppered with keyboards (background mostly), other instruments like sitar, some female vocals, etc. Of course, this makes the music fall in that same broad field (of that time) covering In Flames, Sentenced, etc. Is this as good as those bands? Well, I had never heard of this band or this album until this review. So, this is a new album to me. What I can tell you is that this is a good album, sure, though not the most original. Itís relatively creative, itís good, maybe very good in certain places. What may be of interest to you, if you like this specific type of music - and especially now that this sound has decreased in popularity - is to hear a surprisingly good band that you missed. Sorry, the cd booklet does not list a website.
KARMA TO BURN - "WILD WONDERFUL PURGATORY"
Heh. I'm gonna keep this short and simple. This CD bit dirt. Boring as hell with too much guitar tomfoolery. This band can't seem to decide what they're doing in each song. What kind of music is this? It could be "metal", it could be "hard rock." If you have the MONEY to BURN (waste!), see if you can figure it out.
KATATONIA - The Great Cold Distance
The problem: this has constant interruptions in the music. In each song, sometimes even during the chorus, so when the vocalist is actually singing, a voice interrupts to say, "You are listening to the song (insert title) the forthcoming Katatonia album The Great Cold Distance." This happens at least twice during the tracks to mutilate, interrupt and silence by a male voice talking, cutting in and intruding. It's difficult to imagine that musicians would appreciate the presentation of their art in this form.
KHIGH - WISE HEDONIST
POWER PLAY RECORDS
This sounds like it was recorded at a really good basement studio, it sounds like a fancy demo or like a self-financed recording. The vocals are nasal and the vocalist sounds like he's trying too hard to sing, he sounds strained, and really, he just can't sound that great. He's alright, but nothing too good, but nothing awful, either. The guitar is traditional rock n roll, or at least, that's what it sounds like to me. The singer/guitarist/head honcho in the thanks list sounds like he thinks he's really talented and basically thanks no one but himself, nice. Regardless, this is how I hear this: the guitarist may be talented, but the songs are not good. The lyrics and the singing sound like they don't fit the music. He's trying to tell a long-winded story, and it sounds like a book, not like a song. The "singing" is somewhat annoying because he's straining. I tried to listen to this album several times, but every time I had to stop it after a few songs because it was annoying me. I almost never stop cds in the middle. Almost never.
KHOLD: MōRKE GRAVERS KAMMER
This is a Norwegian band that plays garage punk rock that stays at the Rolling Stones / AC/DC mid-tempo that comes across as boring, mediocre and just plain tired. The drumming is basic rock drumming. The guitar "work" is nothing worth talking about. This is one of the most boring albums I have heard coming out of Norway. Yeah, I know this band thinks that they play black metal. If you consider Dimmu Borgir, Darkthrone, Cradle of Filth, Satyricon, Krieg, Aborym or anyone like that black metal, you can make an argument for your point, but not in this case, this band sounds more like AC/DC or a slower and way more boring version of the Sex Pistols. But yeah, with "grim" vocals.
KILL THE THRILL - TELLURIQUE
SEASON OF MIST
This band is dark, brooding, melancholic, slow; definitely not rock or anything like that, but more like spacy, tripped out techno/industrial. The music is not about aggression or speed. One gets the feeling that the songs are circular, repetitive, like a sort of nightmare cul-de-sac that leaves the listener numb. Maybe these guys do a lot of drugs. Not truly-open-minded-to-weird-music metal fans will want to stay the hell away from this. On the other hand, Godflesh fans, industrial fans might think that this is genius. The vocals are dark, but kind of sung and at other times sort of more emotional/semi-shouted, but never really loud. Thus, if you like cold, alienating, hypnosis-through-circular-rhythms, clinical, spacy, robotic, machine, mechanical, dark, nonmetal, nonrock, pretty outthere, drum machine music, then investigate.
KING DIAMOND - "THE GRAVEYARD"
This release is another episode in the long history of KING D. tradition of telling a story in each release. If you heard the "Spiders Lullaby", then this continues the "new and polished" sound. (Which I hate!) KING D., the band, doesn't really sound evil like in the old days. (The better days.) In many ways the direction of the band is more crystalline and has the more straight forward heavy metal sound. You can tell they put a lot of work into this album. As always, Andy La R. guitar work simply shines on this undertaking. At times the sharp melodies and solos are pretty damn impressive. The voice isn't (what I would call) as schizophrenic as in the past. Despite the fact that the subject matter is "dark", the truth is that this album is to "nice" sounding for it to be "dark". It's almost as if the old VAN HALEN tried to sound evil. This is just too musical, too good to be "evil". The overall sound is that of a heavy metal band that has come of age. Truly professionally sounding stuff. (That doesn't make it better!) I still have to mention again that it's the guitar work that makes this band really awesome.
