Kongh – Sole Creation

Today we have  reviewer Jayaprakash Satyamurthy from the bangalore based band Djinn & Miskatonic doing a review of the new album from Kongh titled ‘Sole Creation‘. The record was released on the 5th of February via Agonia Records.

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Track listing:
1. “Sole Creation”
2. “Tamed Brute”
3. “The Portals”
4. “Skymning”

Review in Haiku – A Gradual Cataclysm

It’s hard to believe that it takes just three people to make such a massive sound, but there you have it. Kongh’s third full-length has all the ponderous poise and earth-shaking presence of its cinematic part-namesake, King Kong, perhaps in a freeze frame, caught leaping from one skyscraper to another in a doomed race for freedom. Bucking the ‘more is more’ trend of too many modern albums, the three musicians who constitute Kongh opt for a modest runtime of around 40 minutes, and that time is taken up by just four songs.  This in itself shouldn’t come as a surprise to fans of the doom/sludge sonic space Kongh operates in, but what matters is that these four songs are all massive, immersive journeys through vast riffs and hypnotic textures.

The title track, ‘Sole Creation’ is ushered in with a ritualistic drum beat and takes us firmly into pre-Superunknown classic grunge territory before moving into sections that are more in the Yob camp and even some stratospheric soundscapes that suggest post metal without the flab that genre is sometimes given to. The vocals are a surprise, and a pleasant one – instead of the one-dimensional approach often heard in this kind of expansive yet grimy music, they switch between a menacing, quavering and deep sludge-oriented style and a soaring, tuneful, but still burly delivery.

Stream the entire album on bandcamp below

‘Tamed Brute’ covers much of the same territory, featuring brilliant combinations of lead-footed riffage with soaring guitar squalls. There’s a definite tendency to go for the slow build, copped from the likes of Neurosis and with a similarly vast impact, like a gradual cataclysm. This approach also makes the most of the deep, rich guitar tone, giving it space to shimmer and roil, and let’s face it, a lot of doom/sludge fans are as much fans of hearing great guitar tone effectively deployed as anything else.

After two songs that never overstayed their welcome, despite their length, ‘The Portals’ doesn’t quite make the same impact. The main problem is that it’s simply more of the same, and doesn’t bring in the dose of diversity this album needs at this point. It’s still a superior song with some memorable, wailing lead work.

The final track, ‘Skymning’ makes up for any loss of interest. In this song, Kongh take the pace down a few notches, rolling out a meditative, almost ethereal soundscape with measured vocals and a laid-back, langorous pace that serves as a great offset from the intensity that has been sustained for so long and reminds us just how heavy the band actually gets elsewhere, in terms of sheer mass rather than tempo, of course. The craggy, grungy vocal delivery really comes into its own here, although still placed fairly low in the mix. 8 minutes in, the song moves into an incredibly effective endgame with wavering surf guitar chords streaming across a rhythmic backing that slowly evolves into a viscous, ropey sludge installation.

Long, spacey songs that can meander and soar without losing their way, a sound that is as psychedelic as it is heavy, and a doom/sludge approach that eschews any of the obvious stratagems of its genre – Kongh has crafted a Sole Creation to be proud of and an early entrant to any self-respecting riff maniacs’ best of 2013 list.

 

NOTE: If you want more of KONGH then stream away their last album “Shadows of the Shapeless” on the Soundcloud player attached below

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Ofermod – Thaumiel

We have our resident reviewer Raul Singh bleeding black with the latest album from ‘Ofermod‘ titled ‘Thaumiel‘.

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Tracklist:
01. Sisters of Rapture and Pestilence 07:42
02. Black Gate 05:40
03. Calling of Setnacht: Twofold Triunity 06:33
04. Undead Moon 05:17
05. Prayers Unto Warped Eternities 05:15
06. Chôshekh Ên Sôf 06:05
07. Chained to Redemption 06:09
08. Via Noctis: Veil of Gargophias 05:04

Ofermod is what I’ll call the pioneers of new world Black Metal. Hailing from Sweden, they’ve already released an album and a single, and the tag they were given, was Orthodox blackened death metal.
I, for one, always expect swedish bands to be somewhere in the realm of “trve” norwegian black metal, but the likes of Marduk, Shining , Dark Funeral, Dissection and all had kept trying to merge a pinch of freshness in their works, deviating from the musical pattern of the “kvlt”. Ofermod can actually be placed in the likes of these, a fresh new sound for the dark music.
The name “Thaumiel” is a hebrew word, stands for “twins of god” represents the dark powers of “Kether”, the first “Sephirah”  of “Sephiroths” of the Tree of life. It is actually personified as giant dual heads with bat-like wings, but with no bodies and are called the Divided Ones. Thus, their album artwork has the two headed figure.The production quality is as good as it can get to be called Black. The music is dark and sinister as is expected. Its rather manages to be very  different but yet very well within the black metal ethos.


