Thursday, October 20, 2016

Karmanjaka - I Törnrosdalen (2016)

The debut album from this Swedish black metal quintet, there's a sort of tribal and fantasy mystique pouring out through this one. Grond's drumming sounds like a beast from ancient times, while Skallagrim reminds me of an angry troll, and with a much more frightening approach than Finntroll for sure. I'm not sure if it's Tengil or Om, but one of these guys is reponsible for some unexpected melodic leads in the title cut that add almost a melodic death touch to it. But that's nothing, because the latter portion of the track fills quickly with the sort of acid jam you might expect from Tool or King Crimson, taking it far out of the realms of black metal. When we get to the last cut on the disc, “Katla” that black metal style comes back, featuring a lead section that reminds me heavily of a classic RPG theme. As the song continues, I'm noticing quite a bit of prog riffs on the track which remind me heavily of my favorite era of Enslaved. I'll also have to admit that I really love the main leads for this one, just sounds like a great game. Karmanjaka are an act that have the bite and feel of classic black metal, yet keep things far more interesting than I would have ever dreamed. If you love melody, prog and video game themes as much as I do, then you'll find something here. I really like these guys, so I'd highly recommend them even on this short demo. Please make more of this.

(3 Tracks, 10:00)


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