Saturday 28 February 2015

Kabbalah - Primitive Stone (EP Review)

Primitive stone E.P cover art

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 01st January 2015
Label: Self Released
Primitive Stone – Track Listing

1.Weirdo 03:24
2.Temples 03:32
3.Atomic 03:34
4.Miserere 03:50


Pamplona, Spain trio Kabbalah have a diverse four-song E.P. up on bandcamp. Each of the four songs are under four minutes long but manage to touch on progressive ground. Overall, the music is steeped in occult moods with leanings toward early 70’s progressive psych or mid-80’s metal, giving it a good retro rock feel.

More than that though, this is the most addictive release I’ve encountered in this early portion of the year. It’s no exaggeration to say I’ve lost sleep unable to get opening track “Weirdo” out of my head. The song comes on strong with a pausey heavy and syncopated intro before settling into a dark and appealing rhythm. The vocals kick in and there’s no looking back. The chorus is incredibly catchy somehow. I think it’s because the song is largely rhythm based before the tension is broken by a hooky melodic passage right when it’s needed. It’s an impressive song and will probably go down as my most played single song from 2015.(all four songs currently occupy my top four most played spots so far).

Second track “Temples” has another great driving rhythm and features the vocals of full-time guitarist German, one-time guitarist/vocalist of the band Atiguaybarbuda. After another syncopated rhythm intro the verse kicks in abruptly and shifts to a melodic bridge that invoked floating feelings. The song moves into a fuzzy stomp section while retaining that airy feel.

Closing number “Miserere” is possibly the darkest song of them all, but it also features a haunting harmonized chorus. The dark moods are aided and abetted here by subtle use of organ during the chorus and a spider-like chord structure during the verse. The most distinguishing feature of the band is their ever-present rumble, which is brought to its thunderous crescendo on this song.

The E.P. isn’t all dark all the time, but there is a candle-lit mood over all of it as the band seemingly invokes things it has little power of controlling. That feeling of danger that rock and metal is supposed to embody all the time? Kabbalah has it. The emphasis here is on well-constructed, melodic and dynamic songs with driving rhythms. Each of the four tracks takes its own path, the diversity of material is impressive, but always that dark and exciting spirit hangs over the balance.

The band was started in 2013 by Carmen & Marga, veteran components of Las Culebras. After recording a four-song EP later that same year, the band apparently spent the next year selling souls and making blood pacts to produce the strongest material possible. The result is this, the ‘Primitive Stone’ E.P., one of the best releases of the early portion of 2015.

Words by LK Ultra

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