“Thaumiel” starts with “Sisters of Rapture and Pestilence” and it takes you straight to the world of occultism and darkness with its very mid-tempo  riffs, and neo-classical drums. This is the limit of delivering pure evil just by riffs.  Composition wise, this is my favorite track off the album. The next track continues with their mid tempo/slow riffs , when suddenly it crashes into “Calling Of Setnacht Twofold Triunity”,  amplifying everything that was going deep before. Another track, which will have your attention, is “Undead Moon”. The man, who was sulking my brain with his corrosively dark vocals, just starting singing clean !! . Of course it might seem a tad misplaced, and probably would sound better off alone, but it owns none the less. Vocals are one of the highlights of this album , with a lot of variations, both on cleans, deep, gutturals, and screeches, a very rare but simple blend of a man’s voice I’d say.
Ofermod offered something which is different on a whole lot different. It had brought the darkness in music without the use of any corpse paint, or any war-like gesture which had been the point of mockery for Black Metal, or any under quality production, or … you know what I mean. It made me believe in a simple logic of mine, its easy to make music what people already like, but its hard to make music which people will start to like. They proved that you don’t have to be complex and technical to make good music. And something as simple as this blew my mind without bringing in uber complexity simply amazed me.

This one is as worth as anything you’ve got your hands upon recently.

“Chosekh En Sof.” the song on its own struck me as a death dealer. With that I close my itunes right now, and i here end with a quote by the insane Caligula (quoted in the very same song)

Caligula – “I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God

 

Torche – Harmonicraft

Today we have the album ‘Harmonicraft’ by ‘Torche’ reviewed by our resident reviewer Mohammad Kabeer.

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Tracklist:

  1. “Letting Go” – 2:03
  2. “Kicking” – 2:35
  3. “Walk it Off” – 1:25
  4. “Reverse Inverted” – 3:50
  5. “In Pieces” – 3:09
  6. “Snakes Are Charmed” – 3:14
  7. “Sky Trials” – 1:18
  8. “Roaming” – 3:20
  9. “Skin Moth” – 3:18
  10. “Kiss Me Dudely” – 1:48
  11. “Solitary Traveler” – 2:48
  12. “Harmonicraft” – 3:15
  13. “Looking On” – 6:40

Modern Sludge has never really   been something interesting for me, while most bands sound like Mastodon clones  the others like Baroness and Kylesa are nice  but somehow don’t really quite  catch   my fancy.  Torche is definitely an exception to this rule, I was very much impressed with their last album Meanderthal. They  had a very  unique take  on the genre  which   made  their sound quite fresh,  I was eagerly  awaiting  their new album to see if they would bring something new to their already distinctive sound,  and I found  out  eventually that it was quite a handful.

Torche is  a four piece from Miami, Florida consisting of Steve Brooks(Guitars/Vocals), Jonathan Nuñez(bass),Rick Smith(drums) and Andrew Elstner(guitar,vocals). The band’s sound in general  can be described as mixture of  hard alternative rock   with  modern sludge metal , and this is something that is prevalent  here as well as the band mixes warm, mildly distorted  hard rock  guitar work   which also includes  some really dramatic wails which can be heard in  the tracks “Letting go”  and “Reverse Inverted”   with the more  high  gain  groovy almost fuzzy  distortion  that you  hear from most  modern sludge bands today,  so basically  what you get is  hard rock played with sludge metal sensibilities, which  is  honest  simple and takes me  back to  the age of the Smashing Pumpkins  when bands were rocking hard , making music  that was fast, loud  yet very positive, uplifting and really  fun to jump around,  unlike  today  where  hard rock is pretty much dead  and   if you want to listen to something like that then there is only sinister Metal or  gritty Hardcore.