THE KOVENANT - "ANIMATRONIC"
For those of you who have or have heard the first album, or even "Nexus Polaris", forget it. Just forget it exists. It seems that with the dropping of the "C" (for legal reasons) in favor of the "K", also, the departure of the traditional black metal that made up the previous releases. This is still very much metal, but there is a much different approach happening here. It's almost as if Marilyn Manson fired his whole band, and recruited all new members from the Gothenburg metal scene. Say what you will about Manson, but the war he wages against organized religion is much more intellectual and thought provoking than some black metal bean's running around screaming, "Fire, fire!" It's heavy, sinister, a little scary, but beautiful, ambient, and a little evil. Just the way I like it! I think they should have toured with Samael and Dimmu Borgir, instead of Monstrosity, who were good, just mis-cast. This is definitely death metal Manson, and is HIGHLY recommended to anyone who likes music in the heavy spectrum. Fans of gothic, Samael, Manson, and the like, don't miss out on this!
The Kovenant - S.E.T.I.
Man, I hope it's not too late? This album has been out for some time now but I'm just getting around to the review. STAY AWAY by all means! If you were like me, an innocent by stander who was expecting a true progression from Animatronic, especially since the main man in the band, good ol Lex, told me so in an interview, he painted the wrong picture for me! Just check out the interview in issue 5 to see what I mean. "Same style, but darker." NOT the same style and NOT the same darkness. 100% cheese! The music is very generic and in my opinion the metal is no longer present. No real aggression, definitely not the same attitude. I just don't know what happend here.
KREAGAN - Three Song Demo
"Wish" is a rock ballad supposed to make you cry. The Massachusetts group has assimilated well glam, such as Skid Row and Poison. The other two songs are more traditional heavy metal, for fans of 80's Iron Maiden sweet-guitar melodies. Good, especially for fans of old school 80's traditional hard glam rock.
KRISIUN - BLOODSHED
CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS
This mini-album is full-on brutal death, unmelodic and harsh, like always. The Brazilians once again continue their growl and blast strategy. Enough to say, they are known for being fast and brutal and are considered among the best. They still do not employ anything resembling a melody whatsoever. Ah, but they have two interesting things here: new versions of four "Unmerciful Order" tracks. Yes, they are still fast and raw, sounding demo like. The real shocker is the new material: this band is still blasting, but it's blasting in a different way. What does that mean, you ask? The overall rhythms of the songs are more mid-paced, technical and groovy. The whiners that keep complaining that Krisiun has slowed down will be calling their moms to cry about this new direction!
KRYOBURN - ENIGMATIC EXISTENCE
There are two main facets to the sound of Kryoburn. First, the guitars are chug-based and have a thick, fat, stomping sound. The drums, of course, serve to accentuate the breakdown-centered approach. The vocals are growled/screamed. Thus, this part of the sound is about mosh pits. The second element of this group is the melodic side, which has a bit of keyboards/synth feel and the vocals are clean-sung. The vocals are not great, but they're ok. This is probably the result of combining Pantera and Fear Factory. However, this is this band's debut and won't amaze anyone, but it establishes a base for the band. Actually, from the sounds of it, this would fit well in the Roadrunner Records roster much better than in the Candlelight fold. Personally, I find nothing interesting in this type of music.
KURU - EPIDEMIC
Non-stop blasting, severely and unintelligibly guttural and with an overall unclean sound to match, Kuru is total gore death of the horror & sex variety (What other kind is there, Mauricio? Shut up, Mauricio. -- Mauricio)-(He really said that!! - Mike). Song titles, such as, "Brain Bleeding Cannibal Core" and "Memoirs of a Man Eater" are declarations of purpose. However, the lyrics are all about gore, but they are supposed to be funny. Ha. Ha. Ha. The music is memorable, in a twisted, blasting, claustrophobic way. Kuru is like what Cannibal Corpse would have been if they hadn't "matured". Compared to this band, Death's "Scream Bloody Gore" is melodic, polished gore. This is more in the neighborhood of Mortician: gore trying to outgore all that the gore that came before since 1984.