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Draghkar – At The Crossroads of Infinity Award winner

At The Crossroads of Infinity
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 16 August 2020, 4:25 AM

DRAGHKAR is a Californian death metal band formed in 2016.  The band has been very busy; although “At The Crossroads Of Infinity,” is their full length debut, they have several splits, demos, and an EP already under their belt. It isn’t often that I call a death metal album “fun,” but that is just what “At The Crossroads Of Infinity” is.  That isn’t to say the band/music presented across the six tracks and thirty four minute runtime aren’t serious. Nothing could be further from the truth.  But the short nature of the album, the quick and clever pace of the album as a whole adds up to a brutal but immensely entertaining

Their genre of choice is death metal but the album has a surprising amount of variety that is explored.  Melody, groove, and just straight up aggression all find a place here and the combination of these elements is always interesting. Before I talk about individual songs, I want to say the lead guitar work by K.S. and Cameron’s bass guitar are never ending highlights.  I don’t want to belittle the performances of anyone else (they all do a spectacular job) but these two really lay it all on stage.

The First Death,” opens the album with immediacy mixed with guts and glory on full display.  The double bass sounds like pure thunder, which rolls against the back drop of well balanced low and high death growls.   The guitar solo after about a minute in is very well placed in the track—as are the rest that crop up within the song.  The lead and rhythm guitar have truly blistering trade offs and weave in and out of each other with brutal grace.

Beyond Despair, the Dawn of Rebirth” reminds me a lot of THE CROWN.  There are a lot of thrashy parts but what makes the song truly sound is the way the guitars can create a groove, head banging foundation while still being unrelenting in intensity.  The leads are more subtle on this track, as this song is a blistering show case for the power of the riff. The third track, “An Erosion of the Eternal Soul,” is one of the more atmospheric ones.  The dense, low bass and riffs are brought to life by the well placed drums, particularly the bass drums.  This song spends its time getting to know the environment but gets progressively more dark and intense as the minutes press on.  This track is over eight minutes in length but it never felt like it.  The song’s melodic mid portion is a kick ass experience that fits so well within the song.

Seeking Oblivion,” has some clean vocals/chanting in the beginning which lend the song an archaic and powerful vibe. A clash of drums breaks the band into it, followed by some doom style melodic riffs. A galloping set of riffs and cadence really keeps the song fresh and free flowing.  The late half is faster and caps off the experience. “Pursued By Black Forms,” is one of my favorite tracks if for no other reason than the insane bass.  But I do have other reasons, such as the very tension and anxiety ridden feeling the whole song has which is no surprise give the song’s title.  The layered vocals hit hard just as the song continues to speed up even faster for one of the more underground moments on the album.  This song is pure fire.

The last track is also the title—and one of the more melodic ones, at least in the song’s beginning moments.  The bass and guitar really compliment each other here—in fact, the whole band comes together so well that I’m not shocked the band wanted it as a strong closing track.  The ending is is amazing, the grunts and screams raining down upon the music.

All in all, DRAGHKAR’s “At The Crossroads Of Infinity,” is a blast of fresh death metal air.  It doesn’t try to be more than anything but extreme metal but it is played with such conviction and love that I have found it to be a cut above much of what else I’ve heard this year.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The First Death
2. Beyond Despair, the Dawn of Rebirth
3. An Erosion of the Eternal Soul
4. Seeking Oblivion
5. Pursued By Black Forms
6. At The Crossroads of Infinity
Brandon Corsair – Rhythm guitars, Clean Vocals
Cameron Fisher – Bass
Phil Segitho – Drums
K.S. Kuciemba – Lead guitars
Daniel Bulter – Vocals
Record Label: Unspeakable Axe Records


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