In that respect  I think Torche are a breath of fresh air ,  and this  album  only  adds to this as there a lot of  diversity in both  the mood and tempo  and genre of the songs. You have songs  like Kicking, Kiss Me Dudley  and  Roaming ,Snakes are Charmed and  Sky Trials which are  pretty uplifting  and  are  definitely the faster songs  in the album with the exception of Snakes are Charmed,  which btw   has  elements of synthpop (surprising isn’t it?)  while songs like Reverse Inverted , Solitary traveler  and  Looking on  are some of the slower tracks on this album ,In fact Solitary traveler  is a pretty deep serious  ballad, probably one of the most deepest songs the band has done and Looking on is also  a complete departure  from the bands  sound as it goes into  doom territory.

Overall I would say that this is  a  much  more  balanced album having songs that vary between different moods and  tempos  and   further improves their already  well crafted, definietely worth a listen.

Don’t forget to visit the band website for more goodies!

Also show their facebook page some love!

Interview: NALE

Nale are a hardrock/metal outfit from the metal-hallowed lands of Sweden. The band had recently embarked on a tour of India, where they were to play to at Gandhinagar, Gujarat and Silchar,Assam. Metalspree’s Raj Sharma caught the entire band chilling out just a few days ahead of their last gig at Silchar. Here is what they had to say.

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Q. Greetings from Metal Spree, how’s the experience in India  turned out so far??

NALE:  Awesome, really good, everyone’s so nice here,very  hospitable and the crowd at Gandhinagar was really awesome.
Q. Your debut Indian Gig at Gandhi Nagar how was it? You all were the first international band playing over there, how did it turn out?

NALE: It was 2500,awesome experience  we thought we would have around 1500 people there or something, they said it could get wild ,It could get crazy it was fun and we are sorry to the guys who were left with injuries *Laughs*

Q. Besides playing in NALE, What do you all do students /day job?

Tomas: Sound engineer

Mathias: Graphic designer/Photographer

Johan : Mechanic/Studying too

Andy: Truck Sale

Q.For your new fans in India, give us a little brief insight on what exactly is Ghost Road Blues in your opinion?

NALE: Yeah about the album, well it’s a pretty much of mix of everything we love in the music field from Metal, Rock N Roll also got hardcore influences, grooves we wanted to groove yeah.

Q. Talking about influences here, tell us your main influences which got you to make music?

NALE(Thomas):  hmm I don’t know I listen to lots of different music style related to metal ,subgenre of metals or death metal something like that, if specific I listen to old death metal bands mostly like DISMEMBER, the Old MORBID ANGEL but when I listen to stuff out of metal it’s more of like John Mayer or a Bluesy guy , good blues music .So it’s almost everything that gets to the influence while writing, I listen to John Mayer song and try to get the feel of it in a NALE song

Q. Well your sounds seems to be a mix of everything but than if you all had to name your sound in one word what would that be?

Andy:  It would be NALE, definitely NALE

Q.Well yeah I expected that haha..Anyways you guys had Chris Laney (Grammy awarded producer) for your debut EP and the follow up, what made you all go for a different producer with the debut Full length?

 (Thomas): Because Matt knew the Chris Laney guy who mixed it, he didn’t produce it he mixed it , we recorded in a small studio and recorded it, so we could produce it ourselves but he mixed the sound for us as Matt wanted him to mix it production I knew Lawrence Mackrony , who did the work on Ghost road blues, He is friend of mine and my old boss and so I thought we should do it with him

Mathias: The guy knew what we wanted and he is also a brilliant vocalist and we are really happy with the work he did

Thomas: He has a really good mind, he helped Mathias with the vocals recording wise he worked as perfectionist for us 

Q.Time for some shout out to the folks at Sweden, Tell us your favorite bands from Sweden, that you want to recommend our readers at Metal Spree??

*Everyone thinks it out for while *

Tomas: Hall Kaften,Vad Villdui!? ,Crucified Barbara.

Mathias : Port Noir, Orangeclub

Johan: Toremention,FKU,One hour Hell

Andy: The Tlark,Bondage Faries

NALE: With extra special love to DEGRADEAD

Q. Your 2nd video for The Fun in funeral was shot from a live performance at Stockholm, with Two EP’s and a full length now any plans for going for a Live DVD ??

Mathias: Maybe not a Live DVD,But rightnow we are thinking about another new EP quite soon after the india tour ends maybe four songs , or six or even maybe a full length album but no live DVD so far

Johan: Its Gonna be a shit load of material in youtube soon ,Following up to make long web episode series on youtube.

Mathias: Yeah its gonna be more of our own segment.

