Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Kalling ~ 3 (EP)

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: black metal, heavy metal
Label: self-released
Year: 2013
Home: Texas

Members: Bryan 'B-Ray' Ray ~ guitars/vocals
Gerald 'G-Man' Barnett ~ drums



In their third release, following two back to back 2011 releases, the duo of the Kalling have gone for a wider more exploratory palette of sound, or at least it feels different on the whole even if the changes aren't essentially too drastic. The Kalling have always created a "low-fi death metal stomp", as I've previously described them, but 3 feels like the boys have decided to slow things down even more at times, got some new studio effects at their disposal & played with the vocals a lot more, which is the most obvious change. Opener "Snake Charmer" features reversed vocals, screaming & perhaps a Mercyful Fate ambiance to the vocals, while "Abomination Man" includes growling/screaming for the chorus with the more talking/singing vocals of past albums for the verses. In addition to the new vocal workout the songs feel that they plod much more than the earlier albums. "Abomination Man" crawls while "Snake Charmer" drones, a technique they'd always found their greatest successes with, yet this is a reinvention not a repeat of the past. Essentially, the music feels stripped back, but there's no loss as the new vocals make up for it, the texture has moved from the guitars & drums to the vocals. While at first it sounds like the Kalling has gone more mainstream metal in their approach ... one wonders what inspired this change ... the following four songs throw out all expectations. The most dynamic track "Hypnotizing The Masses" has everything put into a blender to come out as a swirling musical kaleidescope that brings a psychedelic feel into play. "The Number" is the most straight forward song, more heavy metal than black metal & reminiscent of traditional 80's metal. But, this is the calm before the storm, with the gnarly Slayer-esque "Wizards Of War" that truly fuses old Kalling with the new Kalling sound. Getting a facelift is the theme of 3 & it's an exciting facelift that makes the album a great addition to what the Kalling has already done. Also needing mention is the concluding track "Coma", more of a bonus track or coda as it's only vocals & guitar, of a guy talking from a coma. A very creeping ending to a great album & drawing upon B-Ray's lyrical prowess when it comes to first hand storytelling. Though, it's really not a coda as lyrically much of the album looks at things that are coming to an end or in a breakdown & obviously this last song is thus the perfect ending, because death isn't pretty.

(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interviews podcast: episode 47 & 48 (2 part) "Interview: Kalling," April 2012, click here to listen)

(No music video available.)

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