Q. Who here is involved in any other project or band besides NALE?

Thomas: yeah I’m involved with some death metal bands

Johan:  I play in a band called.. with a girl doing some electronic, I m playing bass when she’s performing live
Mathias: They are the hired guns haha.. Well but I’m just involved with NALE

Andy: Just Nale

Q. Tell us about your song writing process?

Mathias: Auders actually wrote ..

Andy: Well yeah two songs that too was like 4 years ago haha, mostly Tomas writes stuff and comes up to us.

Tomas: At home, I watch a movie and try to think not to make it a song, it so hard to do it right and then again play again with guitar some riffs,lick and yeah whenever its sounds cool I go on to recording the riff and go on playing it again so that we remember it and soon we start playing it its get more worked out while recording too

Q. So who come up with the lyrical materials completely Mathias?

Tomas: Yeah, we actually tell him like this shit has to name something like that or specific depending upon the song

Mathias: Yeah he does come up with that, like we think this should be named as grasshoppers or maybe Cows.

Q. So you guys don’t have any particular lyrical theme right?

Mathias: No  particular themes it totally comes from Tomas as how he writes up the songs after watching his movies, Yeah its kinda like that I see a movie while writing a lyrics , It like a Soundtrack you know , soundtrack are just music and than they are put downed to the movies(the lyrical part).

 

Q. What’s next after India??

NALE: Yeah , we pretty excited of the last gig at Silchar .We will be getting down some rest after the tour is over than back to plans we have lots more to work on new materials maybe . We are gonna celebrate this  whole journey firstly when we get back home after two weeks most probably.

Q.Any last words to our reader or for the Silchar folks waiting to see you ??

NALE: Yeah all the people from Assam who are going to Silchar and the Silchar people to prove them that are more crazy than the Gandhi Nagar’s totally. Thanks for the interview!

Follow the band on Facebook!

Heavy Prescription : Gaia’s Throne, Petrichor

Today i’ve dug up  some interesting local metal. The word ‘local’ here is by no means derogatory and kindly view it as a reference to our own Indian scene so save your whining for another day.  Today we visit two bands, who have consistently managed to entice us with glimpses of excellent musicianship.

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1. GAIA’S THRONE

Goddamnit! I’ve never even had an inkling  as to the band’s existence until very recently. A hundred lashes from a metal barbed whip is what i deserve. Nothing can make up for this gross ignorance . Now for the rest of the uninitiated idiots out there, Gaia’s Throne is a heavy metal/ power prog band from Pune. The mention of the genre alone is something of a breather from the wave after wave of bad metalcore that seems to have the country in a stranglehold .

The band has just released two tracks, which includes a self titled track and a second one titled ‘Contact’. After having checked the song, for some reason one word popped up. ” Rishloo”. Vocalist Siddharth’s vocals sound strangely similar to that off Rishloo’s Andrew. The instrumentation employed does seem to have a flavor very similar to the Rishloo styled of prog. And yet Gaia’s Throne holds their own, weaving ethereal melodies with some breathtakingly beautiful vocals. More often than not progressive bands try to do a tad too much when it comes to instrumentation and pretty much shoots it over the roof. But Gaia’s throne seems to blend in things nicely, every single part of the song segue into the next with relative ease. This makes it a much more cohesive listen and high repeat value . And oh! did i mention that the production cannot be really that far from perfect. It highlights each and every nuance played in the band so the listener may pick it up within the first few listens.

Then comes the lyrics. Set in a futuristic yet dystopian setting, both the songs slowly unveil the multi- species storyline at hand. I wouldn’t want to go further into the deep lyricism for you can follow them all here at their personal blog. I stress you check the entire blog, which is a great read and you’d probably sense the extend to which the band has gone to churn out this beauty. Checkout both these songs below and also accompanying them is a lyric video of the song “Contact”.

LYRIC VIDEO  – “CONTACT”

Follow the band on FACEBOOK.

petrichor

2. PETRICHOR

Next up is Petrichor. Everyone who has stumbled across our compilation might find this name pretty familiar. Their sheer ability to write grooves that straddle the thin line between extremity and progressiveness is what got them there. The cover art alone is a perfect visual description of the kind of music they have in store for the listener. So why the re-mentioning them you ask?  Well they have just released the entire stream of their debut EP ‘ Hueman’. Take caution though, for these riffs might just shake your balls off. The entire EP was tracked and mastered at Refractor Studios which is co-owned by members of Noiseware. Listen to the entire stream below.

Follow them on FACEBOOK